The first visit lasts about an hour.
Initially, your chiropractor will start with taking a thorough medical case history, which will include your presenting complaint and your past health history.
You will then undergo an appropriate physical examination, including neurological and orthopaedic tests, with emphasis on the neuromusculoskeletal system (nerves, muscles and joints). It may be essential to investigate other systems such as your heart, lungs and abdomen to rule out other causes of your problem.
You are then given a “Report of Findings” in which the chiropractor explains everything to you in detail - what’s causing your symptoms, what can be done about it, an estimate of how long it may take to feel better and how much treatment may be required.
Your tailored treatment plan may include advice on lifestyle, diet and exercise to enable you to take an active role in your recovery and avoid future relapses. Then, provided that no x-rays or further tests are necessary, treatment is usually given on the first visit.
If your chiropractor does not feel that chiropractic treatment is suitable in your case, you will be referred to your GP or an appropriate specialist for further investigations (blood tests or MRI). Your details are confidential and no one else will be able to see your notes without your permission.
You may be refered for X-rays to be taken locally through your gp or privately.
On subsequent visits, treatment usually lasts about 15 minutes, depending on your condition and the treatment that you require. How many treatments you will need depends on numerous factors such as the nature of your problem, how long you’ve had it, how severe it is, how you respond to treatment and last, but by no means least, how much of the advice given you take on board!
Rehabilitative stretching and strengthening exercises will be taught to help speed up the healing process and help avoid experiencing a recurrence of your problem.
When the patient feels better, many opt for maintenance treatment, receiving regular check-ups to keep their spine in good working order, and prevent relapses. It’s a bit like getting your teeth checked periodically at the dentist, or having your car MOT’d, except of course, you can replace teeth and cars, while your spine is irreplaceable. However, the decision as to whether you decide to embark on maintenance care is entirely your own.