You may have encountered someone who has offered to “pop” your back in for you, or you may have rolled your neck in just the right way and had that sudden feeling of relief as your vertebrae have gone into an alignment that you didn’t realize they’d moved out of. One of these things is similar to what a chiropractor can do for you, one of these things is probably the reason why you should be seeing a chiropractor.
Although a chiropractor is a whole-body practitioner, they are most focused on ensuring that your spine is in proper alignment. It makes sense that if your spine is out of alignment you will be experiencing pain and discomfort, and your spine manages your entire nervous system.
This Initial Chiropractic Consultation Is Not What I’m Used To!
The most common reason for an initial consultation with a chiropractor like Pure Life family chiropractic is often because you have a neckache, a backache or a headache, that simply won’t go away.
However, what surprises a lot of first-time patients is the full medical consultation that occurs in this initial visit. Particularly if you have only ever gone to a mainstream medical practitioner, you are probably not used to being treated as a whole body rather than just a small symptom.
Although during the first consultation you will of course discuss what has brought you in to see your chiropractor, they will also question your environment, your work and hobbies, as well as use a range of tools and questions that are able to gauge how effective your body, and in particularly your nervous system is functioning.
One of the tools that many practitioners will use is a neurological examination. This may be as simple as tapping your knee with a rubber hammer to test your reflexes or at the more complex level may even involve a CT scan to see how your brain is functioning https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Neurological-Diagnostic-Tests-and-Procedures-Fact.
What Is Chiropractic Adjustment?
In chiropractic terms, a chiropractic adjustment, sometimes also referred to as a spinal adjustment, is when your trained and qualified chiropractic practitioner manually manipulates your spine, or other joints as necessary, in order to correct vertebral subluxations.
Although this may sound a little complicated, all it really means is that your vertebrae are misaligned, but not to such a degree that this is detectable on an x-ray. This is the feeling of your back not quite being able to stretch, or your neck clicking when you turn. This is not to be confused with the condition Spondylolisthesis, more commonly referred to as a slipped disk, which is when a vertebra has moved 25% or more out of position. This condition may require surgery to remedy, and few reputable chiropractors would attempt to realign this type of concern.
For most treatment methods your practitioner will push or pull on particular spots to cause relief to your discomfort. However, there are a range of different adjustment methods that can be used (like these), but your practitioner will discuss what they are going to do before they start. They should also be able to give you instructions on what you should be doing in order to assist with your treatment as well.
Neck Adjustment And Qualified Chiropractors
Necks are tricky things, with very delicate bone structure, however the correct manipulation by a well-trained chiropractor can be of great benefit to headache sufferers. Because of the frequency of neck injuries, including hairline fractures, it would generally be recommended to have an x-ray of the area before manipulation occurs to ensure that there is no underlying damage to the vertebrae themselves.
Generally, chiropractic treatment is effective and safe, but it is essential that you consult with someone who is licensed, qualified, and experienced. Particularly with neck issues, as there is the risk of a vertebral artery dissection, which is a tiny tear in the vertebral artery that may cause a clot to the brain.
A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) will normally have completed four years as a pre-med undergrad student before having the chance to complete at least another four years at an accredited chiropractic college with a strong focus on anatomy, physiology and nutrition (amongst other areas). Then there is the clinical practice, examinations, licensing and ongoing professional development (which does not stop until they retire from practice).