Probing Patients for the Whole Story: Why Consults and Interviews are Paramount

There are a few simple ways to tell if you’re being taken for a ride when you visit a chiropractor. The first and easiest tip-off comes when your chiropractor fails to take time to interview you about your specific pain or discomfort. It’s a critical first step that, when overlooked, has the potential to invalidate any future adjustments. Skipping this dialogue and jumping right into corrections is a recipe for disaster and the mark of an unskilled practitioner.

Chiropractic consultations and interviews are a core part of Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) and other modalities for a reason. They yield insight into each unique patient, presenting symptoms, potential catalysts, and myriad other factors that determine everything from a diagnosis to the course of treatment.

Ideal Spine places the utmost emphasis on pre-adjustment patient interviews and consultations, both as critical starting places and crucial benchmarks in the CBP process. We leverage the insights a patient dialogue provides, to better serve their spine health and wellness.

Show us where it hurts

The first and simplest question a chiropractor asks a patient is also the most important: “where does it hurt?” Getting patients talking about their pain is a simple way to start identifying its markers and traits. Important information gleaned from this simple question can include:

  • The location and span of the pain (from the low back to the heel);
  • The sensation of the pain (burning, shooting, tingling, etc.);
  • The frequency of the pain (consistently, occasionally, every night, etc.);
  • Limits caused by pain (can’t bend, problems reaching, etc.).

Simply prompting patients to talk about their pain helps chiropractors begin to qualify it objectively. This can lead to more accurate diagnoses once all variables are discerned, as well as insight into specifics of a condition unique to that patient.

Going beyond the present

Patient consults and interviews also provide invaluable information that might not be listed in any chart or immediately present during palpitation. For example, a recent fall they had or an accident they were in weeks ago may be tied to presenting symptoms. Asking the right questions and listening to patient explanations produces context clues that are highly valuable. Some questions a chiropractor may consider include:

  • Have you tripped, fallen, or injured yourself in any way recently?
  • When did your pain begin and did anything happen around this time?
  • Have you been treated for this pain or anything like it before?
  • Have you experienced anything like this before?

Whether positive or negative, answers yield insight and provide the missing information needed to close gaps of uncertainty.

Tell us about yourself

Even a conversational, friendly dialogue is important. The more that’s known about the patient, the better. What do they do for a living? What are their hobbies? Did they do anything fun last weekend? Each piece of information tells you more about their lifestyle, which in turn contributes to our understanding of their situation and condition. A construction worker who plays softball on the weekends is likely going to have different physiological concerns than a computer programmer who spends her free time reading!

Getting off on the right foot

The information compiled from even a simple patient interview or consultation is a critical component to any good chiropractor’s treatment process. Chiropractors who skip this step are doing a disservice to their patients and to themselves, mitigating or delaying relief.

Ideal Spine promotes patient interviews before any corrections are made. By adhering to the CBP process for evaluation, our chiropractors establish a baseline for information before adjusting, ensuring tailored, targeted treatment.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.

Pinpointing Lifestyle Detractors That Cause Spinal Disc Deterioration

While chiropractic is built on the idea of adjustments and manipulations to align and maintain the posture of the spine, it goes far beyond the cracks and pops. One all-important element of chiropractic care is lifestyle adjustment. It’s something every chiropractor will advise, and it’s up to each patient to integrate this advice into their life. When they do, the results can be profound and lasting.

Lifestyle changes are frequently prescribed to directly combat postural detractors. These can be conscious or unconscious things a patient does that slowly, subtly regress their spine health. Pinpointing them and offering advice that counters them enables chiropractors to continue providing relief to patients long after they’ve left the adjustment table.

There’s virtually no limit to the number of unique lifestyle detractors a patient may present with. Ideal Spine encourages chiropractors to constantly observe the habits of patients and the deviation tendencies of their spines, to better understand what advice may affect positive results.

Postural observation

Examining and assessing a patient’s sitting, standing, and laying postures may yield tremendous insight into what’s causing spinal deviation.

If a patient has foot pronation, for example, a chiropractor can follow this up to a shifting pelvis or lumbar subluxations. This enables them to make the connection for patients, prompting a conscious focus on avoiding foot pronation and thus, avoiding a backslide into consistent pelvic and lumbar pain.

