Have you ever experienced that headache that never seems to go away? You know the one. The one that is just on the edge of becoming a full blown, lay you down on the couch, nauseating to the point of needing a bucket, make your eyes ache, and just plain miserable headache? You may fight it back with over-the-counter meds, prescriptions from your physician, hot compresses, and countless other home remedies, but it never seems to go totally away.
These types of conditions, as well as many other musculoskeletal conditions respond very well to chiropractic care. It may surprise you to learn that chiropractic care is very effective for many internal disorders as well. These conditions range from sinus congestion to painful menstrual cramps. If you are not familiar with chiropractic, you may be wondering how a physician that does not utilize any medications can be effective with so many varied conditions.
That is the purpose of my blogs this month. I want to give you a “behind the curtain” look at chiropractic and what we do to treat these conditions. As we discussed in my last blog post, one of the first questions any patient has when seeking health care is if they are choosing the correct physician. In other words, they want to know if this doctor can help them. The best way I know to let you see how chiropractic works is to take you on a virtual tour of a patient’s very first chiropractic visit.
When you first present to the office, you will be directed to an examination room. Here you will have your consultation with the doctor. It is important to know your past medical history, the medications you are on, the current physicians you are seeing, any surgeries you have had, as well as your family medical history. You will also have your vital signs taken (height, weight, temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiration rate, and your age). Finally, you will be asked all about what it was that compelled you to come to the office for help.
The chiropractor then will do a postural examination to study your muscles and skeletal framework. Posture can have a huge impact on your internal organ function as well as impacting how you move. The chiropractor will then finish the examination by testing the nerves, muscles, and joints of the body. If further examination, like x-ray, is required to make a more positive diagnosis, those tests would be ordered at this time.
Before your treatment can begin, the chiropractor will explain all the examinations and findings with the patient. The only way any therapy can be effective is if the patient and the doctor both know what the goals are that they want to achieve with this treatment. This is because, despite what we have been taught, treatment requires effort from the doctor and the patient.
The chiropractor is primarily concerned with restoring any impaired or lost functions the patient may have. The patient likely has some different goals such as pain relief, that are primary to them. The chiropractor and the patient will set their goals together as partners. The time frame for accomplishment of those goals and expected number of treatments can be relayed to the patient by the chiropractor based on the evidence of scientific, peer-reviewed, and published studies.
The most important thing that I would like you to consider as you read this blog is the scope of the patient’s functional impairments or losses that concern the chiropractor. These can range from headaches to bowel issues, from breathing difficulties to balance disturbances, and so many more. The chiropractor knows that by restoring these functions to the best level possible not only relieves pain and other symptoms, but lengthens the time between recurrences, and prevents the conditions from deteriorating to systemic diseases.
In our next blog I will explore with you the various treatments and tools that the chiropractor can use with you to help you reach your best level of health.