Many new chiropractic patients are wondering what to anticipate on their first visit. Seeing a chiropractor is comparable to seeing other medical professionals. The office environment and screening process will be similar, but the chiropractic therapy room and technique will be unique. A typical session includes a consultation, chiropractic physical examination, therapy, and a post-treatment plan.
A comprehensive chiropractic exam is the best way to determine your health and wellness. It's more than just a quick check for alignment, x-rays, or even MRIs. By seeing you as an individual, we can determine your needs, how well you are doing physically, and make adjustments if needed. There is nothing better than getting a full examination by a professional who understands the intricacies of this complicated area of human anatomy when it comes to the healthcare of the spine.
What is a Chiropractic Exam?
In a chiropractic exam, you will be thoroughly examined from head to toe. During this time, the chiropractor may use palpation and light touching of specific areas to check your range of motion, muscle strength, symmetry, or other postural matters that need attention. The purpose is not only for us to identify problem areas but also to determine how well they have been responded to by treatment thus far, which we can then build on with more appropriate care plans going forward.
A good chiropractor like Dr. Arthur Hoffman wants you to be at your best so he or she can help you heal naturally without surgery or drugs. It's a fantastic experience for people who suffer from chronic pain because it often helps them get around on their feet in just one session!
What Other Parts are Examined?
The following areas may also be looked at during the process:
- Nervous system
- Peripheral nerves radiating up into our arms
- Lymph nodes (the infection fighters)
- Abdominal organs such as the spleen and liver, which have implications for nerve function
- The spine, which houses and protects our nerve network
The chiropractor might also check for any abnormalities in your organs or bone structure, such as a:
- herniated disc
- narrowing of the spinal canal
- subluxation/dislocation of vertebrae
- flat feet were pronating excessively, etc.
What is Done at This Exam?
During an exam, you will be lying on your back with one leg hanging off the table so that it's pointing up to the ceiling while your other leg stays firmly planted on the ground. The chiropractor will use their hands to feel along with different levels of your spine from top to bottom and compare how each section feels to see any irregularities present. The chiropractor will also look for any areas where the spine might not be moving or functioning properly.
In addition to this, a chiropractor may perform other tests during your exam, including checking reflexes and answering some questions about your general health history, such as whether you have had problems with low back pain before. An eye examination is sometimes performed at the end of an exam if symptoms indicate possible optic nerve involvement, such as headache related to head position or nausea concerning neck movement. A complete analysis includes:
- Palpation (touching) of spinal joints
- Range of motion testing
- Pain provocation/reduction techniques
- General assessment by observation only
- The application of manual traction
- Nerve and muscle tests (including EMG)
- X-rays or other imaging studies when necessary.
The chiropractor in Minnetonka, Minnesota, will then use this information to make a diagnosis and offer recommendations for treatment, which can include:
- spinal adjustments
- education on proper posture/body mechanics
- strengthening exercises with low impact alternatives if necessary
- therapeutic massage
- nutrition counseling, etc.
Why Should you get one?
A chiropractic exam can help detect and address problems that may be causing you pain or discomfort. The doctor will try to specify the cause of your condition and look for any underlying causes as well, such as abnormal curvature, muscle tightness, postural irregularities, etc. Additionally, with a thorough evaluation, they'll take an appropriate course of action based on their diagnosis, which could include:
➡Specific exercises for stretches and strengthening muscles in and around the back
➡Orthopedic bracing or orthotics if needed
How to Prepare for Your Exam
- The doctor will ask you to fill out a patient history form beforehand. If this is your first visit, they may also request that you wear undergarments for the exam as well.
- You should eat before coming in and have an empty bladder, so it would be best not to drink anything at least two hours before your appointment time.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes or shorts without any zippers around the back area (the metal on the zipper can potentially cause discomfort during the evaluation. They'll also let you know if there are any other instructions specific to what has been discussed with them about your condition.
- Be ready to answer issues about your medical history, including any medications you may be taking. The doctor will also like to know what symptoms prompted you to come in for an exam.
- If possible, bring a list of all the over-the-counter supplements or herbal remedies you take with their frequency.
Aftercare and Follow-up Care Instructions
The doctor will provide you with a home care plan following the exam that includes specific exercises, stretches, and positions designed to help improve your condition. If they have prescribed any medications for pain relief or other treatment as part of their plan, be confident to ask if there is anything else you should do to maximize the effects of this therapy.
When returning from an appointment where manipulation was performed, it's important not to sit up too quickly. Take time when coming back upright so that your head starts pulling on its natural curve without being forced into a different position than what it has been used to. Also, be sure not to put pressure on any joints just after getting out of bed by rolling over onto your stomach and then onto your back.
Misconceptions About Chiropractic Exams
A chiropractic exam does not require nudity, but the practitioner must see how your spine moves when put through various positions. It may be uneasy at first, but this evaluation helps them discover any muscles or joints which are causing pressure on one another due to improper alignment. The chiropractor should never force anything into place during an adjustment, as doing so could do more harm than good.
Bones need time to heal and settle. There are also more significant risks such as paralysis due to injury from being forced into a position it is not used to or damage of the spine if the doctor presses too hard on a nerve.
The most crucial aspect to think of is that this exam should not be painful, and you should never feel pressured into having one if you do not want it. Instead, the chiropractor will use hands-on techniques such as light pressure with their fingertips or gentle stretching for more flexible ones. You might also experience some popping sounds due to gas bubbles being released from joints while moving in different directions, which may sound alarming, but these noises are good.
When there is an issue found during the examination, your practitioner can make adjustments like bending at the waist forward or backward to correct any misalignments of spine segments by applying forces up and down without pressing from the sides. The chiropractor will also take your pulse, measure blood pressure and check for any areas of tenderness or numbness on your skin and look for signs that would indicate a problem in other parts of the body.
A complete examination should not last more than 15 minutes and is intended only to find where there are issues with spinal function so adjustments can be made, which may help alleviate symptoms such as headaches, back pain, or neck aches.
If you're looking for a way to retain your physical health just like Dr. Arthur Hoffman does with his professional patients, then this is the right place for you. The Glen Chiropractic and Acupuncture specialize in therapeutic exams that can help determine what changes need to be made, so our bodies work as efficiently as possible from head to toe. We also offer safe treatment plans to get you on track towards optimal wellness without any drugs or surgery many people rely on today.
While we specialize in chiropractic care, acupuncture is another technique that has helped countless people achieve improved balance and energy levels by providing relief from chronic pain caused by muscle spasms due to stress at home or work. If you have any concerns, want to understand more, or are ready to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.