In preparation for your first consultation, you will receive a questionnaire about your complaints and your general health. Once at the clinic, the first consultation always starts with an anamnesis, an information session about your complaints, your medical history and your general health. This will be followed by a physical examination which will include neurological, orthopaedic and chiropractic tests. Any available x-rays will be examined. This information will be used to make a diagnosis.
The chiropractor will inform you if he/she will be able to help you, and what you can expect from the treatment. In most cases, the treatment will be started right away.
In many cases, the chiropractor will recommend exercises or will advise you about a good posture or dietary advice. If the chiropractor is unable to help you, he/she will do his/her best to advise you on the best course of action.
The Corrective Phase
In the corrective phase, the patient receives frequent treatments. Most of the manipulations to restore the freedom of movement of the spinal column are done in this phase. The focus of this phase is pain reduction and functional improvement.
The Stabilizing Phase
This is the “fine tuning” phase used to maximize recovery. In this phase, we stimulate the activity of the spinal column, the muscles and the plasticity (adjustment ability) of the central nervous system. This is done where necessary through treatments and exercises.
The Preventative Phase
The chiropractor starts to reduce the number of treatments. The frequency between treatments varies per patient depending on the complaint, the patient’s condition and age.
Checking the spinal column and the other joints and keeping them working well can often prevent the return of complaints. Apart from this, a well functioning central nervous system is a solid basis for good health.
There are many techniques that a chiropractor may use during treatment. The chiropractors in our clinic use mobilization techniques and specific chiropractic manipulation techniques. These include the following techniques.
The Gonstead and Diversified techniques
These manipulations are directed at removing blockages in a joint. A short sharp movement in the “paraphysiological space” results in an opening of the joint. A small crack may be heard. The aim is to correct abnormal movement patterns or movement limitations thereby getting the nerve function back to normal.
The activator is an instrument that sends an impulse to the spinal column or to other joints. The impulse is sent at high speed and with great precision. The depth and the speed can be set. It is a commonly used piece of equipment. The activator is mostly used as a supplementary aid together with manipulation and when treating the elderly, children and babies.
Sacro Occipital technique
The triangular sacrum is the base of the spine. The biomechanics, neurology and physiology of the human body works best when the pelvis is in balance. The sacrum has joints, the SI joints, on either side connecting it to the pelvis. The angle and the mobility of the pelvis can be adjusted by using three sided cushions. This helps in restoring the balance between the sacrum and the occiput (back of the head) so that the central nervous system is freed to function properly.
Cox Flexion Distraction technique
This technique combines two biomechanical models, the axial traction and flexion, to treat lower back problems. This method is often used for patients with lower back pain, sciatica or a slipped disc. The patient lies on his/her stomach and the lower part of the table is moved up and down. Flexion Distraction is then done by the chiropractor applying pressure by hand to the specific part of the spinal column that requires treatment. This stretches the ligaments at the back of the spinal column, increasing the movement between the facet joints and the space in the spinal canal.
Thompson Drop technique
This is a technique whereby special treatment tables are used that support the adjustments and make them more effective. The table’s cushions give a little bit as the adjustment is being applied and by doing so, the table absorbs the force of the adjustment. Specific techniques are chosen on the basis of the complaint, the cause, the age and the general health of the patient. Apart from the treatment at our clinic, we may recommend exercises, particular postures, or diets.
It is fairly common that patients have a reaction after a treatment. This may be a feeling of fatigue or stiffness, and the pain may even increase for a few days. However, there is often an immediate feeling of relief. Should you be concerned about a reaction or would like to know if you can do anything about it, do not hesitate to call the clinic. One of the chiropractors will explain the situation.