Many people experiencing back pain for the first time will have never visited a chiropractor, and the thought can be quite daunting at first. This article will help explain what happens during your first chiropractic appointment (see more here) and what you can do to gain the most from your visit.
To start with your chiropractor will discuss your problem with you, this is called a case history and involves asking you specific questions about how long the symptoms have been there, how the problem came about and movements or activities that make the symptoms worse.
To help your chiropractor, take time before your appointment to think about your symptoms in detail, the dates that the symptoms came on and think of a few examples of things that improve or aggravate your symptoms.
For example many patients find that bending backwards or forwards increases pain in their back, or there may be specific activities such as walking or driving that aggravate your complaint. In terms of things that relieve the symptoms, if you have found that things like resting or taking a hot bath reduces your symptoms, then be sure to mention these.
As well as asking about the main problem you are presenting with your chiropractor will ask you more general questions including your past medical history, your family medical history and details of any surgeries, car accidents, and other important events that may play a part in your present condition.
Another important detail is the medication you may currently be taking. One top tip is that many patients find it useful to bring a list of their medications to the appointment, particularly if there are several.
As you can see you will be asked for a great deal of information, and not just about the pain or complaint that may have brought you to the clinic. Some of the questions may appear irrelevant, but they are extremely important to your chiropractor. Many factors that you may think irrelevant could actually play a part in your problem and it is best to be thorough.
It is important to ensure that chiropractic care is appropriate for your condition, so your chiropractor will need to get an idea of your overall health.
It is important to remember that your details are confidential. Your chiropractor will treat the information you disclose with the utmost care and no one else will be allowed to see your notes without your permission.
Once a thorough case history has been taken your chiropractor will have built up a picture of your general health as well as specific details about your problem. She/he will then use this information to perform a focused examination of your back/neck/shoulder/hip or wherever the problem may be.
This involves testing flexibility, strength, feeling for areas of tenderness and specific diagnostic tests. Although gowns will be available for your use, some people find it helpful to change into a pair of comfortable shorts and/or a vest top to make examination of knees, ankles, shoulders and other areas easier and more comfortable, so think about taking a pair of shorts or a vest top along to your appointment.
Having been through a case history and examination your chiropractor will explain your condition to you, giving you a diagnosis and answering any questions you may have. You will be informed if your condition is suitable for chiropractic treatment, how long this will take and what stretches and exercises you can do at home.
Hopefully this article has helped to explain the process of your first chiropractic appointment and given you some tips to gain the most from your visit. Some clinics are happy to offer a free consultation so ring around and see if your local clinic offers this as it provides you with the opportunity to discuss you problem initially and find out how chiropractic can help you.
We also offer physiotherapy treatment which you can read about here www.thehouseclinics.co.uk/treatments/physio-bristol/.
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