What will happen when I visit a chiropractor?
During the first consultation a full case history is taken. When necessary a gown will be offered to wear for the duration of the visit (please read the ‘what should I wear section lower down the page!) . The chiropractor will examine carefully the area, which is giving you trouble and any other areas that are relevant. If it is clinically justified an X-ray may be taken or requested, in order to assist a successful and thorough diagnosis. The purpose of the first visit will be to see if there is a good chance of helping you. If the chiropractor diagnoses something that is outside the scope of chiropractic then he will refer you to the appropriate specialist. We have excellent links with the local GP’s. Through years of working in sport we have lots of links with excellent specialists and we can easily refer you to your local private MRI centre if needed for an scan regarding an injury.
Does this mean that treatment will start on the first visit?
Not necessarily. If you are X-rayed on your first visit the chiropractor will often prefer to wait until he has studied your X-rays before he starts treatment. In this case, on your second visit the chiropractor will explain his findings before starting treatment and, if he is not able to help you, he will tell you so. At this point, if necessary, the chiropractor will refer you to a general practitioner. Treatment will vary according to the problem but usually involves specific manipulation (called adjustment) of the spine.
What should I wear?
No females will ever be required to get changed. Gowns are always provided if needed. It is often easiest if you just wear loose fitting clothing, so that most of the time you will not need to change at all. If you have a leg or arm complaint then it is a good idea to wear or get changed into something that you feel comfortable in that exposes the area like shorts for example. If you have any concerns or special requirements do not hesitate to let us know. We will be able to accommodate you!
So what would I typically wear for a low back pain treatment?
A female would typically wear leggings or tracksuit bottoms and a top. A male often brings shorts or loose fitting trousers and a T-shirt.
How many visits will I need?
The number of treatments varies considerably. The results of a survey show that the average patient suffering from back pain attends a chiropractor for six to eight sessions. However, the number of required treatments for your particular condition will depend upon its severity and your response to treatment. In general terms, more treatment is required for long-standing (chronic) cases, and less for cases of short duration.
What sort of response will I have to treatment?
The response to chiropractic treatment varies from patient to patient. Some feel immediate improvement, whereas others may take a few sessions to feel benefit. Improvement initially is temporary, but becomes longer lasting with subsequent treatments. Sometimes you may feel better immediately after treatment, more frequently not until the next day, and often not for several days or longer. It is not unusual to have a reaction, especially following the first treatment, usually later that day or the next day, sometimes later. This may be soreness, stiffness or aching and sometimes even increased pain.
Some patients feel energetic following an adjustment and others may feel extreme relaxation or tiredness due to the sudden release of muscular tension and endorphins that have released. Patients seldom get better at a constant rate, so it is not unusual for a patient who has been getting better to suffer a temporary relapse before improvement continues again.
Some patients who improve slowly to begin with suddenly reach a stage where they improve rapidly. Others who improve quickly to begin with may take longer to recover fully. Following a course of treatment some patients require an occasional check-up to make sure they maintain their improvement. If the trouble should recur it can often be cleared up in relatively few treatments if not left too long before the chiropractor is consulted again.
Some patients who do not benefit are those who expect immediate improvement and, failing to respond at once, discontinue treatment. Following your chiropractor’s advice always helps the chances of improvement.