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Things you should tell a Chiropractor before starting treatment

If you’re starting a course of treatments with a chiropractor and you haven’t had any chiropractic care before, you might have a few questions about what to expect. One of the things many people wonder is if there’s anything they need to disclose to their chiropractor before starting any treatments, and what these things are.

The answer to this is, yes. As with any physical treatment, you’ll want to let you chiropractor know as much as possible. But don’t worry – they will also ask you plenty of questions too – so that they have all the information they need.

Here are some things you’ll want to be sure you’ve brought up with them before starting treatment:

Any past (or present) injuries

You may be receiving chiropractic care because of a past or present injury, or you may just need to disclose an injury so they know to be gentle around a specific area. Whichever applies to you, if you’ve suffered any kind of sprain, fracture, break or bruising in an area that might undergo treatment – you’ll want to make sure they know about it.

Any medications you’re on

This is standard with any chiropractic care, or any kind of treatment to the body. Even though your medication may not affect your treatment, it’s still good to be transparent about any that you’re currently taking.

If you’re pregnant

If you’re pregnant (even in the early weeks) it’s highly important to tell your chiropractor. Your pregnancy may make treatments unsuitable, or they may change the approach your chiropractor takes, or the methods they use.

Any muscle tightness

If you suffer with muscle tightness, or if you have certain areas of muscle that seem to seize up (or cause you pain) this is definitely something you’ll want to let your chiropractor know about. Not only will they aim to help ease that tightness and pain, but they’ll also try to work on the areas surrounding it too – to ensure the surrounding muscles or joints don’t end up compensating.

How long you’ve been experiencing pain for

The duration of your pain can often say a lot about the kind of pain it is, or the kind of treatment (or the length of treatments) that will be needed to see results.

What’s the Difference: Physiotherapist vs Chiropractor

If you are experiencing back, muscle or joint pain, you might be considering alternative treatment for the area. The good news is, there are lots of different therapists and techniques to explore and even though initially you may assume a lot of these techniques are similar, they actually have key differences it’s important to be aware of.

Two treatments you may be considering are Physiotherapy and Chiropractic. These two treatments are extremely beneficial for back, muscle and joint pain – and great results can be seen over time with an effective therapist.  But what are the differences between a Physiotherapist vs Chiropractor?

The three main differences between Chiropractors and Physical Therapists are the techniques used, treatment philosophy

Difference 1: The techniques of the treatment

One of the main differences you’ll find between Chiropractors and Physiotherapy is the range of movement and the techniques used for addressing issues and pain. Generally, Chiropractors will use their hands to manipulate and adjust the alignment of your spine. A chiropractor’s key principle is that the right alignment of the spine is the key to relieving stress, tension or pain the patient may be feeling – so their attention will focus on this area, and they will tend to use their manipulation techniques in this area. For some adjustments, the focus areas will be small, so you may not need to move very much during the appointment at all.

During a physiotherapy appointment, you may experience a wider range of manipulation techniques. For example, a physiotherapist may use massage techniques, electrical therapies and even exercises and stretches to help ease pain, restore movement.

Difference 2: Treatment focus

Both treatments can help ease pain, soreness or stiffness in the bones, joints and muscles. They can also help improve the mobility of certain areas of the body. However, the wider focus of both treatments does differ slightly. A Chiropractor will mainly focus on your musculoskeletal system and nervous system, and any effect, issues or problems caused by these things. Whilst Chiropractors treat lots of areas and problems, their main care helps to relieve issues such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, and other pain in joints, arms, and legs. These are usually areas of localised pain, which can be assisted and helped using the methodologies of chiropractic techniques.

Physical therapists, however, tend to focus more on evaluating, diagnosing and providing treatment to restore the body’s strength, range of motion and balance. A physical therapist may be dealing with patients who are in recovery, patients who need to build strength slowly and steadily, or patients who are seeing problems due to ageing, injury, disease or environmental factors. Physiotherapists do treat back and neck pain as chiropractors do, but they’re also likely to see a range of other issues too, such as arthritis, sports injuries, swelling, repetitive strain injury, and cartilage, ligament and tendon damage.

Physical therapists are also involved in promoting health, wellness, and fitness through risk factor identification and preventative care. Although they use different techniques, both Chiropractors and physical therapists use their expertise to help rehabilitate and relieve pain in their patients.

What to expect when you visit a Chiropractor

If you’ve never had an appointment with a Chiropractor and you’re thinking of booking one, you might be curious (or even a little nervous) as to what to expect. It helps to be as at ease as possible before receiving any kind of physical treatment, so the more relaxed about your appointment you are, the better for you. Knowing what to expect when you arrive, and during the course of the consultation is helpful, reassuring and takes away any of the nerves you might have.

Before you arrive

Before you arrive at your consultation, it’s important you feel comfortable with your consultant, and you should feel free to ask any questions you have. This obviously applies to during the appointment too, but most patients tend to have lots of burning questions before the appointment too – so don’t be afraid to ask!

