What To Expect From Chiropractic Visits
During the initial visit, chiropractors typically take a health history and perform a physical examination, with a special emphasis on the spine. Other examinations or tests such as x-rays may also be performed. If chiropractic treatment is considered appropriate, a treatment plan will be developed.
During followup visits, practitioners may perform one or more of the many different types of adjustments used in chiropractic care. Given mainly to the spine, a chiropractic adjustment (sometimes referred to as a manipulation) involves using the hands or a device to apply a controlled, sudden force to a joint, moving it beyond its passive range of motion. The goal is to increase the range and quality of motion in the area being treated and to aid in restoring health. Other hands-on therapies such as mobilization (movement of a joint within its usual range of motion) also may be used.
Chiropractors may combine the use of spinal adjustments with several other treatments and approaches such as:
- Heat and ice
- Electrical stimulation
- Rehabilitative exercise
- Counseling about diet, weight loss, and other lifestyle factors
- Dietary supplements.
Other Points To Consider
- Research to expand the scientific understanding of chiropractic treatment
- If you decide to seek chiropractic care, talk to your chiropractor about:
- His education, training, and licensing
- Whether he has experience treating the health conditions
for which you are seeking care
- Any special medical concerns you have and any medicines
or dietary supplements you are taking.
- Tell all of your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.