During your first visit to a chiropractic office, the doctor will perform a medical history intake and then a physical exam will be carried out. It is important that when taking your medical history you mention all the details about your condition in order to determine your state of health based on the deteriorations that may be present, the activities that you stopped doing due to your condition and how this affects you in your daily life . It is important to mention that in the case of detecting a health problem that cannot be solved by your chiropractor, you will be referred to a different specialist. After the history intake, a physical examination will be performed. This exam consists of mobility tests, orthopedic exams, functional evaluation and neurological evaluation. Then an x-ray of the affected region will be taken to rule out any fracture or pathology as well as to quantify the extent of any potential spinal misalignment. Finally, the treatment plan along with its objectives will be determined. It should be noted that each treatment plan is different and unique according to each individual patient’s needs. The duration of the treatments are usually three to five months, depending on how compliant the patient is with the treatment and how the body responds to it.
Neck and lower back pain are two of the most common conditions treated by chiropractors after an accident or fall. These can be due to either an injury, herniated vertebral discs, poor posture, muscular tension or vertebrae out of place causing irritation to the nerves (radiculopathy). It is important to know that it is possible to have cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower back) radiculopathy without experiencing any pain in the area. The symptoms of radiculopathy are sensory problems such as sensation of tingling or numbness, and motor problems such as lack of coordination, muscle weakness and loss of reflexes in the arms. With cervical radiculopathy the symptoms can spread to the shoulders, arms, or hands, while lumbar radiculopaty can produce similar symptoms that can spread to the back of the thigh, calf, and into the bottom of the foot. The most common treatment for neck and lower back pain is manual manipulation performed by the chiropractor either with the hands or with specific instruments. Manual manipulation consists of moving a joint back to its normal place in the affected region thereby reducing nerve irritation and stimulating proper motion. The specific name of this manipulation is called a chiropractic adjustment. A chiropractic adjustment is a subtle, specific movement and it does not cause any pain. If the pain is due to muscle tension, a fall or an accident, in addition to the chiropractic adjustment, a chiropractor can utilize physical therapy techniques such as hot/cold packs, laser, electrical muscle stimulation and/or ultrasound in order to accelerate healing and reduce pain. The chiropractor may also use mobility and stretching exercises to speed your recovery. Spinal decompression is also used for lower back pain. Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy consists of separating the vertebrae of the spine in an intermittent and controlled manner using a traction table. This process reduces pressure on the spinal disc, thus on irritated nerves, and promotes the passage of nutrients into the disc to promote a better recovery environment and to decrease pain.
At the end of the treatment plan, patients are advised to remain under chiropractic care as a preventive method of other injuries or deterioration of the musculoskeletal system. It should be noted that the frequency of chiropractic wellness care is less than that of injury treatment and has many benefits for general health. We invite you to seek treatment for your injury and to maintain a healthy lifestyle after your recovery.