Do you know anyone who may be hesitant to see a Chiropractor, or wondering what a first visit might entail?
I know that all of you have been coming to see me for varying lengths of time. Some of you for many years, and some have just recently started receiving treatments. You have all been through the initial visit with me. Think about why you made the decision to seek a Chiropractor out for treatment. Were you nervous coming to the office? Maybe you know someone who is thinking about seeing a Chiropractor for the first time but doesn’t know what to expect. The first few trips can be intimidating. This month, I am going to talk about what to expect before you come into the office. As I mentioned, I know that you as patients already know what an initial visit consists of, however, you can always pass the information on to someone who may be nervous about booking an appointment.
During your first visit, I will perform a health assessment or consultation where we will review the information that you provided when you filled out your health history form prior to your visit, as well as we will spend some time discussing your basic health information, information about your health history or medical conditions, and the nature, history, and scope of your complaints. While you may be wondering why I ask certain questions, everything I ask has a purpose and gives me a better idea of who you are and your overall health so that I can provide the best possible, and most individualized care for you.
After completing the history, where I have found out “your story”, I will then move on to a physical exam. This will include range of motion, orthopedic tests, soft tissue and joint palpation and a neurological assessment. These procedures objectively measure your spine, joints, nerves, and muscles and will be used to assess your condition or complaint and help to determine the cause of your symptoms more completely. If necessary, you may be referred for radiographs, or back to your general practitioner for advanced imaging.
Once the above steps are completed, I will spend more time talking with you about what was found during the physical exam, what my diagnosis is for you, what treatment options can be used to help you (for e.g., adjustments, mobilizations, soft tissue work, exercises and stretching, or other modalities like ultrasound and acupuncture), the risks and benefits of those treatment options, treatment frequency and consent for treatment.
If you have any questions or concerns about your condition, injury, or treatment options, we will discuss those as well. When all your questions have been answered, if appropriate, treatment will be performed. What I try to make clear to everyone is that consent for treatment is fluid. If there was a certain adjustment that you consented to initially but have found that you consistently feel worse after receiving it, we re-assess and change the treatment appropriately. That is the great thing about Chiropractic care, there are many different options or positions for adjustments, as well as many different modalities that can be used. I will work with you to find the best treatment option for you as an individual to respond as optimally as possible.
It is important to remember that even though some people respond very quickly to care, Chiropractic is not a miracle cure. You many continue to experience some discomfort or even an exacerbation of your symptoms after your initial visit and even after subsequent visits. If this happens, be sure to communicate them at your next visit so that your concerns can be addressed, and your treatment plan adjusted if needed.
Many of you know that I also treat animals and may be wondering how this process differs for an initial visit with an animal. Much of it is remarkably similar as I still collect a lot of information about the health, physical activity, and injury of the animal, however much of this is based on observation of both the owner and myself as the animal can’t tell me what exactly is going on. I especially pay close attention to changes in the animal (such as ear positioning, tension, a pause in panting, or sudden stop in movement where they just freeze), while I am palpating joints and muscles. This will tell me a lot about what tissues and structures are involved. It of course is also for my safety so that I can try and avoid being bitten if the dog does react unfavorably.
- Follow our practitioners on social media-Dr. Frederick is on Facebook-@Dr.Frederick Chiropractic, Instagram-@dr_frederick_chiropractic. Our Massage Therapist, Lori Tangen is on Facebook– @Lorraine Tangen RMT or Instagram- @ltangenrmt