Translating Your Chiropractor: Understanding Your Care Plan
At Tuck Chiropractic, we do our best to provide a warm welcome the minute you walk through the door – whether you’re a returning patient or a new inquiry. It’s important to us to make our patients as comfortable as possible from the first greeting to the final visit of their care plan. Part of that process is making sure we are clearly communicating with you. While medical terms and the idea of a care plan may feel overwhelming, our staff and doctors do a great job of walking you through each step to make sure you’re fully informed. We’re here to share with a few common terms and concepts to help you feel confident and capable of truly collaborating with our doctors to find the best treatments for you!
Common Chiropractic Terms
While we do our best to use clear language that both the doctor and the patient can share, there are still a few medical terms that come up during patient visits that may seem foreign. We’ll put them simply for you.
Misalignment or Subluxation
A Misalignment or subluxation – usually of the vertebrae. It can be a common cause of back pain and neck pain and may be a cause of other pain syndromes that patients present within our clinics. Our Tuck Chiropractic doctors will be able to pinpoint the area of misalignment with an X-ray and talk you through how spinal manipulation techniques can realign your spine.
Speaking of – what do we really mean by “spinal manipulation“? You may also hear the terms chiropractic adjustment or manual manipulation interchanged with this term. Simply put, this is when the doctor applies his or her hands or uses an instrument to apply pressure to the body in order to realign your vertebrae. It often includes a high-velocity thrust applied to the vertebrae. It sounds intense and you may experience a “popping” sound – but you’ll immediately feel a sense of release in the affected joints.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation
Electrical Muscle Stimulation Therapy is frequently coupled with spinal manipulation treatments as a way to stimulate the muscles surrounding the area in pain. In this way, chiropractors can truly treat the entire musculoskeletal system to help relieve pain and tension. It’s often used before a manipulation to “warm up” the muscles by sending a low-level electrical current through a number of electrodes placed in the affected areas.
Common Phases of Care
It’s important to realize that chiropractic care isn’t a quick fix. It is a process of adjusting the body to its natural state of alignment to relieve pressure and pain. Our doctors work hard to help patients understand every step of the process from intake to outcome review, and beyond. Here’s what to expect from your collaborative care process.
The intake process is painless. Our friendly staff helps you fill out your paperwork and often times, you will receive an X-ray to help the doctor identify the point of misalignment. With this, the doctor will be able to walk you through the treatments you will receive to begin the process of healing and perform the first adjustment. We will never force you into a treatment that you are uncomfortable with. Our priority is your comfort and confidence.
Customized Treatment Plan
Based on your Examination, the intensity of the problem, and your personal goals for feeling better, your doctor will talk you through your adjustment regimen. Often times, there will be a higher frequency of adjustments during the first portion of your care to build upon each adjustment for more effective results. It will begin to taper off once the extended relief sets in.
We check in with our patients often to make sure they are getting the results and relief they are seeking – typically every two weeks. This allows our doctors to make sure they’re helping patients meet their goals and to make any adjustments to their care plan that they see fit. Ultimately, this is the most important part of the process: making sure our patients are feeling better and living better.
At the end of a treatment cycle, maintenance care is discussed with the patient to see if they would like to continue their adjustments on a more varied basis. Maintenance care is a great way to maintain alignment and even act as a preventative measure for injuries and illnesses.
Do you have more questions about chiropractic care? Review our Frequently Asked Questions or reach out to one of our locations. Our staff and doctors are here to help!
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