Your First Visit
Your first chiropractic visit is a holistic approach to understanding what is causing your malidy, helping you understand the root of the issue, making an informed decision about your treatment options and clarifying your role in improving or preventing this issue over time.
This is a thorough process focused on understanding you and the reason you are coming to the clinic. You have a unique and complex story. Without considering your work, activities, hobbies even habits an elusive issue may always remain elusive.
Your first visit includes a multipart history with time focused on the specific details of the complaint that brought you to our clinic. Expanding on that, potential contributing factors like work, sports, activities, previous injuries, illnesses, surgeries, diet, medication and more are discussed. Asking the right questions here can shed a great deal of light on the issue. This information then guides a focused physical exam to confirm or refute potential diagnoses.
Much like the history a proper physical exam covers many aspects. Losing movement can be debilitating but also very telling of underlying issues. Going beyond the basics and assessing the quality of functional movements adds exponential detail. These general movements highlight specific orthopedic testing. This involves a grouping of research validated tests proven to isolate and show pathology in specific ligaments, muscles or joints. Following those test manual tissue and joint palpation helps further identify problematic muscles or poor joint alignment.
A Neurological assessment is often absent in other professions until the issue is finally escalated to a neurologist or neurosurgeon. Including an examination of skin sensation (numbness, tingling), motor function (unexplained weakness) and tendon reflexes can offer an early warning about the potential nerve involvement in an injury.
Diagnosis and Report of Findings
All of this information gets compiled to produce a thorough understanding of how you move, an accurate diagnoses of the complaint and a plan of management to help you recover.
A patient’s understanding of the anatomy and biomechanics of a problem can be powerful. Learning the reality of an issue that previously brought on google-induced despair can be relieving. Understanding a problematic movement in sports or day to day activities can lead to a lifetime of improvement. The true root of the word Doctor is Teacher. Your diagnosis will not be a medical term, it will be a clear understanding of relevant mechanics and anatomy. Empowering information linking your diagnosis to the manual treatments, rehabilitation and long term changes that will bring about better health.
This education about your complaint, your treatment options, expectations for recovery and associated risks are essential to making an informed decisions about consenting to treatment. This critical process is often missed as many clinics have you consent to any treatment before you’ve even spoken.
Most initial visits take between 45 to 75 minutes and typically conclude with a trial of manual treatment, the initial rehabilitation training and a start on longer term changes. If future treatments are needed, they can be planned out all at once or from visit to visit. A throughout history, physical exam, report of findings and informed consent are a deliberate and effective process followed at the St. John’s Back Pain Clinic to gain an excellent understanding of your presenting complaint and plan to help you recover.