During your first consultation

Your first consultation might be over the phone, or it might be in-person. The aim of your initial consultation is for your chiropractor to gather as much information as possible about the issue or pain you’re experiencing, so they can tailor the treatments and techniques specifically to you. Don’t consider any detail to small or insignificant – make sure you tell your chiropractor everything you think might be helpful. The better they understand the issue, the better they can treat you.

You might also be asked to fill in your medical history or fill in a form with lots of questions on it. This is totally normal, and the kind of questions to expect are:

When did the pain begin?

Do you remember if anything caused the pain?

Where is the pain located?

Describe the pain in detail. When does it occur? Is it sharp or dull?

Does the pain come and go, or is it continual?

Is the pain worse at certain times of day?

What activities/circumstances makes it better or worse?

If your first consultation is in-person, you might begin your treatment immediately afterwards and go straight into a session, or you might need to rebook for a following date. This differs from practitioner to practitioner.

During your first appointment

Usually, your first appointment with your Chiropractor will be a session to determine what the issue is, and how it can be resolved. This means you’ll most likely be given a  thorough chiropractic exam, including tests such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and reflexe. You might also be checked for range of motion (especially if your pain is related to this). Some chiropractors will also do posture analysis, or give you x-rays (if they deem it necessary) during this first appointment. The point of this is to give the chiropractor a clear and broad impression of the problem so that they can treat it effectively and efficiently.

Once your initial visit has finished, your chiropractor will explain their findings, usually including:

  • Diagnosed condition
  • Your personal chiropractic treatment plan
  • Anticipated length of chiropractic care

This will give you an idea of the care that will follow, including the timescale and the cost too. It’s a good idea to ask for this in written form, so you can take it away with you and study it closer, do additional research.

wait before seeing a Chiropractor

Should you wait before seeing a Chiropractor?

Back pain can often be the result of an accident or injury (such as a strain or a sprain) but it can also pop up unexpectedly or gradually over time too. Whatever the cause for your developing back pain, it often occurs because something is off in the way your core muscles, spinal discs, spinal joints and nerve endings work together or move. It could be strain, inflammation or injury – but if the discomfort is causing you pain, and is affecting your day to day routine, you shouldn’t wait before seeking chiropractic treatment.

Having back pain can be a frightening and unnerving experience, and something you should never overlook. Many people simply brush off their discomfort and think that ‘rest and time’ is recipe enough to see the improvements they want. But doing nothing can in some cases make things worse, as you may end up increasing the strain, or worsening the injury.

Here are some types of back pain to look out for, when we would recommend chiropractic care. While you may think you need to simply strengthen your core or maintain good posture, it’s always best to seek advice and treatment from a professional.

You back pain began because of trauma or injury

If you’re experiencing back pain because of an accident or trauma, it may be something that needs to be worked on slowly by a Chiropractor. Often, in situations like this, something may have been knocked or put out of place, so a Chiropractor can help identify what happened, and begin treating back pain.

The back pain has been consistent and won’t go away

Any back pain that has been constant for more than a week or so, should be looked at by a Chiropractor. Sometimes we can experience slight back ache after exerting ourselves (trying a new exercise or moving house for example) but temporary soreness should usually ease up after a week or so. Constant pain that is frequent throughout the day is a sign that something is wrong.

The back pain is constant and seems to be getting worse

We often mistake pain for muscle ache. And whilst the natural function of our body is to slowly improve muscle issues over time (where rest and stretching can aid in recovery), if the pain is constant it may not be a muscle related issue.

If you feel the backache getting worse instead of getting better, it may not be muscle pain, it may be something else. If time is making the pain increase – you need to see a professional Chiropractor.

You feel back pain in resting positions

If you’re feeling pain when in resting positions (such as sitting or laying down) it can be a sign that something is wrong. It is also hard for us to heal properly if we’re missing sleep or losing out on rest because it’s difficult to get comfortable. A Chiropractor can help advise on this, so you can recover quicker.

You feel off balance and struggle with good posture

Any issues with balance and poor posture could cause you safety worries in all areas of your life. If standing straight or walking slowly is too painful or too difficult (because of loss of balance and a bad posture) then you need to resolve the issues quickly.

Improving your posture and the way you hold your body would be a good place to start, but people with back pain should always seek professional help from a Chiropractor.

correct your posture

How to Correct your Posture

If you find yourself experiencing back pain or dull aches, it could be your back posture that needs correcting and adjusting. Good posture is the key to good back health, and yet so many of us fall short of what’s recommended. You might also suffer from poor posture for other reasons, such as hunching your back whilst driving. Below are some tips to help you improve and correct your posture:

See a Chiropractor

Of course, one of the most effective things you can do to improve your posture is to see a chiropractor. It’s a chiropractors job to recognise any issues in your posture and also identify any reasons why these problems may have occurred over time. They can recommend exercises and stretches for you to carry forward at home, as well as inspecting and analysing your back and seeing where and what is most affected.

