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Like a visit to any health practitioner, a first appointment with a chiropractor will require some conversation of medical history as well as a few basic diagnostic tests for blood pressure, reflex response, and breathing.
The appointment will get interesting when the chiropractor starts to examine your posture, the way your body moves, and the condition of your spine. There may be some X-rays required as well as some exercises that will show the chiropractor how your body moves under light stress.
The chiropractor will also perform a hands-on inspection of your spine so that he or she can identify weaknesses or areas of limited movement. At the end of this oral and physical examination, the chiropractor will come to one of two initial conclusions:
1. You may benefit from direct care from the chiropractor
2. Your problem requires a different medical specialist and the chiropractor will offer a referral
Different chiropractors subscribe to various schools of thought, so not every chiropractor will recommend the same treatment plan. However, treatment plans will aim to provide immediate help, continue relief with future visits, and maintain those chiropractic benefits for the long-term.
Your chiropractor may also make suggestions on diet, exercise, and activities that may be helpful for getting the most out of chiropractic treatment. A chiropractor might suggest the purchase of some ergonomic furniture or recommend that certain activities be avoided until the body has recovered from trauma.
Don't be nervous before your first chiropractic appointment. Remember that spine adjustments don't hurt and that your chiropractor's goal is to make you feel better, recover from injuries, and regain normal range of movement.
A chiropractor is a licensed professional who treats patients for back and neck pain and injuries. In addition to treating pain and injuries, they also perform x-rays, diagnostic tests, and other forms of treatment. If you're considering becoming a chiropractor, the following steps will help you get started.
Graduate High School
To become a chiropractor, you will first need a high school diploma or a GED. This is needed in order to be accepted into a four year college.
Get a Bachelor's Degree
You will need to complete a minimum of three years of undergraduate education before you can be accepted into a doctor of chiropractic program. You will need at least 90 semester units in liberal arts and science courses. Although a bachelor's degree is not necessarily required in order to be accepted into chiropractic school, it will increase your future job prospects.
Complete the Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) Program
A DC program typically takes four years to complete. The first two years will be spent studying anatomy, biology, and physiology in a classroom, followed by two years of supervised clinical training. Your clinical training will include spinal manipulation and diagnosis.
Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but all states in the U.S. require that you have a license. You will also have to pass a series of examinations. You will need to check with your state for specific requirements, and if you ever relocate, you will need to recertify with that state.
Go to Work
Many chiropractors run their own practice or work as part of a group practice. You may also consider working in a hospital or doctor's office.
That pain in your lower back seems to just hang there, bothering you every day. You feel uncomfortable laying down or sitting, and standing isn’t that much better. But still you do nothing. You tell yourself it’ll get better, but what if it doesn’t?
Here are some things to look for when deciding whether or not to visit a chiropractor:
1. Medicine isn’t working: if you’ve had a chronic pain in your muscles and joints and traditional medicine isn’t helping, it might be time to investigate another option.
2. Therapy isn’t working: if you have been trying to stretch it out or are active with physical therapy sessions that just aren’t doing anything to relieve your pain, it might be time to see a chiropractor
3. Sharp pain: Getting a sharp pain that goes from your hip to your leg is a surefire sign that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
4. Pain, stiffness, and burning: If you are feeling these sensations periodically, seemingly for no reason, you might need to visit a chiropractor for an assessment.
5. Your clothes: Can your clothes and shoes show signs of body misalignment? Yes! If your skirt hangs differently on one side than the other or if the soles of your shoes wear differently on each foot, you may need to visit a chiropractor.
If you are the type of person who wants to avoid medications and surgery, a chiropractor offers an alternative that may be appealing to you. There’s no reason to suffer with a problem. Visit a chiropractor and see what he or she can do to help alleviate your pain.