You’ve got a problem and you want some help to make it better. You want a professional’s view on how to get back to normal again, but your not sure what’s involved.
The chiropractors at Back-in-Action Chiropractic Clinic in Preston, all have had a minimum 4 year professional full time training during which they are thoroughly taught how to assess your condition and devise an effective treatment plan.
Here’s what some of our patient’s say:
“Chiropractic treats the cause of pain and discomfort not the symptoms and I wish I had found it years ago!” – Jennifer, Penwortham
“Best thing I did.” – Kirsti, Penwortham
“Problems get diagnosed (and treated) that have been missed by other practitioners.” – Pete, Lymm
“Amazing – I will probably use a chiropractor forever!” – Alexandra, Walton-le-Dale
Call 01772 749245 now to book a New Patient Consultation with a chiropractor at Back-in-Action.
What Happens on the Chiropractic New Patient Consultation at Back-in-Action?
First of all we need to find out what is your problem and what’s causing it. We also need to make sure you’ve got the kind of problem that will benefit from chiropractic care. To get a good picture of your overall health we ask you to fill out an in depth new patient health questionnaire . This asks for a great deal of information – not just about the major pain or complaint that may have brought you to see us, but about your whole past health history.
You may wonder if some of the questions are really relevant, nevertheless they are extremely important in order to obtain an overall understanding of your condition, and to form a proper diagnosis and effective treatment plan. We also have to ensure that you do not need to be referred to your GP or another healthcare practitioner. Your chiropractor will keep all these details confidential. No-one else will be given access to your notes without your permission. You will also be asked to give your written permission for your chiropractor to conduct an examination, treat you and to send a letter to your GP about your condition.
Your New Patient Consultation visit at Back-in-Action takes is scheduled for half an hour, though you may be asked to come in a bit earlier if you’ve not filled out the New Patient Questionnaires. The first thing your chiropractor will do, after greeting you will be to give you an opportunity to discuss the reasons for you being there and take some more details. If you have any Scans, X-Rays, other test results or lists of medications it is useful to bring them along with you.
After your case history has been obtained, your chiropractor will perform an examination to confirm any early ideas they may have about your problem. The aim is to determine which tissues are involved, formulate a diagnosis and look for the likely underlying root causes which, when dealt with, will allow for optimal recovery. Sometimes patients are asked to wear a gown and given privacy to change. Light, flexible clothing is most suitable for future treatment visits.
The comprehensive physical examination mainly concentrates on the joints, muscles, ligaments and nervous system. Standard neurological, orthopaedic and medical tests are performed. In addition we may apply other more specialised chiropractic tests such as: functional neurology tests, movement examination of the individual joints, postural evaluation to assess biomechanical stresses, muscle testing (length and strength) and cranial assessments etc. Your chiropractor will assess you with care and dignity, within your natural tolerance, causing you the minimum of discomfort.
It may also be necessary to examine your heart, lungs and abdomen. Again, this is performed to eliminate any other cause of your problem and is quite a normal procedure in a chiropractor’s clinic. However, it is not usual for a chiropractor in the UK to examine intimate areas – if it is felt you would benefit from such an examination, you will be referred to your GP for this. If indicated clinically, referrals may be made for x-rays, MRI scans, lab studies or to an appropriate specialist.
Use of X-rays and Other Tests
X-rays or other investigations may also be necessary– but decisions will be made with you before any such procedure is undertaken. There is a small risk with excessive radiation, so no x-ray procedure is undertaken lightly. At all times your chiropractor will weigh the risks accordingly. Typical patients who may require an x-ray are those who have had recent injuries, older patients where there may be a question relating to bone density, unusual examination findings or a history of other serious diseases. X-rays or other investigations may also be suggested if you do not improve as normally expected, after a short course of treatment.
If you’ve had any X-Rays or scans done elsewhere it is very useful if you can get a copy of them for us to look at. These days scans and x-rays can often be quickly burned to a CD for a small fee.
Diagnosis and Differential Diagnosis
From your history and examination your chiropractor will form a diagnosis. The aim of making a diagnosis is to identify the most likely cause of your problem that is consistent with your history and the findings in the clinical examination. Your chiropractor also needs to determine whether chiropractic treatment is actually appropriate for your condition, whether more gentle techniques might be more suitable or whether medical referral is indicated.
Another important aspect that is considered is the differential diagnosis. The aim of this is to consider what other possible problems may be present, if your initial treatment plan does not improve things as expected. In addition your chiropractor will also look for the possible underlying causes which may need to be addressed, to help you make a sustained recovery.
Will I Receive Treatment on the First Visit?
We are very aware that most people visiting the clinic are desperate for help and have often been suffering intensely, often for many weeks. So we offer advice or treatment if we can, determined by what we have learnt in the consultation. The first visit is scheduled for 30 minutes and in this time, in order to make sure it is safe and appropriate to treat you and decide on the correct approach, we often have a lot of checks to do.
Before we start treatment we also need to ask for your written consent and inform you of any risks or possible side effects. So it is useful if you have familiarised yourself with our consent form and be prepared to sign it. Sometimes on the first visit there may not be enough time to start treatment for instance if you have a complex medical history and the examination has needed to be more in depth. In some cases we may need to refer you out for or get hold of scans, images or other tests before we are able to start treatment. If you are very acute, the chiropractor may recommend you self help with ice or heat for a couple of days, to make things more comfortable before we start treatment. Sometimes we feel, particularly if you’ve had the problem for many years and we find that the condition is very complex, it is better that we explain it in thoroughly in the Report of Findings visit before we start treatment.
