Once your case history is complete, your BCA chiropractor will examine you to confirm any early ideas about your problem. The examination will concentrate on your neuromusculoskeletal system (nerves, muscles and joints), but it will may also be necessary to check other things such as your heart, lungs and abdomen to rule out other causes; this thorough check-up is a normal procedure in a chiropractor’s clinic. You will normally be referred to your GP if your chiropractor feels that this is appropriate.
Gowns are made available for you to wear for the examination, as well as for any following treatments.
After the initial consultation and examination, your chiropractor may offer treatment almost immediately. However, it may be delayed for a day or two is she/he needs to order x-rays or obtain further information from your GP (blood test results, for example) and, where appropriate, refer you for an MRI/CT scan. Any imaging will only be requested where clinically justified, in line with current legislation and guidelines.
Before starting treatment, you BCA chiropractor will tell you, in clear, simple language, what is wrong with you, what can be done about it and what you should expect when you receive your first adjustment. You will probably be told about any exercises or changes to your lifestyle or diet that may be beneficial so that you can help yourself. A part of getting better is up to you, so please follow any instructions and advice carefully and completely.
You will also be advised of all costs that relate to your future care. It would be appropriate, at this point, for your chiropractor to tell you of any likelihood of a recurrence of your problem and the possible need for any ongoing supportive care. This is not an unusual situation for patients who have had serious injuries, as well as those who have long-term problem due to wear and tear to the joints.
Chiropractic treatment mainly involves safe, often gentle, specific spinal manipulation to free joints in the spine or other, related areas, that are not moving properly. Most often, this requires a short thrust to a joint that can result in an audible ‘pop’ and may bring relief of symptoms; some patients report an increased feeling of well-being. The ‘pop’ is simply the sound of bubbles of gas popping in the fluid of the joint as the pressure is released. There is, however, no instant cure and some patients may experience temporary symptoms such as pain or soreness around the areas being treated. Rarely, some patients may experience redness of the skin due to temporary inflammation and, where the area being treated is already inflamed, symptoms may seem slightly worse to start with.
Talk to your chiropractor to discuss any concerns you may have.
Apart from manipulation, your chiropractor may use a variety of techniques including ice, heat, ultrasound, exercise and acupuncture as well as advice about posture and lifestyle.
If you have questions about any of these, just speak to your chiropractor.