Chiropractic Examination FAQs
What type of examination can I expect?
Based on the observations of many chiropractic patients, it will be one of the most thorough and complete examinations youve ever had.
Physical exam Your vital signs will be observed and recorded, including your weight, height, blood pressure, pulse and the like. Standard stuff.
Orthopedic exam Youll be asked to turn and bend, rotate your head and other simple tests that reveal how you move. You may be asked to walk a short distance to observe your gait.
Neurological exam Your reflexes will be checked, along with your hand strength and other simple tests to reveal the condition of your nervous system.
Some chiropractic practices will also want pictures of your spine in the form of X-rays. Still other practitioners will take a baseline reading using electromyography, a noninvasive way to detect nervous system disturbances along the spine.
Expect your chiropractic examination to be complete, painless and meaningful.
Does chiropractic care require the use of X-rays?
Not necessarily. However, having a picture of your spinal structure can be of immeasurable value in diagnosing and addressing your specific health complaint. It can also be helpful in detecting fractures and cancers that might make chiropractic care contraindicated.
This question is usually prompted by two potential concerns:
Safety concerns Chiropractors, who focus on natural approaches to better health, are keenly aware of the dangers associated with ionizing radiation. In fact, the profession has been instrumental in reducing patient exposure with collimation, shielding and the use of high-speed films. You can relax, knowing that chiropractic X-rays use a fraction of the energy used in the emergency room or when getting a routine chest X-ray.
Cost concerns Your chiropractor will only take the views necessary to get an accurate visualization of your problem so your care can be tailored to your unique situation. Compared with the cost of the diagnostics regularly used in medical procedures, chiropractic X-rays are inexpensive.
Will I have to take my clothes off?
It varies from practice to practice. By statute, some jurisdictions require that chiropractors examine to the skin. If so, youll be offered a private area to change into an examination gown. In other situations, it wont be necessary.
If this is a concern, be sure to ask when making your initial appointment.