Typically, your first chiropractic session will involve an assessment of your general health and medical history, and a physical examination. see Initial Assessment
The treatment that follows usually involves hands-on manipulation techniques, which focus on the spine.
You may also be given other treatments and advice on exercise, diet and lifestyle.
Treatment sessions are 30 minutes in duration.
The length of a course of treatment will depend on the type and severity of symptoms.
Your chiropractor will advise you on treatments intended to address your health condition, and help you to manage or avoid it in the future.
This may involve manipulation of your muscles, bones and joints, often in the spine. This kind of treatment is sometimes called “manual treatment”.
It may also involve massage or manipulation of soft tissue, as well as advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle, and a rehabilitation programme.
The treatment technique most often associated with chiropractic is spinal manipulation. The chiropractor uses their hands to apply force to the muscles, bones and joints in and around your spine.
During the session, you will be asked to sit or lie down.
Chiropractors use a wide range of manual techniques, including:
- short, sharp thrusts applied to the spine (intended to remove joint restrictions and improve the range of movement)
- gradually moving joints through a range of different positions (intended to reduce tension within a joint)
- pulling or stretching muscles in a certain direction (intended to strengthen the muscle and improve its range of movement)
Chiropractic treatment is not usually painful. If the chiropractor is treating an injury that is painful or inflamed, there may be some minor pain or discomfort. If you experience any pain or significant discomfort while having chiropractic treatment, tell your chiropractor immediately.
During spinal manipulation, you may experience a popping sensation in your joints and hear a popping or cracking sound. It is thought this is caused by gas bubbles in the fluids that surround your joints – this is a normal part of spinal manipulation and other manual treatments.