Laying the Foundation for Total Health
Chiropractic care is like building a house - certain things have to happen in a particular order in order for everything to stand strong and work correctly. When building a house, if you tried to put up your walls before you had a solid foundation, your walls would be weak and eventually collapse. If you tried to put on your roof before the walls were ready, you would run into the same problem. The same is true for your body. Your body has to go through a particular plan of care in order to repair itself correctly and fully. There are three general phases of chiropractic care:
Patient History and Symptoms
In preparation for the chiropractic consultation, the patient will be asked to fill out forms that provide background information about their symptoms and condition. First visits often last about an hour. Typical questions include:
When and how did the pain start?
Where is the pain felt?
Did the pain start as a result of an injury?
What activities/circumstances make it better or worse?
Patients are usually asked to provide information on family medical history, any pre-existing medical conditions or prior injuries/surgeries, and previous and current treatments provided by other health professionals.
Your lifestyle habits including exercise, diet, stress and sleep.
The reason your chiropractor will want to know all of this information is to help them determine the exact cause of your pain or injury so they can give you proper care.
After taking your history, your chiropractor will do a physical examination. The chiropractor may feel your spine, move your joints and watch the way you walk. He or she will also test your muscle strength, reflexes, and range of motion.
Further chiropractic tests may be necessary to assess the affected area, such as having the patient move in a specific manner, posture analysis, or assess motion of the affected body part.
An examination of the entire spine will take place and the doctor will hone in on any specific area that is relevant to your pain.
The doctor will also perform X-ray testing to help them understand the structure and integrity of your bone anatomy. X-rays are a very important part of the examination process. An x-ray will show the chiropractor the extent of issues involving your spine.
Follow-Up/ Report of Findings
After your initial appointment the doctor will sit down with all the information that has been gathered from the consultation, physical exam, and x-rays and develop a treatment plan.
On your follow-up visit or report of findings the doctor will go over your x-ray images with you using these images to explain why you are having the issues you are having and what they can do to help alleviate the pain and discomfort you are currently experiencing. The doctor will give you a treatment plan with phases (like below) with a recommended number of treatments for each phase.
After the doctor has explained their findings to you and answered any questions you might have they will perform your first adjustment and therapy.
Phases of Care
Phase 1: Relief Care
If you are in pain when you come into our office, the first objective is to help you feel better. Depending on the severity of your problem, it is typical to need care two to three times per week for four to 12 weeks.
Phase 2: Corrective/Restorative Care
During the corrective care phase, muscles and other tissues are allowed to heal more completely, thereby helping prevent injury. It is typical to need care four to eight times per month for six to 24 months, depending on your overall health and the severity of your problem.
Phase 3: Wellness Care
Once your body has fully healed, it is important to come in for periodic adjustments to avoid problems in the future. Usually, this only requires a quick visit to the chiropractor one to four times per month, based on your lifestyle and goals.