What to expect on the first visit

Once you arrive the first step will be to make sure that all the important paperwork is done. Knowing that your time is valuable we have made all the paperwork available online in the new patient center, where you can print it out and bring it in with you.

The first part of the exam will be dedicated to the doctor taking a detailed history about what brings you into the office, as well as any past health history. The doctor will also ask about stress factors in your life and about your social history. This type of information is important in understanding why you are subluxated, and how to create a unique care plan for you.

The exam will be focused on identifying the components of the subluxation complex, which are abnormal motion, muscular changes, nerve dysfunction, tissue changes, and chemical changes. Abnormal motion is assessed by looking at the range of motion of the neck and low back, as well as the doctor palpating (touching) the spine. The doctor will also observe and palpate for muscle tension, weakness, and trigger points to identify areas of stress. Observing posture and how your weight is distributed from right to left in a standing position will give the doctor a window into your spine.

NervoscopeThe identification of nerve interference is the most critical part of the exam. This is done by using a small instrument called a nervoscope, to read the difference in the amount of heat on one side of the spine compared to the other, and also to the levels above and below. If there is nerve dysfunction the blood vessels in that area will often be dilated much more than they need to be, indicating a possible subluxation. The nervoscope simply glides along the surface of the skin and the doctor reads the gage as it moves. To the children in the office it is known as the “tickle machine,” which lets you know how it might feel.

XRay As the exam progresses it will become evident to the doctor if it is necessary to take spinal x-rays. Spinal x-rays allow the doctor to see if there is any degenerative changes, including bone spurs, decreased disc height, and abnormal curvatures. It can also give more information on the exact positions of the bones and show the doctor how your spine is different from everyone else’s. The x-ray also lets the doctor know the best way to adjust each region of your spine to get the best health improvements. After the first exam is complete the doctor will need some time to take all of the information from the history, physical exam, and data from the x-rays and put it together. A care plan will be created for you and on the second visit the doctor will take time to present you with your Report of Findings. During the Report of Findings the doctor will show you your x-rays and explain how they correspond to the exam, and what that means to for your health.