If the type of problem you present with is straight forwards, your medical history uncomplicated and you have previous experience of chiropractic care, then we are more likely to be able to start with some treatment on the first visit. Before we start treatment, there also needs to be enough time to give you some explanation about what we have found, the treatment alternatives we recommend and how long it might take to help you get better. On the first visit there may be enough time for a brief explanation of this. We schedule ½ an hour again for your second Report of Findings visit. The main purpose of this is to answer these questions in more depth. This visit also includes a treatment if you are happy to proceed.
What Can I Expect During Treatment?
Chiropractic care mainly involves treatment by what is called a ‘Chiropractic Adjustment’, a range of highly skilled manipulative techniques performed to improve the function of restricted joints and enhance neurological function. Such skilled manipulation is very specific, hands on and directed at individual joints in order to reduce strains and improve mobility in one area without disturbing another.
Most often, this involves a short impulse to the joint, often resulting in an audible ‘crack’ as the joint is released, bringing relief of symptoms and often an increased feeling of well-being. The ‘crack’ is simply the sound of bubbles of gas popping in the fluid of the joint as the pressure is released.
The aim of the treatment is to normalise the movement patterns of the joints and restore proprioception. Proprioceptors are the sensors in the joints which acting through the nervous system, inform the brain about the position and movement of a joint. The vast majority of the stimulation of the brain is believed to be derived from these proprioceptors. They can be viewed as the “batteries” for the nervous system. “Waking” up these electrical circuits is then thought to help the nervous system improve patterns and activation of movement and have other benefits.
Most of us are a little worried whenever we encounter a new treatment – you are not alone if you are a little apprehensive at this point. Before any procedure is undertaken your chiropractor will have performed a thorough medical history and examination in order to determine the correct kind of treatment for your problems and completely inform you of what to expect when you receive you first adjustment.
Generally, a chiropractic adjustment does not hurt – although there may be some minor short-term discomfort in a few patients, which quickly passes. You will be given advice on how to deal with any such problems. You will find that ensuing treatments are much more pleasant – and this will certainly be aided by your feeling more at ease with your chiropractor, as well as starting to feel that your symptoms are subsiding.
Many different and effective techniques from strong to very gentle are available to suit all ages and conditions and to accommodate individual preferences.
Apart from the adjustment, your chiropractor may use a wide variety of techniques – including ice and heat, muscle release, work on the bones of the skull and releasing tension and adhesions around the organs. We also introduce a wide variety of exercises to help joint, muscle and nervous system function as well as ergonomic, work related and other lifestyle advice, in order to help manage the condition and help prevent a reoccurrence of the problem. If you have questions about any of these procedures simply ask your chiropractor for an explanation.
Your first two visits at Back-in-Action are usually scheduled for 30 minutes. Once we have clearly established what is going on with you and how we will proceed, subsequent treatment visits to your chiropractor will take 10-15 minutes. On occasion we may ask you to book in for a longer visit, for instance when we need to review your progress. Around every 8 visits or once a year we will ask you to fill out a review questionnaire and book yourself in for a ½ hour reassessment visit. If there are any changes to your treatment programme you will be asked to give your consent.
Do I Need To Contact My GP?
Not unless you wish to. With your permission your chiropractor will send a report to your GP; with details of your condition and the treatment you are receiving. This is because your GP is the custodian of your complete medical record so it is in your interests if it is kept up to date.
Are There Any Risks With Chiropractic Treatment?
We all know there are risks with attending any healthcare professional; but, generally; these risks and reactions are much less than with many other options for the problems we typically see.
Like most forms of treatment, symptoms may take some time to ease, there being no instant “cure”.
From your history and examination you a chiropractor can suggest the best type of treatment for you to minimise side effects and offer advice for you to do at home, to reduce any problems you might have. However some patients may experience temporary soreness or stiffness over the areas being treated or may feel a general tiredness. Areas where deep-tissue work has been administered may have some redness or even bruising after.
Spinal disc problems may appear to flare-up in the early stages of treatment and where an underlying inflammation is also present; your condition may initially seem to worsen. Treatment to the neck may give a distinct light-headedness – infrequently, a short-lived headache may appear.
Most people have no problems after their first visit and often feel a degree of relief. In fact many people find they feel more energetic, lighter and more flexible.
Serious side effects are extremely uncommon. Very rarely, manipulation of the neck has been associated with strokes – although research shows chiropractic is one of the safest and most effective forms of treatment available, for a wide array of nerve, spine and muscle associated problems throughout the body.
Before treatment you will be given a detailed consent form to consider and you can always choose the type of treatment you prefer us to use. This goes more in depth into the risks of side effects. Your chiropractor will, of course, be more than happy to discuss fully all concerns you may have regarding your treatment, giving an honest appraisal of your particular case.
Do I Need To Pay For Treatment?
Even though some GPs may refer their patients to chiropractors and both the European Guidelines and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends chiropractic for the treatment of mechanical back problems, chiropractic is presently not commonly funded by the NHS, though this may change. Many private health insurance companies cover the cost of your treatment. Most people pay for their treatment themselves.
From the Preston Chiropractor Team
Getting You Back in Action & Enjoying Your Life Again
Serving the people of Preston and surrounding areas including Southport and Lytham St Annes