Planning a visit to a Palo Alto chiropractor anytime soon? Well, what you ought to know is that the visit is similar to other visits made to other healthcare professionals such as MDs and Doctors of Osteopathic medicine. There are unique elements which differentiate the visit to the chiropractor’s office from the others.
For starters, you will notice that the office environment is quite different. While other health professionals will ask you to seat as they inquire about your health and symptoms, chiropractors will use their hands to diagnose you. You will be requested to lie on the chiropractors’ treatment table or even remain standing. The chiropractor’s table is designed to allow better positioning during spinal adjustment. As a result, it helps to improve treatment – alleviate pain and restore your health.
What Does a Visit to a Chiropractor Entail?
When you step in the office, you will be greeted by the chiropractor’s assistant or receptionist. Afterwards, you will be taken through the following stages:
- Initial intake
- Physical exam
- Treatment plan
Below is a brief look at what happens in each stage.
During initial intake
The chiropractor’s assistant or receptionist will probably issue you with a health questionnaire. This is a standard requirement when you visit any health care professional office. The questionnaire is supposed to be answered thus providing a summary of your health history. Once you are directed to the chiropractor’s office, he or she will request you to indicate areas on your body experiencing any discomfort or pain. The chiropractor will mark all affected areas during this session.
During a physical exam
As you already know, chiropractors are skilled with their hands. In addition, they have in-depth knowledge of the musculoskeletal system. After the initial intake, the chiropractor will proceed with a routine physical exam. This will be followed by an exam that gives attention not only to the spine but to the affected areas. For instance, if you are experiencing pain around the neck, the chiropractor will examine the neck and shoulder muscles.
The physical exam entails several assessments such as:
- Muscle strength comparisons
- Range of motion examination
- Neurological tests
Crafting of a personalized treatment plan
Now that the chiropractor has identified all the issues which are your source of discomfort and pain, it’s time to craft a personalized treatment plan. What does the chiropractor consider before crafting a treatment plan?
i. Current musculoskeletal issues affecting your body
ii. Your overall health
iii. Current condition of your spine
iv. Your age
v. Any previous injuries or pain
vi. Your goals – this is of utmost importance.
The best treatment plan is crafted from your discussion with your chiropractor. We all have different goals:
- Seek relief from discomfort or pain
- Seek a regimen for ongoing care
During the initial consultation stage, your chiropractor will inform you about your health status and condition. He or she will recommend the best approach to use to relieve discomfort and pain. To ensure the best personalized treatment plan is crafted, trust and mutual understanding must exist between the patient and the chiropractor. Without the two attributes, the treatment plan may not work.
What is entailed in the treatment plan?
As you already know, spinal adjustments are at the core of your personalized treatment plan. Chiropractic spinal adjustments are a form of therapeutic manipulation where controlled force, direction, leverage and velocity are directed at different joints, muscles and bones.
To eliminate pain and discomfort, the chiropractor will perform different adjustments on the spine. The adjustments may extend to the knees, elbows, wrists, shoulders and ankles. This is done to restore the structural alignment as well as improve joint mobility.
For instance, if the chiropractor is treating you for neck or back pain, several adjustments will be done over the course of a few days. This is done to eliminate irritation and improve mobility. As the days and weeks proceed, the frequency of adjustments will reduce.
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