Help your treatment to be as effective as possible, both before and after

The Your First Chiropractic Visit page outlines what to expect when you come for treatment, but I’d like to give you some personal suggestions to help your treatment be as effective and enjoyable as possible.

Please aim to arrive early!

Please come in plenty of time. Try not to rush in all tense, as it will take longer to help you to relax and gain the benefits of the treatment. It’s best if you plan extra time for the treatment and aim to be a few minutes early! Don’t pack a tight schedule beforehand; sort any urgent matters first and focus on being relaxed and calm. Mental clutter has such a detrimental effect on our ability to relax. Make the best of this important personal gift by taking care of yourself!

Please don’t try to book a busy schedule after treatment.

To be receptive to treatment you need to be able to relax fully. Cutting the treatment short because you need to rush off immediately devalues the treatment and importance that it brings. I can usually feel the tension and sense of mental rush. I prefer you to reschedule if you have more important pressing issues to deal with and receive treatment when you have time to take care of yourself.

Caring for yourself after treatment

Take it easy for a day or so; give the treatment time to work. Often, treatments take time to have an effect; joints and muscles can be in a temporary state of re-adjustment, so be careful!

Avoid heavy chores after treatment.

Avoid sitting and driving after treatment

Don’t plan long drives or prolonged deskwork as sitting prevents the muscles from relaxing. For clients with lower back pain it’s very helpful to go for a short walk for 10-15 minutes or so rather than just sitting down straight away. Please read my articles on Resting your back, Driving with back pain and Lying down to rest your back as these give valuable information about how best to help your back.

Should I have treatment before or after work? 

Treatment beforehand can help you to approach work in a more relaxed frame of mind, but if work aggravates your pain it might be best to have treatment afterwards. Often it doesn’t matter whether the treatment is before, during a work break, or after but we can discuss this on your first visit.   

Should I go to work after treatment or take time off to rest my back?  

Normally there is nothing to prevent you from working after treatment, but you want to help the treatment take effect and help the muscles and joints to release fully. If working may prevent this it may be best to take a little time off, plan to take it easy or arrange a treatment time when you can rest afterwards. If your back is in acute pain then I may advise not working, but please read my full article on time off to rest my back.

I’m travelling after treatment – should I still come in? 

There’s no hard and fast rule; sometimes treatment is exceptionally helpful before to help reduce your pain and help you relax for the flight or travel. Other times I would prefer you came in a few days before to maximise the treatment benefits. Commonly, I may not adjust the spine if I feel that a more gentle, relaxing treatment is appropriate before a long drive or flight. Once again, if you’re unsure, please call me to check. 

Cancelling appointments 

Sometimes emergencies happen and I will always rebook without any charge. Please ring as soon as you can to let me know. 

If you’re not feeling well 

Sometimes it’s obvious you’re not well enough to attend treatment and a quick phone call to rearrange is essential; you won’t want the treatment and I probably won’t want to treat you!  If you’re a bit under the weather or feel delicate and not sure please ring and discuss it with me.  I may advise you to stay at home and take it easy, especially if I don’t think you’ll be in a receptive state to benefit from treatment, or suggest a medical referral if indicated. I’ll suggest keeping the appointment if I think treatment might be helpful. 

If you are going to be late 

Please try to let me know as soon as possible, even if it’s close to your treatment time.  A call, text or email will usually reach me and it really helps! I will do my best to adjust my schedule to accommodate seeing you for treatment. Sometimes if other clients are nearby I can rearrange to fit everyone in, as I like to see everyone who needs treatment and also not run late if possible. 

If I am unable to give you the time I know you will need for a proper, relaxed treatment, then it may be best to reschedule. 

Sick notes or letters to employers

I always aim to help if I can – I will write a letter to your employer or boss and usually won’t charge. This is one of my pet hates: bosses who don’t understand and pressure you to work even if you’re not fit (either openly or subtly), which is all too common these days. Often it’s a quick email that’s sufficient. Mostly your boss wants to know you’re not just taking ‘a sickie’. I am very keen to recommend changes if they are required, a more suitable workchair perhaps. I was recently required to recommend a headset for a receptionist who was on the phone all day and ended up crooking her phone under her ear, as well as a van with more headroom for a tall client who was spending all his time crouching down to drive.

Should I wear any specific clothing?

I do like to expose the area needing to be treated. Gowns are available, and boxer shorts if these make you feel more comfortable. If the problem is your upper back or neck you may only need to remove your top half, but if it’s your lower back, pelvis or hips I will need you to undress to your underwear. If your lower back is in acute spasm and it’s going to be difficult to get your shoes and trousers off, then jogging bottoms with elastic help enormously and also soft shoes or slippers may allow me to treat you without needing to take them off. I’ve had it myself and know what a painful task it can be taking your trousers, socks and shoes on and off!

Clinic Shower

If you don’t have time to get home to wash before treatment, I do have a shower in the clinic, so please ask if you need it.

X-rays, scans and relevant medical information

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). If possible, please bring with you any existing relevant scans and especially the written reports, which your GP or hospital are legally obliged to copy for you. This helps me to understand your condition more fully. If you’ve been seen by a previous Chiropractor or other health care practitioner you can ask for a case summary of treatment. Please ask me if there is any problem.