What to expect from your first Chiropractic visit
This usually takes around 30 minutes. I shall ask you to complete a questionnaire to give me a full picture of what lies behind your problem, and of any other relevant medical issues. Even if a question seems irrelevant, please answer as fully and precisely as possible. All your notes are confidential, and no one else will see them without your express permission. Then I shall ask you about the current problem, and examine you. If you need to undress, gowns or shorts are provided. It’s fine if you would like a friend to be present or a receptionist if you ask in advance. After this, if I think Chiropractic is appropriate and you agree, I can usually start treatment straight away.
Chiropractic history and examination – understanding the cause of pain
Back pain is often the result of a combination of lifestyle stress, repeated strains, poor posture or bad habits. Sometimes, you will know what set it off; an accident perhaps. The examination tests joints, muscle-strength, and tenderness, and will include neurological and orthopaedic tests. I shall check for any signs of a serious condition.
I will explain clearly what is wrong, and how Chiropractic can help. I will tell you what to expect during and after treatment, what improvement to hope for, any possible risks and how much it will cost. We can discuss everything fully, and you can ask as many questions as you wish.
I will free the movement of the stiffness in the spine or tight joints with Chiropractic manipulation or adjustments. Unless we agree on a more sensitive or gentle approach to treatment, sounds can occur, like the clicking of a finger joint, as gas bubbles in the joint fluid ‘pop’, and pressure is released. This is normal as it loosens the tightness in the joint and surrounding muscles, relieves nerve pressure and helps the body to heal.
Alongside the manipulation I like to give plenty of massage or use specific muscle releasing techniques, with careful advice about taking care of yourself, resting, exercise and lifestyle tips to help your condition settle.
Will Chiropractic treatment hurt?
Not usually. Joint manipulation is not painful, but the surrounding muscle spasm can give a momentary but short-lived pain. Massage can be tender, but I will vary the degree of pressure to help you relax and the muscles to ‘un-knot’. If the problem area is swollen or inflamed I shall do what I can so it hurts as little as possible, but in my experience Chiropractic can help greatly at this stage. Please let me know if you bruise easily, as this can happen a little afterwards, but settles without problem.
How shall I feel after Chiropractic treatment?
Of course, we shall both hope for immediate improvement, and it’s lovely if you feel ‘cured’. Clients commonly report however slight increased pain or soreness, usually in the first 24-48 hours, before it gets better. Treatment of the neck sometimes causes a mild headache. Pain can come and go as the problem improves, largely depending on how much you can rest the affected part.
How many Chiropractic treatments are required?
Many clients may only need 1-3 treatments, but generally speaking, the longer you have had the problem, or the more severe it is, the longer it will take to get better, and more visits are likely to be needed. If you can avoid setting it off again, and follow the plan we devise together for rest, exercise, and even lifestyle changes, you will recover more quickly.
I want to help the problem to settle down, and to prevent it recurring. We can discuss together how to do this. We shall constantly review the situation, deciding whether you need to come again, or, if an occasional “MOT” will help to keep you fit. If things are not improving, I am keen to help organise further tests or for you to be seen by the relevant specialist as quickly as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions about Chiropractic Treatment (FAQs)
Is a GP referral required or should I inform my GP I am having Chiropractic treatment?
No. You do not need to see your GP before attending Chiropractic treatment as Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat without any referral so you can simply book an appointment. If you want I can send your GP a report, as they hold all your records, and it is in your best interest that they be complete and up to date.
Are there any risks of Chiropractic treatment?
Chiropractic is extremely safe and lower risk than many medical or alternative treatments. Serious side effects are rare and whilst neck manipulation has been related to strokes, it is one of the safest and most effective available treatments. I will inform you if there are any risks for your specific condition.
Do Chiropractors use X-Rays, MRI, ultrasound, bone-density or other scans?
Scans prior to treatment are often not required, but I will refer you if necessary, either through the NHS or privately, which can be faster. Please bring with you any existing relevant scans and especially the written reports, which your GP or hospital will copy for you.
Cost of Chiropractic treatments
Treatment is not currently available through the NHS, although the Chiropractic profession is working hard to make this available. I want to help clients and I may reduce fees when appropriate. Chiropractic prices are available on the prices page.
Private Medical Insurance (PMI) funding for Chiropractic
I am registered with Bupa and Axa PPP, also Cigna, Simply Health, Aviva and Pru Health among other PMI companies. Some will pay me directly whilst others will reimburse you so please ask for a receipt. If you are unsure about claiming the treatment fees I can discuss this with you, or visit the website for further information.
If there is anything else you’d like to know beforehand please do ask or read my Tips for Planning your Treatment on my website.
Jeremy English DC mSTAT
Chiropractor GCC Registered (reg no: 00080) – www.gcc-uk.org
Member of British Chiropractic Association – www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk
BackCare Clinic Watford
798 St Albans Road, Watford WD25 9FF. 01923 675000
20 Grosvenor Avenue, Hayes, Middx UB4 8NL. 020 8845 7881