Seeing a chiropractor for the first time?
Chiropractors specialize in assessing, diagnosing and managing conditions of the spine. They are highly trained in finding the cause of pain in the spine. In the UK they undergo a minimum of five years’ full-time training. Most importantly, chiropractors are regulated by law and must work within strict professional and ethical boundaries.
What your Initial Consultation involves...
During your initial consultation, before your treatment starts, we will do a full health assessment. This will involve taking details about your condition, current health and medical history, and performing a physical examination.
Some of the questions you will be asked may not seem important, but they will help us to establish an overall view of your health and determine whether chiropractic care is appropriate for your condition.
If we are unable to help or decide that some other treatment would be more beneficial for your condition; you will be referred to your GP or to another health care professional. In some cases, it may be necessary to refer you for other tests, such as X-rays, MRI scans or blood tests. If these are required, we will explain why it is necessary to carry out the further tests and seek your consent to contact your GP.
After assessing your condition and overall health, we will carry out a physical examination. During the examination you may be asked to remove some of your clothes, and you will be covered appropriately to make you more comfortable.
A range of tests will be performed that may include assessment of your posture and range of movement. We will measure your blood pressure and examine your abdomen to help find out the cause of your issue.
What happens after the initial assessment?
After these assessments, we will explain our findings in greater detail, and whether your condition can be helped by chiropractic treatment.
If chiropractic treatment is appropriate, a care plan will be presented consisting of the costs of care and an approximate number of treatments that are needed.
You will be able to ask questions so that you fully understand what treatment is being proposed. If you are happy to proceed, you will be asked to give your written consent to treatment.
All details about your health and treatment are strictly confidential. No one will be allowed to see your records without your permission.
Each chiropractic treatment is scheduled and tailored on your individual needs. Chiropractors are trained in using manipulation to free restricted joints. It will likely involve using the hands to apply quick, precise thrusts to the restricted joints. During manipulation, there may be popping sounds (similar to the ‘crack’ heard when people flex their knuckles), this is quite harmless, it is just the sound of small areas of gas popping in the fluid of the joints as pressure is then released.
Treatment may also include massage, stretching and joint ‘mobilization’. We may use a hand-held instrument called an ‘activator’ to manipulate joints as well.
Some positive effects may be felt after one visit, however a series of regular chiropractic treatments is normally recommended to make a significant change, particularly if you have had the problem for a long time. We will discuss your chiropractic treatment of care with you, which will usually involve a series of treatments being given at defined intervals.
We treat the underlying cause and our aim is to restore and maintain improved function of joints and soft tissues, thus relieving symptoms and improving the spinal health. This provides a better outcome for longevity.
Home exercises, advice and rehabilitative care form an important part of chiropractic treatment to help prevent your problem recurring and enabling you to get better faster and out of pain sooner. This includes stretching followed by strengthening exercises and postural advice you can take home and do.
Throughout the course of your care, you will have plenty of opportunities to ask any questions you might have about the management of your condition and your treatment. You may bring someone to accompanying you while receiving treatments.
Many people who suffer long-term spinal health issues benefit from regular, supportive chiropractic care to reduce the risk of recurrent episodes.
How will I feel after the treatment?
You may well feel sore for about 24-48 hours after receiving treatment, your body has been realigned and it may take some time to get used to the new way your body is moving. You will be advised to apply ice or heat to reduce pain and inflammation.