A good chiropractor will do everything they can to help alleviate your symptoms as quickly as they can, with as few visits as necessary to their office as possible.
Since the chiropractic profession has a large number of philosophies and techniques, you should feel comfortable asking any questions you have in order to fully understand your examination, diagnosis, and treatments. An initial interview can be done over the phone or in person to discuss that particular provider’s philosophy, approach, and expertise as well as the patient’s preferences.
Next would come a clinical exam that will include:
- Patient History and Symptoms
- The Chiropractic Exam
- Diagnostic Studies
Patient History and Symptoms
In preparation for your consultation, you will be provided some forms to fill out that will provide your Chiropractor with background information on your family medical history, pre-existing conditions, prior injuries, plus previous and current healthcare providers and treatments. They will also ask questions regarding your symptoms and condition.
These questions may include:
- How and when did the pain start?
- Where is the pain located?
- Describe the pain.
- Does it come and go, or is it continual?
- Did the pain start after receiving an injury?
- What activities or circumstances make the pain better or worse?
The Chiropractic Exam
A standard chiropractic exam usually includes similar tests you receive in a Dr’s office. These can include pulse, respiration, blood pressure, and reflexes. There will also be specific orthopedic and neurological assessments including:
- Range of Motion of the Joint in Question
- Neurological Integrity
- Muscle Strength
- Muscle Tone
- Orthopedic Tests
More focused tests may also be conducted to assess the affected joint.
Depending on the results of your history and the chiropractic exam, a diagnostic study may be useful in exposing pathologies and detecting structural abnormalities This will allow for a more accurate diagnosis of your condition.
The most common diagnostic study used for chiropractic exams include:
- X-ray exam
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan
- Other laboratory tests
Many chiropractic clinics have the ability to administer basic X-rays. An MRI scan or more extensive imaging studies will usually have to be referred to an outside provider.
Patient Diagnosis after the Chiropractic Exam
A specific diagnosis or a working diagnosis will be determined after all of the above have been factored into account. Once the diagnosis has been made, your chiropractor will be able to determine if your condition will respond to chiropractic treatment.
At the end of your initial consultation your Chiropractor should be able to explain the following:
- What Your Diagnosis Is.
- Your Individualized Chiropractic Treatment Plan or Other Treatments if Chiropractic
- Treatments aren’t an option.
The Anticipated Length of Chiropractic Treatment to Resolve Your Condition
Many Chiropractors will be happy to provide all of this information in written form as well. This will allow you to take it home and think it over, as well as conduct your own research before you move forward. Once you’ve made the decision to receive chiropractic treatments, you should find yourself feeling much better very quickly.
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Make sure you consider all the variables in choosing the right chiropractic clinic for you. Read more here.