Chiropractic Appointment Length
If you are considering chiropractic care for the first time, you may have a lot of questions. First and foremost, you might be wondering whether a chiropractic adjustment can help you at all. If you suffer from back pain, lower back pain, neck pain, muscle strains or problems with joint pain, the quick answer is probably yes. A licensed, experienced doctor of chiropractic is trained to help with many back and other musculoskeletal issues that are keeping you from enjoying life to its fullest. Aside from that all important question, the next thing on a new patient’s mind is the appointment. What will it be like? Will treatment be painful? How long does it take?
The first visit with a chiropractor is like a visit to any other health professional. The main purpose is to learn about you, your problem and if the practitioner can help. So the first step is always getting a basic understanding of the problem that brought you in to begin with. Typical questions include: Is your discomfort a result of injury or accident? Was it a long time ago, or more recent? Was there an incident in which you may have suffered muscle strain, such as heavy lifting or a fall? It is quite possible to suffer minor injury or strain without recognizing it right away. Chiropractors will be on the look out for these types of incidents that could have caused your condition.
While your history is important, the physical examination is what is truly informative and this is where an experienced practitioner will concentrate their efforts. Quite often, a specific area of discomfort is not the root source of the pain. This is why the examination of the painful area is seen only as a starting point. Discomfort in one area may often indicate a root problem somewhere else. In can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to do a full examination if your problems are long standing and complex.
While the human body is very complex system with many sub-systems, chiropractors focus on the joints of the body, particularly those in the spine. A chiropractic adjustment is designed to restore proper motion to joints that move poorly and in so doing, realign them Again the main focus is usually the spine including the lower back and neck. By restoring proper motion to each joint, neurological activity returns to normal. This is what truly promotes healing. In addition, the muscles, which have tightened around those misplaced joints, need to be stretched and encouraged to relax and re-form around the newly adjusted joint. While this can create some minor discomfort in the short term as the muscles stretch and re-form, it offers long term relief and improved mobility. This is what helps heal the body and is why chiropractors believe that they treat the root causes of pain.
Daily, our bodies experience cumulative minor traumas, such as a slight turn of an ankle, repetitive movements at work, sitting for long periods without proper back support. If untreated, these minor traumas can lead to more serious conditions. Chiropractors want to treat these problems and prevent them from getting worse. This is called preventive care. It’s like changing the oil in your car every 3000 miles. Excellent, preventative chiropractic care is an easy, non-invasive way to treat minor problems, restore motion and align joints and improve circulation in the connective tissue. Preventive appointments, or maintenance appointments for ongoing treatments will often take very little time and are well worth it.
For your first appointment, expect an adjustment that is effective, yet works within your comfort level. An experienced chiropractor will offer explanations of their examination methods and adjustment techniques that can prepare you for your first few visits. Most chiropractic techniques involve high velocity, low amplitude thrusting of joints which will align joints along the spine, including those in the neck and back. While not generally painful, these thrusts may result in a “pop” just like the sound your knuckles make when you “crack” them. Known as Osseous, this is simply the sound made by the popping of tiny gas bubbles that are naturally found in body fluids.
While all licensed chiropractors have gone through strenuous academic and professional training, the right chiropractor is one who listens carefully, and has a strong sense of intuition about the root causes of your pain. With a sincere desire to alleviate that pain, they will use their hard-earned skill to help. Most patients feel the benefit of chiropractic care after only one or two treatments for minor conditions, and perhaps a half dozen or so for more acute back pain. The first visit to a chiropractor, especially for those suffering from extreme pain, is still the most important. Because it is the first step toward a life free from pain. Chiropractic care is a great way to begin to take more control over your physical well being and your overall health.