In this same vein, assessing postural tendencies that develop as a result of misalignment is a great opportunity for chiropractors to teach patients. Retraining someone in proper sitting posture after years of compensating for thoracic lordosis, for example, helps them realize the effects of poor posture on their overall wellness. In this situation, what they’re accustomed to is incorrect and needs to be revised for proper health.

Unconscious habits become conscious

Often, it’s unconscious habits that do the most harm to patients. Slouching while they sit, walking with their shoulders slumped, or tilting their head while they read are all subtle, yet destructive tendencies. They have the power to quickly undo the positive adjustments made by a chiropractor.

As a chiropractor is able to pinpoint unconscious lifestyle detractors and make patients aware of them, they can also provide counterbalance solutions. In some cases, these take the form of adjustments. A mirror image adjustment of a tilted head can provide relief, for example. In other cases, new lifestyle habits need to be adapted. Someone who runs on their toes might need to retrain themselves for a purposeful heel strike to avoid exercise injuries.

The purpose in making unconscious habits conscious is to get patients familiar with them. If they know they have a tendency to do X, they can actively develop a reflex to avoid it or train themselves to do Y instead. Adjustments will last longer and have more time to take hold, equating to better long-term relief and a better quality of life.

Preventing disc deterioration

Lifestyle changes and conscious betterment of physiological habits add up to better spine health, primarily through disc preservation. When discs aren’t being displaced, stressed, or shifted, they’re able to maintain function and strength. This in turn makes them more resilient and less likely to be compromised in the way unhealthy discs might.

Healthier discs can mean everything from a better daily quality of life, to less invasive adjustments when needed, to resistance against the rigors of age, and beyond. All it takes is emphasis on eliminating those elements of your lifestyle that detract from posture and spine health.

Ideal Spine ensures chiropractic goes beyond just manual adjustments. For truly sustainable chiropractic results, we encourage lifestyle adjustment, to assess and address all of the factors actively burdening your spine.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.

Supplemental Spine Health Treatments Available to Chiropractors

Chiropractors are primarily associated with back and neck manipulation – the popping, cracking, twisting, and pulling that’s synonymous with adjustments. HVLA adjustments are far from the only capabilities of an experienced practitioner, however. In fact, the chiropractic toolbox is expansive and includes far more than manual adjustments.

The treatments a chiropractor may leverage to help patients depends entirely on the nature of the condition and the potential for relief the treatment offers. For example, myofascial release may be superb for alleviating whiplash symptoms, yet wholly ineffective when combating sciatica. In either case, manual adjustment might not be enough to affect real change. Supplemental spine health treatments are required.

Ideal Spine challenges chiropractors to utilize all recognized treatment methods and modalities, and leverage them to the betterment of patients. Distinguishing and qualifying treatments based on conditions means finding a tailored solution to patient wellness.

The chiropractor’s toolbox

Manual adjustment is a prolific and diverse categorization for traditional chiropractic. It can include HVLA adjustment, drop table manipulation, mirror image adjustment, and more. And while these modalities will always be a cornerstone of spine maintenance, they’re sometimes not enough to provide top-tier relief alone.

When physical manipulation isn’t able to achieve optimal results, condition-mandated treatments become a focus. Let’s take a look at some of the options a chiropractor may employ and the potential for relief these might have:

  • Massage: Massage takes many forms, including deep tissue, myofascial, and rehabilitative. Massage can break up fascial scarring, improve blood flow, and de-stress muscles for improved range of motion or faster healing.
  • Nutrition and supplementation: Many spine abnormalities come from nutritional deficiencies. Lack of calcium, vitamin D, iron, and other essentials can be remedied with simple supplements. Chiropractors can pinpoint dietary concerns and identify missing components of a diet to suggest them to patients.
  • Orthotics: Problems in the feet quickly evolve into problems with the spine. Orthotics can correct flat feet, fallen arches, and more, restoring proper balance and foundation to a person’s standing, walking, or running mechanics
  • Traction: Products like the Denneroll and other traction apparatuses can help reduce compression, serving as a precursor to physical adjustments. Compression alleviation through traction is also a zero-impact way to facilitate better range of motion.
  • TENS and stimulation: Electrostimulation can address nerve pain or damage where physical manipulation is rendered all but useless. Stimulation of nerves can help promote localized relief from nagging nerve misfires, trembling, or numbness.
  • Laser and vibration therapy: Molecular-level care represents an innovation in modern chiropractic. Cold laser therapy is able to promote tissue regeneration, while vibration therapy utilizes the body’s natural response to low-level waves to activate and condition muscles. Both offer relief on a smaller scale than manipulation is able to target.
  • Stretching and strengthening: Where chiropractic meets physical therapy, stretching and strengthening become important. Muscles that are properly conditioned and strengthened are better able to support the spine, assuring adjustments take hold and backslides in recovery don’t occur.

