This is where you meet your chiropractor and go through the completed history form together. The chiropractor may ask you further questions about your condition or your past medical/ family history. The purpose of the initial consultation is to create an environment for communication between you and your chiropractor. The chiropractor will take this time to get to know you, get familiar with your condition and explain the next steps.
Your chiropractor will thoroughly examine where the pain is and do a range of tests which include Orthopaedic, Neurological and specific Chiropractic tests. Some of these tests may cause a small amount of discomfort or pain so it is important you tell your chiropractor if it is too much. Even though most of the tests will be specific to the area where it is hurting, sometimes it is necessary to also look at other parts of the body to rule out any other causes of the pain.
The examination can typically last between 10-15 minutes depending on the nature of the problem and how quickly the tests can be performed – depending on your condition.
If you are unsure or concerned about any aspect of the examination or you require further explanation as to why a certain test was done, please feel free to ask the chiropractor who will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Following the examination, your Chiropractor should have enough information to make a diagnosis. He will explain to you in detail, what is causing your pain and what needs to be done in the short and the long term to ease the pain you are currently experiencing and minimise the possibility of a relapse. Your Chiropractor will also be happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding treatment, short and long term management or any other aspect of your treatment (care).
Once you are satisfied about the explanation of your condition, you will then be ready to experience your first chiropractic treatment.
In some cases, the chiropractor may feel that further research or testing is required before a diagnosis can be made. Should this be the case, your Chiropractor will notify you of this and arrange for you to undergo further tests as necessary. If this is the case, your Chiropractor will not provide any treatment on your first visit. This is because we always have your best interests at heart and believe that any treatment given without a diagnosis is not only unprofessional but also unsafe.
In some rare cases, the chiropractor might make a professional judgement and feel chiropractic treatment is not appropriate for you. In these circumstances your Chiropractor will (explain why he has come to this conclusion and) ensure that you are referred to an appropriate healthcare professional who will be better suited to help you.
The first treatment will follow a full explanation of what we believe to be causing your complaint, what the treatment will comprise and how long the recovery may take. It is usually very straight forward. It is not uncommon for some short-term tenderness/ soreness to be noted, however, we make sure that the treatment is as gentle as possible so that you do not experience any unnecessary discomfort.
Advice is offered after your first treatment in the event that you do feel sore post examination/ treatment.
Phases of Care…
In this first phase, when you are in pain, the aim is to reduce your symptoms. Depending on the severity of your problem, a regular intensive period of treatment will be needed. Typically, two or three treatments per week may be required until symptoms settle.
During the corrective phase, muscles and other tissues heal more completely. It is important to continue receiving care even though symptoms may have lessened to prevent rapid recurrence. Regular treatment may still be needed at this time.
Once your pain has subsided, it is beneficial to have routine chiropractic treatment to avoid your physical problems from returning in the future. Usually, only a quick visit every few months is needed to maintain the health of your musculoskeletal system.