Your first visit to us
Your first visit to us
When you meet your chiropractor for the first time, he/she will start with a discussion about you, your health and your reasons for asking for chiropractic care.
You will be asked for a great deal of information, not just about the pain or complaint that may have brought you to the clinic, but about your past health history. Some of the questions may appear irrelevant, but they are extremely important to your chiropractor. To ensure that chiropractic care is appropriate for your condition he/she will need to establish an overall health picture. If chiropractic appears not to be suitable for you, you will be referred to your GP or relevant specialist.
Your details are confidential. No one else will be allowed to see your notes without your permission.
Once your case history is complete, your chiropractor will examine you to confirm any early ideas about your problem. The examination will concentrate on your neuromusculoskeletal system (nerves, muscles and joints). If any problem is detected that your chiropractor is unable to treat, then you may be referred to your GP if your chiropractor feels that this is appropriate. Gowns are made available for you to wear for the examination, as well as any following treatments. After the initial consultation and examination, your chiropractor may offer you treatment almost immediately. However, it may be delayed for a day or two if he / she needs to take or view X-rays or obtain further information from your GP (for example blood test results) and, where appropriate, refer you for an MRI scan. Any imaging will only be requested where clinically justified, in line with current legislation and guidelines.
Report of findings
Before starting treatment, your chiropractor will tell you, in clear, simple language, what is wrong with you, what can be done about it and what you should expect when you receive your first adjustment. You will probably be told about any exercises or changes to your lifestyle or diet that may be beneficial, so that you can help yourself. A part of getting better is up to you, so please follow any instructions and advice carefully and completely.
You will also be advised of all costs that relate to your future care. It would be appropriate, at this point, for your chiropractor to tell you of any likelihood of a recurrence of your problem, and the possible need for any ongoing supportive care. This is not an unusual situation for patients for instance who have long-term problems due to wear and tear to certain joints.
Chiropractic treatment mainly involves safe, often gentle, specific spinal manipulation to free joints in the spine, or other areas of the body related to the back, that are not moving properly. Most often, this requires a short thrust to a joint that can result in an audible ‘pop’ and may bring relief of symptoms as well as better mobility. The 'pop' is simply the sound of bubbles of gas popping in the fluid of the joint as the pressure is released.
Apart from the manipulation, your chiropractor may use a wide variety of techniques including ice, heat, ultrasound, exercise and acupuncture as well as advice about posture and lifestyle. If you have questions about any of these, just ask.