When used in isolation, in combination, or in conjunction with manual adjustment, each facet of chiropractic care offers the potential for targeted relief from pain. And, when a Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) adjustment schedule is the guiding path to wellness, these solutions can be mapped, observed, and complemented over the long-term.

Beyond back cracks

Chiropractic may always be associated with back cracks and neck pops, but it’s important to realize modern chiropractic is all that and so much more. The focus remains on spine health, but now encompasses total body observation and treatment as it relates to our central nervous system and spine segments.

Ideal Spine encourages chiropractors to leverage more than just proficiency in manual adjustment. We promote the discovery of wellness solutions through the exploration of the entire available chiropractic toolbox.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.

Vertebral Compression Fractures Require Comprehensive Oversight to Set Right

Anyone suffering from a vertebral compression fracture is sure to know something is wrong. They may already be living with a condition like osteoporosis, which leaves them prone to developing disc issues. But, unlike osteoporosis, which may present in nagging, dull pain or a feeling of frailty, a compression fracture is acutely painful and wholly agonizing when it occurs.

For someone living with chronic pain, a burst of severe pain is something even they’ll notice. Unfortunately, if they don’t seek immediate assessment of that pain, it’s liable to quell into the chronic pain they’re already familiar with, albeit often at a higher level. It’s a situation Ideal Spine sees all too frequently, presenting in improperly healed vertebral fractures.

In any case, a fracture is a problem that needs attention. It can persist in pain, decreased range of motion, decreased physical function, mental anguish, and much more. In women, it’s estimated that compression fractures play an active role in raising mortality rates by as much as 15%. To make matters even worse, fractures have a tendency to compound. The situation can quickly snowball from a single unchecked fracture.

Diagnosis is the first step

Diagnosing a compression fracture is critical before any corrective or mitigating steps are taken. Chiropractors need to know the location of the fracture, its severity, and any contributing factors that may have caused it or that are actively worsening it. The complete picture is required to assess a treatment plan.

In this critical stage, x-rays are imperative. Not only do they call attention directly to a fracture, they provide visible evidence that pure palpitation cannot. They also provide chiropractors with a comprehensive view of the affected section of the spine (cervical, thoracic or lumbar).

More than just relying on diagnostic imaging – which can be wrongly interpreted without supporting evidence – most chiropractors will interview patients about their pain. Common questions include:

  • What does the pain feel like?
  • When did the pain start?
  • Is the pain consistent or intermittent?
  • What makes the pain worse? Better?

Finally, diligence is done in regards to the patient’s previous health. If they’re known to have a preexisting condition like osteoporosis or stenosis, diagnosis of a fracture can be better cemented. If nothing else, it helps assure the suspicions of a chiropractor based on the presenting evidence.

Treatment is imperative

Treating a vertebral compression is no small task and one that requires immediate and ongoing attention. In severe cases, surgery may be a necessary evil, especially in situations where discs have deteriorated and vertebrae are prone to extreme compression. In many cases, however, corrective chiropractic can hold potential for relief.

Chiropractic treatment for vertebral compression comes in stages. First, is stabilizing the patient to alleviate acute pain. Next comes decompression, to reduce stress on the fracture and allow it to heal. After that, corrective chiropractic can help to realign and stabilize vertebrae. Finally, prevention is essential in staving off future fractures or aggravation of the healed fracture.

Using a Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) treatment plan, chiropractors can plan for each person’s unique recovery based on information gleaned during the assessment phase. This also enables implementation of tailored treatment, such as decompression therapy, targeted massage, dietary supplements, and muscle strengthening exercises.

Don’t downplay a fracture

Vertebral fractures are dire, no matter their severity. If dealt with swiftly and accordingly, they can be overcome and prevented in the future, enabling sufferers to regain their spine health. Left unchecked, they could do major damage that lasts over the long-term.

Ideal Spine urges patients not to downplay acute, severe pain in their spine – especially if they have a history of osteoporosis, stenosis, or other forms of spinal compression or frailness. Visit a qualified chiropractor right away to ensure vertebral compression fractures are being appropriately diagnosed and treated.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.