Top Five Questions Chiropractic Patients Ask
My name is Dr. Randall Wheeler DC MCS-P. I’ve been a practicing chiropractor at Westport Chiropractic & Rehab (https://www.westportchiroandrehab.com/) in Louisville, KY for the past 16 years. The following article addresses the top five questions that patients ask in our office when they begin care.
1. The first question patients ask is what is wrong?
Typically when someone comes to seek treatment in our office their first concern is what is wrong and can we help them. To answer that question several pieces of information must be gathered. This is done by completing a thorough patient history. This involves present condition, past medical, social and family history. Once a patient completes this initial screening if the Doctor feels they are a chiropractic candidate an examination is completed. This consists of a neuromuscular exam, posture evaluation and radiographs if needed. Once this process is completed the question what’s wrong can be answered. Patients that are candidates for chiropractic care typically suffer from neuromuscular problems. These problems consist of several different thing’s first is the joint the joint component. Second regardless if the issue is new or old there is some type of muscular issue, imbalance issue or atrophy and possibly scaring. There can also be issues with the ligament and tendon attachments. Each patient’s problem is different but will consist of these three components what percentage will be determined by the Doctor so proper treatment can be performed.
2. The second question is can you fix it?
Once what is wrong has been determined how to treat the condition can be determined. The first thing used in Chiropractic treatment is the Adjustment. These are the corrections that are made to the joint. This consists of a specific line of correction and a specific force. This can be performed to the spine as well as the extremities (shoulders, elbows, knees, wrist, and ankles). These corrections help to increase the range of motion to the joint. Along with adjustments the soft tissue component has to be addressed. For example in a chronic condition the muscles typically have some component of scar tissue formation in them. Depending on the degree that this has happened certain techniques can be used one that we you in our clinic is Graston. This technique is use to break up the scar tissue in the muscle. This scar tissue formations are called myofascial adhesion. The formation of this scar tissue can cause a loss of elasticity of the muscle and cause pain patterns to form.
The ligament and tendons may also be part of the problem. These issues such as tendonitis, tendonopathy or even bursitis can be addressed with other therapies such as ultrasound and or cold laser therapy. Lastly most cases involve some level of rehabilitation. Typically is would be some type of balance rehab. Strengthening based on balance involves proprioception with is the positional strengthening in a three dimensional positioning. This helps in a comprehensive corrections of the problem.
3. The Third question that typically is asked How Long Will It Take?
To answer that we have to look at the laws of physiology how the body heal and strengthens it’s self. The typical length of time needed to heal completely from an injury is ninety days. This involves phases of healing. The first phase is the pain phase. In this phase the goal is the reduction of inflammation. The goal in reducing the selling is to reduce the formation of scar tissue. Once the swelling is reduced the range of motion can be improved this to helps in the reduction and realigning of scar tissue. The second phase is the remodeling of tissue. Which involves the healing of the issue. It is imperative that the damage tissue heals properly, realigning with as little formation of scar tissue as possible. The third phase is the strengthening/stability phase. This involves the strengthening if the surrounding tissue to create stability and protection of the joint. This can be done with specific exercises to the appropriate area. Many of the rehab exercises consist of balance exercises/challenges.
4. I’ve heard you have to go to a chiropractor forever.
This may be not a question as much as a concern. The answer is you can do as you choose. Some patients seek treatment and when the issue is resolved their done with care and we will see them if there is another condition. On the other side many patients choose to follow through with maintenance. What that means is that they choose to maintain the changes that have been made. The human body is an overused machine. Just like with your car you do maintenance to prevent breakdowns your body needs to be maintained. Joints in the human body are not designed to last forever that’s why maintaining it to prevent injuries and extend the functionality of your body is vital. Research has shown that routine adjustments can help boost immune system function. Patients in our office that choose to follow a maintenance plan see a much better state of health and well being.
5. How much will it cost/will my health insurance cover it?
This question is typically the last question that is asked. The cost of care is based on several factors that include how long you’ve had the issue and the severity. A care plan is put together it can vary from a few weeks to several months. These things all play into the cost of care. Many companies based in Louisville Kentucky provide insurance that has Chiropractic coverage that will help offset the cost. Our office will verify the benefit that are available. Many insurance plans have deductibles this day and age so regardless if you have coverage or not we do our best to make the cost of care affordable.
Dr. Randall Wheeler DC MCS-P