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Exploring Chiropractic – What to Expect at Your First Appointment (No need to be nervous… )

Chiropractic care has been gaining popularity amongst those with back and neck pain. With excellent patient satisfaction scores, it’s no surprise that there is a surge in pain sufferers calling out to chiropractors. However, trying something new can often provoke anxiety, which is why Dr. Kevin tells us what to expect when seeing your chiro for the first time: 

Who Should See a Chiropractor? 

Chiropractic is a wonderful profession – it  involves a hands-on approach without the use of medication or surgery, which lends itself to the efficient and safe treatment of many musculoskeletal problems. Back pain, neck pain and headaches are reasons to seek treatment. However, treatment is not limited to the spine, as your chiropractor can also aid in the treatment of sports injuries, muscular pain and even pediatric colic. 

Some form of painful condition is the main reason why most people initially seek help, although, our patients quickly learn that regular treatment is key to maintaining a pain-free life.   

Individuals of all ages and from ‘all walks of life’ can benefit from chiropractic: from colicky babies, to average joes, to social and competitive sportsmen, all the way up to our senior citizens. 

What will my first appointment involve?

PART 1 – The Health History

The health history is the first and most important part of the process. Here, your doctor will ask you specific questions about your problem; as well as allow you the opportunity to ask questions. A thorough history allows the doctor to make a preliminary diagnosis which forms the basis for the physical examination. The history taking process also helps determine if you are going to be a good candidate for chiropractic care.

PART 2 Physical Examination

Once armored with pertinent information from the history, your chiro undertakes a physical assessment which involves: special tests, the evaluation of the related joints and muscles within your body, and the confirmation of your diagnosis. Additionally, by assessing the other regions relating to the problem area, a better understanding of the preceding events leading up to the point of injury is now possible.  In essence, the examination serves to diagnose the problem and get a holistic understanding of how the rest of your body is functioning. 

Your chiropractor may refer you for x-rays or other external investigations if necessary, however, these scans are not ordered routinely.  

PART 3 Treatment

Once you’ve been deemed a suitable candidate for chiropractic care, and the treatment objectives have been clarified; treatment can then be initiated.  

A holistic approach is adopted, which is geared to fixing not only the problem area, but also correcting other movement-related problems in your body which may be negatively affecting you. 

Treatment is aimed towards restoring the body’s function, while simultaneously bringing about balance and harmony. It is not a one-size-fits-all model, and a broad range of treatment modalities cater for an appropriately suited intervention to suit your specific needs.  Factors such as age, size, stature, pre-existing medical conditions and psychological elements are all considered when choosing modalities.  

Some common modalities include: spinal manipulation, traction, dry needling, fascial release and taping.  

PART 4 – Rehabilitation

Therapeutic exercises will be prescribed for you to do at home, which allows you to actively participate in your recovery process. Rehab empowers and equips you to care for your body in the years to come. 

The PLAN

When it comes to achieving anything worthwhile, consistency is key. Many patients begin to feel relief immediately; while this may be true, it is still important to stick to the plan.  Attending treatment is like peeling off the layers of an onion: as the process unfolds, so do the different layers of tension begin to be restored.  Following up with treatment is necessary to ensure a good, sustainable results which will positively impact your wellbeing.  .

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