What to expect from the chiropractic experience
These pages will show you what to expect from Healthcare 2000 chiropractors as we take you through a typical first visit, a typical first examination and a typical treatment.
If you ever wondered what we do to our patients and why or if you have heard fearful stories about manipulation we hope that by seeing us in action you will feel more confident in the effective care that we provide.
For those who would like to take a look at what we do in greater detail and why we do it, please click on
At your first visit we take great care to find out as much as we can about why you are seeking our help.
We will email you a health questionnaire in advance. If that has not been possible the receptionist will hand one to you 15 minutes before the appointment.
Our picture shows our Semington receptionist, Merry, giving assistance to a new patient.
Once the health questionnaire is finished you will be introduced to the chiropractor who will then take a very detailed case history that will cover not only your main complaint but also your general health. It is essential that we rule out any health conditions that might be presenting as pain and which may need referring for medical attention. We will also learn about your working environment, your hobbies and interests and other factors that may be preventing you from recovering on your own or making things worse. The case history will direct us to the areas that will need careful exploring during the physical examination that follows.
Led by the case history, the chiropractor will embark on the physical examination. This will usually start with observing your general posture and visual appearance before zoning in on the area of pain.
Once identified, specific tests will be conducted to explore your problem further and will usually include standard orthopaedic and neurological screening tests.
The chiropractic evaluation will involve watching your movements, palpating (feeling with the fingers) the joints and muscles, identifying areas of heat or coolness, looking out for changes in skin colour or texture and identifying joints that move too much, not enough or not at all.
On the basis of the results the chiropractor will be closer to determining whether your pain is due to conditions such as intervertebral disc compression of the nerve root, irritation of the facet joint at the back of the vertebra, tearing of some of the deep ligaments or muscles attached to a joint, arthritis, “mechanical” joint pain or some other cause. Sometimes pain can be referred from other parts of the body and the chiropractor will need to exclude medical conditions that are masquerading as muscle, joint or bone pain.
If indicated the chiropractor may want to auscultate the lungs or take the blood pressure. It is sometimes necessary to refer you for laboratory tests, x-rays or scans.
To explore further you may like to click on a typical examination to read our sub-page with its wide range of pictures of patients being observed, experiencing orthopaedic and neurologic tests and being given a chiropractic assessment.
The Report of Findings
Once diagnosed, the chiropractor will explain the findings to you. In order for you to be involved in best helping yourself it is essential that you understand what is causing your problem. You may need ice to reduce the inflammation, heat to relax down tight muscles or exercises to speed recovery. At work you may need to adjust your seating, reposition your computer or change your driving position. You may need to avoid, reduce or adapt some of the things that you do until the area of pain is strong enough to let you resume your normal day to day activities. Once you can understand and visualise what is happening beneath the surface you will be better equipped to make those changes and speed your recovery.
The Treatment Plan and likely outcome
Your chiropractor will recommend the number and frequency of treatment sessions to gain the best response before you begin. The likely outcome of treatment will be discussed with you. Patients vary in their rate of response to treatment, which may be dependent on their age, the nature of any underlying damage and whether they are able to adjust their lifestyle or working habits to speed recovery. There will be stages when your progress is reassessed and the treatment plan adjusted accordingly.
Side effects and risks
Some patients can experience a short period of tenderness or soreness after treatment and this will be discussed with you before we begin. There are risks with any medical procedure and all regulated healthcare professionals are required to make sure that you understand these before you begin. Although spinal manual therapy remains one of the safest medical procedures available, there are very rare, remote risks which your chiropractor will explain to you.
During the early stages, you may feel a mild soreness or discomfort after a visit. It is an integral part of the natural healing process, as your body recovers its flexibility and tone. This reaction is an adaptation by the body to change, following spinal or joint manipulation. It may only last a few minutes or hours. Some patients, if not forewarned, may think they are getting worse but in fact their return to health has already started. After treatment there is a physical change affecting the bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels and cartilage, all of which adapt and undergo the natural healing process.
Sometimes there may be redness or bruising if “deep soft-tissue” therapy has been applied. Disc problems may appear to get worse or “flare up” in the early stages. Where there is already underlying inflammation your symptoms may appear to be worsening. Neck treatment can sometimes give a sense of light-headedness. Occasionally a temporary headache may appear. If, however, you have any concerns, please call your chiropractor.
Once your chiropractor is sure that you accept the plan of treatment and that you understand the risks you will be asked to give your consent and treatment can then begin.
Treatment will vary from patient to patient depending on their age, their health and the nature of their problem. This section aims to illustrate some of the more common procedures, such as the various types of adjustment (manipulation), soft tissue therapy, stretching, exercise, icing and dry needling (acupuncture). You may also be given advice on adjustments to your daily habits and life-style, including seating, sleeping, pillows and driving position, to name but a few.
The illustration on the left shows Kate adjusting the lumbar spine.
Here, Michael is shown placing "blocks", using the weight of the patient to gently mobilise and reset the pelvis.
Kate uses a simple mid thoracic adjustment to loosen the thoracic spine.
Michael uses an "Activator" to free a locked joint in a 93 year old patient. This painless adjustment is particularly effective when a standard neck adjustment is contraindicated.
Here Michael is shown delivering a very specific, precise adjustment to the neck.
To explore further you may like to click on a typical treatment to read our sub-page with its wide range of pictures of patients receiving many different types of treatment.