If you are thinking of seeing a chiropractor in Gloucester, there are some useful questions to ask at your appointment. In most instances these questions will be answered without you having to ask, but just in case here is a list that you might find helpful.
1. How many sessions will I need?
Knowing your prognosis, ie. how quickly you are likely to get better, can be very reassuring if you are in pain. Being able to answer this also means that your chiropractor has thought through a treatment plan.
For conditions such as back pain and neck pain, guidelines exist stating approximately how many sessions of chiropractic treatment a chiropractor should provide. The upper limit on most of these guidelines is 12 sessions.
If your chiropractor is suggesting more than this, they may not be using current evidence and guidance to inform their treatment plan. Similarly, if they are encouraging you to book all those sessions at once, beware.
Everybody reacts differently to chiropractic treatment and so any suggestion from a chiropractor about how many sessions you need is always an estimate, which should be reviewed at each appointment.
At Gloucester Chiropractors, we will always give you a clear guide as to how many sessions you will need. We will also review your progress at each visit and update you as to our expectations along the way.
2. Can you tell me about your post-graduate training?
This might sound a very dry thing to ask, but it can reveal how passionate and how diligent your chiropractor is.
All chiropractors are trained to a very high level at university, but in a thirty year career, those things can be easy to forget. It is mandatory that chiropractors complete at least 30 hours of continuing professional development each year, but some take this further.
Also important is, not just the quantity of CPD, but the quality. Has your chiropractor obtained formal post-graduate qualifications, or have they fudged a seminar together with a few friends at the local pub?
Knowing what post-graduate training your chiropractor has undertaken also gives you an idea where their clinical interests and specialisms lie.
All of our Gloucester Chiropractors have completed recognised post-graduate qualifications. Geoff Long has done nearly every relevant course on the planet, from phlebotomy to nutrition. Beth Rawlings has extensive post-graduate training in pregnancy and paediatric care, and David has numerous sports medicine qualifications to his name.
3. What can I do to stop this coming back?
If you’ve had a severe bout of sciatica or low back pain, you really want to avoid another. And while there are no guarantees, there are lots of things patients can do to decrease their risk of recurrence. This might be rehabilitation exercises to fortify the injured area, or seeing a chiropractor on a preventative basis.
Almost always, the most effective way of reducing recurrence risk is to combine approaches. Exercises, lifestyle changes and preventative treatment combine to form a very effective arsenal against pain. Of course, these need to be specific to each individual and so make sure you ask the question to get your chiropractor to tailor their advice to you.
Most chiropractors will do this without prompting, but no chiropractor will be offended by your asking for more advice.
4. Can I use my insurance?
Most health insurance companies cover chiropractic care, so if you have a policy it is worth finding out if a chiropractic clinic is registered with your insurer.
Our Gloucester chiropractors are GCC registered, which means that we are almost certainly approved by your insurer. There are some exceptions, however. We don’t work with BUPA or AXA due to shortfalls in fees, for example.
Very occasionally, we might not have registered with smaller insurance companies, so always check with us when making your first appointment. In most cases we can sort out registration without interrupting or delaying your chiropractic treatment.
5. What is my diagnosis?
Diagnostics are the most valuable thing that chiropractors offer. A proper assessment that explores all possible causes of your symptoms is essential to be able to offer effective treatment.
If your chiropractor can’t tell you what your diagnosis is, and in a way that you can understand, there is a possibility that they are not sure themselves.
All chiropractors are very capable of determining a diagnosis, but sometimes bad habits creep in and shortcuts are taken during assessment. Of course, on occasion it isn’t possible to give a precise diagnosis, in which case your chiropractor should give you a short list of possibilities and a defined plan as to how to narrow that list down.
At Gloucester Chiropractors we have links with local imaging centres and GPs, meaning that where there is any doubt about the cause of your symptoms we can get speedy answers.
6. What can I do to help myself?
Self-help is massively important. Not only is it beneficial to be able to take some responsibility for your own health, but it means you are likely to get better more quickly.
You could have chiropractic treatment twice a week (or even every day for that matter!), but if you are doing all the wrong things outside of the chiropractors, your recovery is going to be much slower.
A big part of what our chiropractors do is to advise patients of the bad habits or everyday activities that might have contributed to their symptoms, and then to show patients how to alter those activities to lessen strain.
Very occasionally we hear of chiropractors who do not take the time to advise on self-help strategies, and this usually delays recovery and encourages dependence on chiropractic treatment.