Make time for stretching and meditation

In the morning or evening, make time for stretching or meditation – two things that can slowly help correct posture. These activities can help you warm up your muscles, become more flexible, and gain more confidence in the way your body moves. The more supple and flexible your body is, the more you’ll be able to improve your posture.

Recognise when you’re slouching, and correct yourself

One of the biggest indicators of bad posture, is slouching. Most people slouch all the time, throughout the day, and it’s an easy habit to fall into. If you take a look around, you’ll probably see people slouching as they walk, or people slouching over their phone, or even slouching into their seat (for example on a train or in the car).

A good trick is to recognise when you slouch the most, and make a conscious effort to correct yourself. When you’re on your phone, hold it to eye level, so you don’t need to bend to look at it. When you’re walking stand up straight, or when you’re sitting straighten your back and sit upright. Simple corrections like this can make a big difference.

Sleep comfortably

You may find yourself slouching or having bad posture because your body is compensating for a bad night’s sleep. If you wake up with back ache, it’s easy to slouch or adjust your posture to compensate for the pain. Instead, try and work out what is preventing you from sleeping peacefully, and aim to resolve it. You may need a softer mattress, or a firmer one, or maybe more supportive pillows for your neck.

Work from a better position

You spend most of your day at work, so correcting your posture during working hours is really important, especially if you want to see an overall improvement. Posture isn’t just something to take into account when stood up – posture is important when sat down too. A quick solution, is to purchase simple posture

Carry weight evenly

If you carry a handbag or a briefcase most days, then you could be jeopardising your posture. Constantly carrying a weight on one side of the body and pull certain muscles and joints out of alignment without even realising it. Aim to carry all weight evenly, for instance with a rucksack which equals the weight over both shoulders.

Take care of your neck

Pain in your neck can throw your whole body off balance, and it is usually caused by repetitive actions. Continually looking down at a smartphone is bad for your neck and because everyone does this regularly, it is hard to persuade people to forget about their phones. Another bad posture deed is holding a phone between your ear and shoulder, so try not to cradle a handset.

Postural correction

If you really want to take steps to improve your posture, and in turn improve your health and wellbeing, you can visit a chiropractor for a postural assessment and correction. A back specialists, chiropractors can evaluate a person’s posture and identify what is out of balance before recommending any treatment. Patients will understand what causes poor posture and learn the best ways to stand and sit.

Everyone is guilty of poor posture sometimes, so why not correct the problem before it turns into a long term issue?

Why Should you see a Chiropractor?

Why Should you see a Chiropractor?

If you’ve never been to a chiropractor before, you may not see why it is necessary. Anybody can improve their body with chiropractic care, whether you’re a patient with disabling back pain or an athlete trying to enhance performance. You also don’t need to experience ongoing back or neck pain to visit a chiropractor, which is a common misconception.

Read more

first visit to a Chiropractor

What to Expect on your First Visit to a Chiropractor

If you have never visited a chiropractor before, it’s natural to be apprehensive and wonder what the appointment might involve. Lots of people visit a chiropractor, from athletes and office workers to pensioners and new mothers. Whether you’ve been referred from a GP or booked privately through insurance, the experience will be the same. If you’re thinking about booking your first appointment, read on to find out what you can expect on your first visit to a Chiropractor.

A general health assessment

A chiropractor is a trained medical professional, so they will want to understand your medical history and current health concerns before recommending any treatment. You may be asked questions about your general health and lifestyle which could help identify the causes of any pain you are experiencing. This general consultation will only be carried out on the first visit, to help establish an overall picture of your history and what is wrong.

A physical examinationphysical check

In order to establish the cause of the problem, the chiropractor will then carry out a physical examination. You may be asked to remove some clothing for the examination but it’s nothing to be worried about. They will perform a range of tests to inspect your posture and range of movement, and may also carry out other tests such as blood pressure to rule out certain conditions.

 

Referral for further tests

In some cases, if the chiropractor needs to investigate your symptoms further they may recommend more tests or scans. This will all be explained to you by the chiropractor, including the reasons why you should have an X-ray or MRI scan.

Recommended treatmentchild using an exercise ball

At this stage, the chiropractor should have a good idea of what is causing the issue and a range of treatment options and techniques which could help relieve the symptoms. A care plan, including the type of chiropractic treatment and frequency of appointments will be discussed. The cost of the treatment will also be available upfront to help you decide if you want to go ahead.

Once you’ve agreed the care plan and signed the written consent to begin treatment, the first session of manual therapy can begin straight away. As part of the care plan, you will also be given lifestyle advice and exercises you can do at home.

If for any reason the chiropractor believes chiropractor treatment won’t help you, then they will explain why and refer you to the appropriate medical professional such as a GP or specialist.

Book your first visit to Canary Wharf Chiropractic today.