What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a primary care profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and management of conditions relating to joints, muscles, tendons, discs and nerves within the body.
Chiropractors use a biopsychosocial model for patient care, meaning not only do chiropractors assess movement of the body, they also consider lifestyle stresses that can impact upon it.
What to Expect
At your initial appointment the Chiropractor will discuss your complaint, your overall health and will record a medical history. This will enable the Chiropractor to undertake a detailed assessment.
If the Chiropractor thinks they can help a full physical examination will subsequently be undertaken. If the Chiropractor is unable to help, you will be referred to your GP or to another health care professional to make sure your complaint is dealt with. A gown is available to wear for the assessment, however a sports kit would be suitable also.
The chiropractor will perform a number of different tests which may include assessing your posture and range of movement, testing the strength of different muscle groups and where appropriate may also perform a blood pressure reading or assess your reflexes to help find out what is wrong.
After the assessment and examination are complete the Chiropractor may require further investigations such as an X-ray or MRI. If so the Chiropractor will explain why it is needed, and how and when it can be arranged.
Assuming no further imaging is required your Chiropractor will explain what is wrong and if Chiropractic care can help with the issue. If the Chiropractor believes treatment to be of benefit for your complaint they will provide you with a care plan. A care plan helps to explain what to expect through your course of chiropractic care, the costs of treatment and different treatment options available. The Chiropractor will also inform you about exercises and lifestyle changes to help manage your condition and assist with recovery.
Before any treatment commences the Chiropractor will require you to sign a consent form. However you are very welcome to ask any questions you may have at any time. If you are happy to start treatment in many cases the examination and first treatment take place on the same day.
All details provided are confidential and kept securely. No one is allowed to see your records without prior written and agreed consent.
Chiropractors are highly skilled in manipulating or adjusting restricted or stiff joints, this is often referred to as manual therapy. This is a specific and controlled adjustment to the appropriate joints in order to increase movement at that particular area. Some Chiropractors use a hand-held instrument called an ‘activator’ to manipulate joints.
Treatment may also include mobilisation, stretching, instrument assisted myofascial release or acupuncture.
An important part of any treatment program involves self-help advice and rehabilitative care at the appropriate times to help manage your condition and to reduce the likelihood of it reoccurring. This usually involves the application of ice or heat to reduce pain and inflammation and stretches or strengthening exercises you can do at home.
The treatment program takes place over a number or weeks, especially if you have had a long history of pain. The program will be discussed in detail with you by your Chiropractor and usually involves a series of treatments at defined intervals which could vary depending on the severity of pain and the underlying condition.