Your first consultation will last approximately 30 minutes. Within this time, your case history and medical details will be taken to assess your symptoms and general health. Following this, an examination of your spine and relevant joints will be undertaken. Treatment is included in your first visit.
1) The Case History
This includes details of your presenting symptoms together with any past problems that appear relevant. Details are also taken of your medical history. This is important as it gives the practitioner more information to obtain a more accurate diagnosis and whether referral to the G.P. for further tests or results is appropriate.
With the patient’s permission, a physical examination will then be performed. Normally you will be asked to undress in private to your underwear and a gown is provided for those who would prefer to wear one. It is also quite acceptable for you to bring a chaperone with you. All patients under the age of 16 must bring a relative with them to be present throughout the consultation. The examination together with information from the case history will then be explained and a formative diagnosis is given.
It is important to note that treatment is not normally painful. It is a gentle, accurate series of manual techniques aimed at restoring normal mobility to joints and helping to reduce muscle spasm and inflammation, which in turn will usually reduce pain.
The most commonly used techniques are:
- Articulation – a series of gentle movements of joints.
- Soft tissue – light to firm pressure on the muscle tissues
- Manipulation – often accompanied by a clicking sound. This is not always used and will only be used if the patient is happy with the technique once it has been explained.