What to expect.
On your first visit your chiropractor will:
- Take a full case history including medical history
- Obtain your permission to give you a general physical examination
- Undertake specific and appropriate orthopaedic and neurological tests
An initial consultation lasts from 1 ½ to 2 hours. Follow up treatments last approximately 30 – 45 minutes.
Following the case history an examination will be carried out and you may be asked to remove some clothing for this, so wear under garments you are comfortable in or bring along some shorts. For patients who are uncomfortable with this, a gown will be provided.
Based on the case history and examination findings your Chiropractor will make a diagnosis as to what the problem is and discuss it with you. This is to ensure you have a basic understanding of the diagnosis. Your Chiropractor will explain if treatment is suitable for your complaint and it will be offered to you. Your consent for treatment is then obtained before your first treatment starts. A first treatment session is included in the initial consultation fee and this may be undertaken on the same day or another appointment scheduled for this.
The McTimoney method takes a whole body approach, assessing the whole skeletal system at each visit. It places particular emphasis on correcting and maintaining good posture and so the adjustment of the pelvis is an important element of each treatment. The spine, sacrum and cranium are also checked at each treatment and the arms and legs may also be mobilised. All adjustments are quick and dextrous, using little force which makes it suitable for all age groups, from the very young to the old and frail.
Depending on your problem other techniques may be used including techniques to release and relax muscles and joints such as massage techniques, rhythmic joint movement and muscle release techniques.
How many treatments does it take?
Treatment lengths vary and can depend on the nature of the presenting complaint, whether it is acute or chronic, whether there is tissue injury and how well the individual responds to treatment.
Often between 2 to 6 treatments is common, initially with one treatment at weekly intervals to see some improvement then gradually spacing out appointments to wider intervals.
Conditions which have been present for more than 3 months, or where there is a history of recurrence, may take longer to resolve.
In addition to receiving chiropractic adjustment and mobilisation, patients are often given aftercare advice and some home exercises to do. This can involve stretching of particular muscles or muscle groups or strengthening exercises; advice on posture; sleeping position, heat/cold therapy and general wellness/lifestyle advice. Although patients are advised that they should take things easy following a chiropractic treatment, they are also encouraged to keep as mobile as possible (and reasonable, in the circumstances of the presenting complaint).
Often, patients return for periodic ‘maintenance’ treatments, the aim of which is to maintain correct alignment and to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence or a new injury in the future. Just as people attend their dentist for regular checkups or go for a routine physical examination, many patients prefer to attend for regular periodic chiropractic assessment and treatment.
Additional/ adjunctive therapies
Muscle involvement can also contribute to pain, discomfort and misalignments. Soft tissue work is often incorporated into the treatment session. It may be recommended that the patient attends for a specific soft tissue appointment which could be in the form of a de-stressing relaxing massage or a more focussed deep tissue massage session.
- Holistic massage
- Deep tissue massage
Misaligned vertebrae or entrapment or compression of nerve roots and/or peripheral nerves can be accompanied by chemical irritation and muscle spasms/guarding (which is primarily a protective mechanism but can cause extreme pain). Working on the soft tissues of the body can reduce spasm, fibrosis and adhesions which can build up in tight muscles.