Not knowing what to expect on your first visit can be a bit daunting but let us try and give you an overview of what a typical first visit is like.
What to wear: Usually you will not need to wear a gown although we do have those if need be. Comfortable non-slippery clothing and underwear is best, ie separate top and bottom clothing is best. In some rare cases, a patient may be asked to wear a gown. For x ray examination, any metal containing clothing would need to be removed. A gown will be provided when needed.
Parking: For those that drive there is plenty of onsite parking available with a large car park to the rear of the property. There is an entrance to the building at the rear from the car park.
First, you will be met by our friendly staff who will show you through to our comfortable reception area. Here you will be asked to fill out a few questionnaires so that we can collect a record and to learn more about the reasons for your visit. Our friendly staff are always at hand to assist anyone if needed.
The chiropractor will go through the forms with you and take a thorough history. This is usually followed by an examination during which the chiropractor does specific tests designed to help with diagnoses. Some of the typical tests are explained below:
- Orthopaedic testing: These are tests specifically designed to rule in or help rule out certain conditions. A common example of one of these tests would be the slumps test. This is done with the patient seated and the patient is asked to extend (straighten) one leg at a time and seeing if it produces discomfort in the low back or any sciatic type symptoms. This can also be preformed with head flexion (tucking the chin down). These tests, if positive would give an indication that there is possible disc involvement which in turn, would call for further orthopaedic and possible neurological tests to see if the sciatic nerve is being compressed or irritated.
- Imaging: Full x-ray facilities are available at the clinic. X-rays are taken when its clinically warranted. Some examples would be a suspicion that there may be a fracture, bone pathology, abnormality in bone formation or if the patient is over a certain age. If at any time we come across anything that does not fit into our line of expertise, we will refer to the appropriate specialist.
- x-rays are checked for any pathology or fractures before they are analysed. The analyses is a specific method of line drawing and measuring of structures designed to measure distortions in posture down to the way individual bones align with each other. This system of analyses is unique to the Gonstead technique of chiropractic practice which is based on engineering principles and is seen by many as the gold standard in chiropractic x ray analyses. The measurements derived from the analysis is known as a listing.
Before a Gonstead chiropractor adjusts a bone, he will usually use a “listing” which is a description of a bone's position in relation to the bone below it. For those who want the details, an example would be: L5 segment which is Posterior, with its spinous process rotated to the left 3mm and lateral the process inferior on the left side 4mm would be “listed” as L5 PL3 I.4 or if measurements are not noted it would be a PLI listing. To accomplish a precise correction, the adjustment may incorporate multiple angles in a single thrust The chiropractor uses the listing to tell him where to contact the segment, the line of drive (E.g. Anterior to posterior with counter clockwise torque and the depth and or rotation needed in a corrective thrust).
Lab testing; Most chiropractors would refer patients needing lab work back to their GP .
Most known diseases, conditions and added chemicals (such as medication) change the normal chemical makeup of blood and/or urine. Abnormal changes in the values of known components in the blood or urine are often an indication of a possible condition or may indicate the need for further investigation.
Although chiropractors do receive training in this field (in USA it was part of the curriculum) most chiropractors do not request laboratory work but would prefer to send a patient whom they suspect needs further laboratory tests, to the appropriate specialist. If you are waiting for any test results requested by a physician, it is best to tell the chiropractor.
The working diagnosis;
This is the diagnosis that the chiropractor makes after he has considered the patient history, all tests such as the physical exam, imaging or lab work. The diagnosed condition is then monitored to insure the patient responds as expected.
Once the chiropractor has a working diagnosis, he will explain it to the patient and discuss the options available. If it’s a condition that falls within our scope the chiropractor, will usually start treatment the same day.