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Chiropractic Wellness – Examination and Treatment

Posted By : Dr. Dylan Altfeld | Date : September 18, 2012

A Chiropractor examines the function and structure of the spine, to determine what type of chiropractic treatment is appropriate for a patient. This determination is completely separate from any other medical discipline; however, the examination itself is very similar to that of any standard medical examination procedure. For example when low-back pain is the problem, a consultation takes place according to the Chiropractors clinical judgment. A medical history will be recorded, and a physical examination may even include such tests as X-rays/MRI (an MRI may need to be taken elsewhere) and laboratory analysis. A first examination may take as long as 45 minutes or more.

Questions asked during an initial exam may or many not include:

  • Where the pain is felt (location)
  • What the pain feels like
  • Whether it is as the result of an injury
  • Frequency of symptom(s)
  • Duration
  • What eases the pain
  • What makes it feel worse

Questions regarding the patients’ family history, what their diet is like, whether they have received other treatment, who current health-care providers are, their occupation, any pre-existing conditions, social background, and so on are asked. More questions may be asked based on responses to these questions from the patient.

In terms of the physical examination, a variety of methods may be used and this does not exclude general medical exam methods such as taking blood pressure, testing reflexes, measuring respiration and others.

Chiropractic examination includes both static and motion palpation techniques; in other words the Doctor will have a good hands-on feel of the spine, or may use diagnostic equipment, but this is not always necessary. Depending on the results of this physical exam, more tests may be called for or diagnostic equipment may be required to be used. X-rays are able to locate subluxations, whereas palpation techniques may not, although this is not generally the case. Palpation can reveal spinal bones which are restricted or fixated, and even enable posture analysis. There is also other equipment used to determine the skin temperature in the spinal region, this is a tell-tale sign for an area which requires manipulation. Muscle tone, muscle strength and neurological integrity must also be determined.

Once a diagnosis has been established, a good chiropractor – and most are today – does everything they possibly can to relieve symptoms in a patient as quickly as possible; with as few treatments as possible. Chiropractic treatment approaches very often use exercise as a primary component, as well as educating the patient what to, and not to do, to avoid future pain episodes.

The patient may be required to move in a specific way, and any exercise given is designed to strengthen the underactive muscles of the body, back and pelvis, as well as stretch over-tight muscles. Together with manipulation, this strengthening process generally results in better long term results.

Some Chiropractic practitioners use a biomechanical concept which is holistic in its approach, and treats the body structure in its entirety. This concept attempts to balance the body structure from the feet up. Sometimes weak links may be identified far from the area of complaint, which might appear to be strange but is actually not, and even arch supports are also often prescribed.

A Chiropractor examines the function and structure of the spine, to determine what type of chiropractic treatment is appropriate for a patient. This determination is completely separate from any other medical discipline; however, the examination itself is very similar to that of any standard medical examination procedure. For example when low-back pain is the problem, a consultation takes place according to the Chiropractors clinical judgment. A medical history will be recorded, and a physical examination may even include such tests as X-rays/MRI (an MRI may need to be taken elsewhere) and laboratory analysis. A first examination may take as long as 45 minutes or more.

Questions asked during an initial exam may or many not include:

  • Where the pain is felt (location)
  • What the pain feels like
  • Whether it is as the result of an injury
  • Frequency of symptom(s)
  • Duration
  • What eases the pain
  • What makes it feel worse

Questions regarding the patients’ family history, what their diet is like, whether they have received other treatment, who current health-care providers are, their occupation, any pre-existing conditions, social background, and so on are asked. More questions may be asked based on responses to these questions from the patient.

In terms of the physical examination, a variety of methods may be used and this does not exclude general medical exam methods such as taking blood pressure, testing reflexes, measuring respiration and others.

Chiropractic examination includes both static and motion palpation techniques; in other words the Doctor will have a good hands-on feel of the spine, or may use diagnostic equipment, but this is not always necessary. Depending on the results of this physical exam, more tests may be called for or diagnostic equipment may be required to be used. X-rays are able to locate subluxations, whereas palpation techniques may not, although this is not generally the case. Palpation can reveal spinal bones which are restricted or fixated, and even enable posture analysis. There is also other equipment used to determine the skin temperature in the spinal region, this is a tell-tale sign for an area which requires manipulation. Muscle tone, muscle strength and neurological integrity must also be determined.

Once a diagnosis has been established, a good chiropractor – and most are today – does everything they possibly can to relieve symptoms in a patient as quickly as possible; with as few treatments as possible. Chiropractic treatment approaches very often use exercise as a primary component, as well as educating the patient what to, and not to do, to avoid future pain episodes.

The patient may be required to move in a specific way, and any exercise given is designed to strengthen the underactive muscles of the body, back and pelvis, as well as stretch over-tight muscles. Together with manipulation, this strengthening process generally results in better long term results.

Some Chiropractic practitioners use a biomechanical concept which is holistic in its approach, and treats the body structure in its entirety. This concept attempts to balance the body structure from the feet up. Sometimes weak links may be identified far from the area of complaint, which might appear to be strange but is actually not, and even arch supports are also often prescribed.

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I had a frozen shoulder and lower back pain. I had migraines and couldn't even straighten my back. Before seeing Dr. Dylan I had thought chiropractic treatment was very expensive and impersonal. Now I think neither is true! I have very few headaches now, my back is much looser, and I have no more aches.

W.G.

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