What can I expect at my first visit?
Prior to your visit you will be sent an online questionnaire to complete and return, there is no need to print this. Some of the questions you will be asked may seem irrelevant to the reason you are attending, but they will help establish a complete picture of your health. This will help determine whether chiropractic care is appropriate for your condition.
On your first visit to see a chiropractor they will conduct a detailed assessment of your presenting condition, past medical history, and overall health. A full examination, a report of findings, and if appropriate, a treatment.
If your therapist decides that you would not benefit from this type of care he will recommend another type of treatment that would be more beneficial for your condition; or you may be referred to your GP or to another health care professional for further investigations.
What should I wear to my first appointment or treatment sessions?
Generally, you will not have to undress for treatments, however it may be necessary to expose the area of the skin to be treated.
For the neck and upper back, you may be asked to put on a gown top, open in the back so that you upper spine/ back/ neck can be seen or indeed treated.
There is usually no need to remove clothing of the low half of the body unless you are being treated for a lower limb problem such as thigh or knee. It would then be advisable to wear or bring a pair of shorts.
All spinal manipulations can be done through clothing, but massage and acupuncture cannot. It is best not to wear anything too restricting.
Does the treatment hurt?
Spinal manipulation, massage and acupuncture are generally not painful. Where there are areas of restriction in joints, strains in muscles or local inflammation post injury, it is to be expected that there may be some tenderness to the touch or within the 24 hours after your visit.
This discomfort varies between individuals and your therapist will therefore advise you of the best ways to reduce the discomfort for your type of condition.
What is the "Clicking" sound I hear during a joint manipulation?
When therapist perform joint manipulations you will quite often hear a "click" or "pop" sound. This is just the release of gas from the joint when the two joint surfaces are moved apart at speed. It is usually no more painful than when your joints click or pop of their own accord as you move.
Your therapist has been trained in many different ways of treating mechanical (muscle & joint) problems and can therefore adapt the treatment to suit your needs.
How many treatment sessions will I need?
This is often the hardest question to answer, as so many external factors have an influence on the response to treatment. Age, activity level, employment, sport, amount of time spent sitting or driving, duration of problem, all may directly affect the amount of sessions required.
Recovery and repair often takes place over a number of weeks, with the earlier sessions being closer together until your body adapts to the changes. The sessions can then be less frequent.
Some patients decide to attend regular "maintenance" sessions. Some evidence suggests that patients do better with continued care as there is chance of pain recurrence.
Your therapist will discuss your program of care and will be able to answer any questions about the management of your condition.