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Finding a Guelph Chiropractor – What to Expect as a New Patient

February 14, 2011

If you’re in Guelph, or anywhere else, and looking for a chiropractor, then you’ve come to a good place.  Frequently I hear the comment “I didn’t know chiropractors treated that” or “I wasn’t aware that chiropractors used that kind of therapy” so I thought that it would be useful to provide an overview of chiropractic care.*   Over the next three posts I hope to provide you with a clear direction of what to expect when seeking care starting from your first visit and treatments to the important role you play in your own healing process.  Let’s begin…

Your First Visit

Paper work – Yes, as a new patient please expect to fill out some paper work providing not only your name and contact information but also notes on your current and past health history.  This is important information for us to have as it helps to build the clinical picture of your overall health.

Consultation – During the consultation we will go over many of the things you had written down on the intake forms but in more detail.  Why go over it again?  Because speaking with someone face to face is different than just reading about them.  Key information may be gleaned through conversation that may not have been addressed directly in the paperwork.  Along with reviewing your current condition we may also ask questions about your past health history, and current lifestyle factors including exercise, nutrition, work environment and stress levels.  The consultation also gives you, the patient, a chance to give your view on what’s going on.  We enjoy getting to know our patients and it’s through that process that we’re best able to help.

Physical Examination – The physical exam involves a combination of observation (looking at posture, movement patterns, how one area of the body functions in relation to another), orthopedic and neurological tests (assessing the function of the muscles, joints and nerves), and palpation (feeling the muscles and joints for tightness, tenderness, restriction of motion).  We take care to explain things as we go along and only perform those tests that you can comfortably do.

X-rays – X-rays can be a great tool when they are indicated.  We base the decision of whether or not x-rays are indicated on the complete clinical picture and as such we do not x-ray every patient.  If we feel that x-rays are indicated then we can easily refer you to an imaging clinic to have them taken.

Once we have completed and compiled the information from your consultation and physical exam we’ll go over the findings with you.  We will also take time to explain to you the treatment options that we recommend (I’ll describe treatment options in the next post).  Frequently, treatment can start at that first visit, however, sometimes due to the complexity of a case, or if more information is needed, treatment will be postponed until all of the pertinent information has been gathered.

Your Second Visit

At the start of the second visit we’ll sit down and review what we had learned the day before going over in detail the nature of your complaint (what’s wrong), the treatment options and recommendations (how to fix the problem) and set out a plan (frequency and duration of visits).  Going through this process gives you the chance to fully understand what’s going on with your body, what it means to be doing the treatments, as well as the opportunity to ask any other questions you may have.  We believe that the better you understand the healing process the better the results.  After that we will then start with the treatment protocol that we’ve set out.

Subsequent Visits

Once we’ve set out the plan each visit will build upon the last treatment.  The length of each treatment can vary – sometimes five minutes, sometimes thirty – depending upon the nature of the complaint and the therapy being provided.  The frequency and number of subsequent treatments needed depend on many factors including the severity of the injury, how acute or chronic the injury is, your over all state of health and your specific health goals.

In the next post I’ll discuss the different types of therapies available and how they fit into the over all treatment plan.  For more information on chiropractic care or Guelph chiropractors, please contact Clear Path Chiropractic Health Centre.

*  This post is written from the perspective of how I practice at my own clinic.  There are a variety of styles and techniques within the chiropractic profession, each with a subset of patients that responds accordingly.  I know many chiropractors, none of whom practice exactly alike yet still provide excellent care for their patients.  As it is with your mechanic, hair dresser, dentist or family physician, it’s not a matter of finding the “right” one, but rather finding the right one for you.

Photo Credit:  xtinalamb

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