What happens on the first visit?
Your first visit will always start with a thorough discussion of your problem, concerns and your goals. This might include questions about your previous medical history, other ailments or medications you might be taking. Although some of the questions may not appear relevant, they help me to exclude potentially serious conditions requiring specialist medical advice. It is also extremely important I get as much information as possible to ensure I give you the most comprehensive diagnosis for your complaint.
Next, you will receive a complete examination which could include:
- Examination of how well your joints are moving
- Testing stregth of individual muscle groups looking for specific weakness or imbalances
- Neurological examination
- Systemic exams – e.g. blood pressure or listening to your heart / lungs.
I may ask you to expose the skin of your back or around the specific area of your complaint – gowns will be provided for you to wear if you would prefer this.
From this, you will be given a diagnosis and we will discuss and agree together your best treatment options. This will include an anticipated number of treatments, what to expect from your progress and when we will undertake reevaluation. Any questions about our pricing structure will also be discussed at this point.
We will next move onto your first chiropractic treatment session. If your problem is very painful and acute, this may focus on pain management and lifestyle advice to help to reduce the inflammation prior to starting manual therapy.
If, however, chiropractic care does not appear to be suitable for you, I will provide a letter of referral for your GP or relevant specialist to ensure you get the best possible care. All of your medical records are confidential and no one else will be allowed to see your notes without your permission.
What should I wear/bring?
To make the first consultation easier, I would be grateful if you would please:
- Wear stretchy, comfortable sports clothing (e.g. leggings/track suit bottoms/shorts, vest tops)
- Bring any doctors letters or medical reports that may be relevant to your complaint
- Bring a list of any medications you are currently taking and dosages
What normally happens during a treatment?
Treatment will generally involve a mixture of chiropractic adjustment (McTimoney or Diversified) and soft tissue massage, starting with the most conservative treatment and gradually building from there. This allows me to better gauge your progress and decide what technique is most effective for you.
We will also likely agree a program of stretch and strengthening exercises to do at home to maximise your treatment momentum. These will be specific to you and chosen to fit in with your time allowances and lifestyle. We will practice these exercises at clinic to ensure they are performed correctly and instructions will be given to you to help you remember them at home.
Treatments will typically last 25 minutes. Wearing soft and stretchy clothing would be appreciated.
How many times will I need to see you?
The number of treatments depends on what is causing your problem and how long it has been present. Generally, the newer the condition, the quicker it is to treat.
The treatment plan will be based upon your age, physical condition, lifestyle and unique problem(s). It will also include an early re-evaluation to assess your progress and determine if chiropractic care is working for you or if you would be better referred to another medical professional.
The plan of care is composed of three stages:
- Intensive stage: treatment is focused on your most obvious symptoms and pain. Visits tend to be more frequent whilst your condition is more acute.
- Rehabilitive stage: treatment is focused on stabilising your progress and promoting complete healing. Time between treatments will gradually increase and more focus will be on exercises for you to complete at home.
- Maintenance stage: treatment is aimed at keeping your body moving at your optimal level. Think of it as a miniture MOT! This may be as little as once every six months or, depending on your job, physical health and lifestyle you may choose to receive chiropractic treatment more frequently.