Considering chiropractic care means that we have encountered something that has caused us to seek better health in some manner. This may be due to an injury, a congenital condition that needs improvement, or a degenerative matter that needs care. Thinking through our medical care options is not something that is usually done without a sense of pause and consideration.
Gaining knowledge and accurate information regarding one’s situation can be likened to filling a quiver with sharp arrows. We want to feel equipped and ready to take on all that life brings. Bringing our concerns and inquiries to light in conversation can serve us as does building an arrow maker’s toolkit. Let’s look at a few matters that you may wish to discuss during your time with your chiropractor.
Patients often have a difficult time understanding what a diagnosis they are given actually means. You should feel comfortable with your information. It is your right to know what your health history and diagnosis mean – for you. Your condition may be labeled with a term that you have already heard. Yet, because the human body is so intricate and full of variation, it may have a different manifestation within your body.
You only get one original set of bones and adjoining pieces, knowing the condition of them means taking the time to understand the mechanisms and their strengths and weaknesses. If an injury has taken place, knowing the impact of that injury on the body is a key factor in efficient recovery. If a congenital or degenerative ailment is to be considered, then having a decent understanding of what that means within the body is essential.
Home care steps can play a significant role in maintaining such conditions. Knowing why and how to properly complete these tasks means knowing what we should and should not do for the benefit of our bodies. In many cases, this information leads to improved recovery times and better long-term health.
This does not mean that you must understand every detail of your condition. Yet, knowing why you should or should not participate in various activities can offer a wonderful incentive. For example, if your condition is related to neck posture, having a visual understanding of this portion of the body can be found very helpful when choosing a chair or sitting position.
Is my condition reversible? If my condition is not fully reversible, what can I expect for managing pain? Pain conditions can be difficult to endure. Having the skills and knowledge to help patients recover and leave pain behind is a unique and rewarding part of the job for many chiropractic physicians. The degree with which this is possible will be greatly affected by a client’s initial state of health, the care plan that is chosen, and any varying factors for each patient. Honesty and reliable knowledge become a key factor in determining what results should be expected.
For some patients, a full recovery should be expected. Due to the nature of the human body, there will be some conditions that can be greatly improved and care can be given to increase a patient’s best quality of life, though the condition itself may remain. Understanding what is reasonably possible for your individual situation is important for fairly navigating your road to health and recovery.
It does happen that a patient will experience dramatic results after just one or two treatments. In such cases, a shorter care plan may be utilized. However, a number of patients will find great benefit from receiving treatments that complement one another in the body.
Once an exam and diagnosis are completed, then you will want to find out if chiropractic care, physical rehabilitation, decompression treatments, and massage therapy will offer an increased level of benefit if any portion of them are combined for you as the patient. The exact combination of treatments will vary depending on your health needs. However, the Alaska Back Pain Protocol is one that many back pain sufferers have grown to love!
If so, what are they? Chiropractic physicians work with the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems in the body. This means that they are experts with the skeleton and its relationship with the muscles, as well as the manner in which the muscles, joints, and nerves interact with one another. Some chiropractic physicians will specialize in certain areas of personal interest.
We often associate chiropractic care with only the spine, back, or neck. Requesting a chiropractor to assist with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches, migraines, pinched nerves, shoulder aches, sprains, strains, and tendonitis is like asking a knight to help you learn how to take care of your armor. The body needs all of these bits to function properly.
Yes, a focus is often placed on the spine. This is because the spinal column works as a communication highway sending information to the rest of the body. Our bodies work best when treated as a unit. We need to care for the pieces separately but doing so often means looking at the body as a whole.
Shoulder pain may be the result of an injury and still place and impact on the spine’s ability to send messages that foster proper healing. Pain may also have originated in the spine but be directed through the shoulder and into the arm, elbow, and fingers. Nerves are funny things – and rather complicated roadways for communication throughout our torso, limbs, and head.
Some chiropractic facilities are equipped with staff to help with deciphering what each insurance company will cover with chiropractic treatments. Be sure to inquire what your facility will be ready and willing to help you with in this regard. Will there be certain treatments that you should get or not get based on what might be covered? Chiropractic care is often covered by insurance companies because it is much less invasive than surgery. Therefore, it is a good idea to have your chiropractic clinic check what your insurance will cover.
