The first step in chiropractic care is getting the individual’s medical history. Many visit a chiropractor with certain expectations of how things will go. They will lay down on a table while the chiropractor adjusts the spine. There will be pops and cracks, and the tension will go away. And afterward, they’ll feel better.
However, without an individual’s medical history, the treatment will not be as effective because of the lack of information. This means that a chiropractor is only able to perform general adjustments but is not able to get to the root cause and maximize the full potential of the adjustments. Patient education starts the moment someone walks into the clinic.
The nature of holistic medicine
Some questions a chiropractor might ask include:
- What type of pain is presenting – shooting, burning, aching, throbbing, etc?
- Have you had any recent surgeries?
- Is there history of chronic pain?
- What medications are being taken?
Each will be explained in further detail and what they mean for the development of a treatment plan. An individual needs to understand how important their medical histories are for the treatment progress. Patient history prevents executing the wrong treatment plan by having an informed understanding of the individual’s body.
For example, a chiropractor can’t perform the same adjustments on a senior with osteoporosis that they do on a middle-aged athlete. And someone recovering from surgery will not have the range of motion when healthy.
An adjustment can result in X, Y, or Z, depending on the factors at work. Medical history is vital as it eliminates any unknowns, so a chiropractor can solve for X, Y, or Z by being able to provide the best outcome for the individual.
The more information, the better the treatment plan
When an individual has neck pain, a doctor is not going to prescribe immediate surgery, unless it is an emergency. Rather, they will perform a full examination, ask questions, try to find the cause, and analyze the intensity of the pain. A chiropractor is no different, and individual medical history is vital. Obtaining as much information as possible can help a chiropractor reach a proper diagnosis and ensures the right course of action is taken. Individuals often do not realize but for example,
- An automobile accident that happened last year could be manifesting symptoms now.
- Shoulder surgery five years ago could be limiting the range of motion, affecting the musculature around the cervical spine.
- Chronic plantar fasciitis and self-medicating for a while can cause instability in the lumbar spine affecting the cervical spine.
Every little bit of information can help put the puzzle together to get a clear picture of what is going on. The biggest contributor of information is patient medical history, formally documented and informally spoken.
A visit to Injury Medical Chiropractic Clinic is a collaboration between patient and chiropractor that leads to informed and the best treatment possible. Medical history informs optimal care. For more information or for more tips on chiropractic care, contact us today.
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Hunter, J. “Medical history and chronic pain.” The Clinical journal of pain vol. 17,4 Suppl (2001): S20-5. doi:10.1097/00002508-200112001-00007