Posted on: 7 February 2018
Chiropractic care or treatment is a non-surgical intervention that helps to alleviate physiological and psychological effects of nervous system and musculoskeletal system imbalances. Through spinal manipulation and mobilisation, the chiropractor's job is to improve the patient's motion range, improve functionality and decrease irritability and pain. This article outlines some of the essential things you should know when considering chiropractic intervention.
What should I expect from my first visit?
Before you get your first chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor will need to take your complete patient history. Be sure to have all the details and, where possible, carry your X-rays, MRI/CT scans and ultrasounds done on you. In addition, you need to tell them about other concurrent therapies you're undergoing for them to create a suitable plan that won't interfere with your other treatments.
You can expect to fill a questionnaire to provide as many details about your current condition, including isolated/chronic injuries, timelines/history and activities that exacerbate pain/discomfort. The chiropractor will then conduct a physical exam to assess your current range of motion, muscle strength/abilities and reflexes, paying close attention to the area around your spine. If you don't have a recent X-ray, he/she may request that one be taken.
Following the history and exam, the chiropractor may adjust your spine to offer some pain relief immediately, or else he/she will set your next appointment to begin treatment. You will discuss a tentative treatment schedule, especially if you have chronic pain and depending on your wellness goals and health conditions.
What are some side effects of spinal manipulation?
Because chiropractors use non-surgical and non-invasive techniques, there are relatively few side effects to treatment. Most of the effects are a result of manual manipulation and only occur in the first hours and days after treatment. Just like exercise, once your body is accustomed to manipulation, symptoms should reduce or disappear altogether. The specific symptoms you may experience depend on the site of manipulation, as well as your pre-treatment condition. Common symptoms include:
Headache – A mild headache a few hours after treatment, particularly when manipulation occurred closer to the neck, is common. Pain is easily cured with over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol and is often not severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Fatigue – Common in the first treatment sessions or after sessions spanning several hours, you can reduce the likelihood of developing fatigue by drinking plenty of water before the sessions and allowing a few hours of rest immediately after the session before resuming your routine.
Soreness – Local soreness or discomfort, joint or muscle stiffness is common, particularly for new patients. The soreness is similar to what is experienced after prolonged exercise. Your chiropractor will recommend at-home activities to reduce soreness, but it should be gone within a day or two after treatmentShare