If you do not plan to utilize insurance for chiropractic care, or do not have insurance, what type of payment plans will be available for your budget and health needs? Knowing in advance what will be required can be a wonderful help in planning care. If you know that you will need to pay out of pocket, be sure to inquire what each clinic may be willing to do regarding payment plans. Care plans should be developed that consider your overall health and long-term health goals, this means including all of you and your needs.
How long ahead should I plan my appointments? You will want to find out how often you will need to schedule treatments. You may want to know how long an appointment may take so that you can plan accordingly.
If pain has brought you to a place in which you are having difficulty completing work tasks and daily chores, you may find great benefit in a more intensive treatment schedule from the outset. This would not mean that such a schedule would remain long-term.
Once healing has begun and your pain begins to subside, appointments may still be necessary for a time to ensure a full recovery. However, they may decrease in quantity and time. Due to the holistic nature of chiropractic care, clients often find great benefit from regular treatments designed to help maintain proper joint and spine health. Maintaining the body’s natural sense of wellness acts as a helpful barrier for retaining good health throughout the whole of the body.
Preventative and long-term health appointments may be scheduled according to each patient’s preferences, health goals, and existing schedule. Scheduling appointments with this in mind will mean inquiring with your chiropractor what will most benefit you, your body, and your health goals.
Will I need to consider long-term chiropractic care? If you are seeking chiropractic care to aid in overall health, what might be the most beneficial care treatment plan for your health goals?
Due to the vast array of conditions that may be treated through chiropractic, the care needed after the initial recovery phase will depend very much on each patient’s own situation. Toward the end of your initial recovery, it will be important for you to have an idea of what to expect down the road.
You will want to know if certain activities will need to be avoided for a period of time. Be sure to find out about methods for lifting, sleeping postures, and long-term recovery maintenance techniques that may be applicable to your health needs.
Setting reasonable goals requires properly understanding limitations and fairly gauging what will be needed to remain pain-free and healthy. Will a monthly or annual check-up be recommended? If regular appointments will be advisable for your condition, how often might they be needed and what will be required by your insurance company?
Write down your questions before your appointment, even if it is on a scrap of paper. The questions included here are meant to be examples of what you may wish to discuss. If you have any specific questions regarding your condition be sure to include those in your list.
Having questions scribed and in hand at the start of your appointment can greatly increase your chances for having them answered. This also helps with the efficiency of your time. Try to understand that your physician may want to complete a physical exam before actually attempting to answer your questions.
This may mean that the questions are not addressed until you are a good portion of the way through your visit. However, it is still beneficial to see them early on in the appointment for the purpose of directing an exam or progressing with treatment. Viewing your questions in advance can help to navigate what the chiropractor may wish to ask you so that he may adequately provide knowledgeable answers.
Many cell phones have writing features on them now. Since patients often take their phones with them to an appointment, this may also be a preferred place to scribble out your questions. Of course, then you have to either read the questions or hand the phone to the chiropractor to read.
Some patients find it beneficial to write down questions and make a photocopy so that a copy can be given to the physician and one kept for making notes during the appointment. This is certainly not required but sometimes preferred if you may desire to share the information with family or otherwise. A summary of your time is usually provided if desired, and diagnoses are provided in written form so this is really just a personal preference.
Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab fully welcomes patients to ask questions that they feel need to be answered. Anchorage residents schedule a chiropractic appointment with us because they know they can count on our Same-Day Promise for fast pain relief. If you have a question and are not sure if you should ask it, then feel free to let us help you decide if it is something that needs to be addressed. It is far better to find out that the issue is a small matter that we can solve than to go for an extended period of time wondering. Request a time to get answers to your chiropractic questions in Anchorage!
Dr. Brent Wells has been a trusted chiropractor since moving his family from Oregon to Alaska back in 1998 and founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab – B.S. from Univ. of Nevada, Doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College, volunteer for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation, and member of the American Chiropractic Association. As a chiropractor his focus is on family, including his 3 children and wife of 20+ years, his clinics, and ongoing education.