If you are suffering from chronic pain, you may be planning to visit a chiropractor in the hopes of finding some solution. Chiropractors can be an incredibly valuable asset, but in order for them to help you have to know what to expect from them the first time you walk through their doors.

As if the idea of visiting an alternative care specialist was not intimidating enough, the next shock probably came when you were finally ushered into the treatment room. Your chiropractor began asking you a lot of questions about the medical problem you are experiencing, yet rather than limiting you to just a few words, she or he probably encouraged you to speak at length about the way it feels, what else you might be experiencing, and several other facts that may relate to your medical issue. It is probably refreshing to deal with someone who is looking at you as a whole person and not simply reduce you to a problem area.

The next aspect of your first chiropractic visit is the physical examination, which may be somewhat different than what you might have expected.

Here are the facts that will help you feel right at ease with the exam:

Unlike many physicians, your chiropractor will not order a host of lab tests and poke you with needles and other gadgets. Additionally, she or he will not subject you to a “once size fits all” general health exam. Instead, the questions you answered earlier on during the fact finding stage of your chiropractic visit serves as the basis on which to decide what kind of examination you will undergo.

Generally speaking, your chiropractor will gently touch the affected area and any other areas that you may have complained about. An examination of the spine will reveal if there are any problems that may be contributing to your feelings of ill health. In some cases, an x-ray may be ordered to give the chiropractor further insight into any structural issues that you might be encountering.

Your chiropractor may also ask you to perform certain exercises, such as walking on a treadmill to observe your gait, jumping up and down to see how you land on your feet and whether or not you may favor one foot over the other, and also raising your hands above your head to see how your shoulders are aligned. Any of these exercises depend once again on the questions that you answered earlier and obviously your chiropractor will not ask you to do anything that may aggravate any health condition you have. If you believe that a test may be painful to you, this is a good time to mention it to the practitioner, especially if previously during the initial interview you might have forgotten to talk about it.

As you can see, visiting a chiropractor is more than just talking about a problem, but instead it also involves a real hands on approach by the practitioner who will not simply be content with examining you from afar, but instead understands that each patient is different and thus a “one size fits all” diagnosis – just like a “once size fits all” examination – is not something to aspire to.


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