Some new patients are unclear as to the types of examinations performed by chiropractors.
We will do a chiropractic examination, which consists primarily of using our hands to determine areas of the spine that are misaligned.
We may do a radiographic examination, or x-ray examination, to look for any underlying structural issues that may prevent us from being able to perform adjustments or various types of treatment. A neurological examination consists of tests that evaluate the health of your nerves, looking for any signs of weakness or differences in sensation.
An orthopedic examination is performed to test the health of the joints, and more specifically, to rule out one condition over another. Throughout the course of the healthcare profession, certain movements have been developed to help isolate a specific joint or to test for a specific condition.
Commonly with chiropractic new patients, they are dealing with low back pain. Low back pain is not necessarily a chiropractic problem. In evaluating this condition, we will do a chiropractic examination where we evaluate the alignment of the joints and look for areas of increased inflammation, swelling, or muscle spasm.
We will also do a neurological examination if we feel your nerves are being affected in any way, such as with numbness, tingling, or a “shooting pain.” A neurological examination may include the use of a pinwheel to test nerve patterns on your skin, or pushing on your muscles groups in different directions to see if any areas are weak.
The orthopedic examination for the low back will consistent of using the legs and the pelvis to test various areas of the low back joints. Low back pain may be disc related, facet related (the back part of the vertebra), or it may be related to different parts of the pelvis. There’s even an orthopedic test to see if your low back problem may be related to a kidney infection.
It’s the orthopedic movements and maneuvers that will help your chiropractor determine if your problem will respond to our treatment, or if you’d be better served by a different healthcare professional. An orthopedic examination is just one part of our process in making sure that all patients we accept for care are highly likely to respond favorably to chiropractic treatment.