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What to expect

What to wear?

There are no special clothing requirements. During your Initial Consultation, you will be asked to remove your outer garments and provided with a gown (in order for the practitioner to perform a full examination).

What happens at my first consultation?

Your initial consultation takes about 45 minutes and allows us to obtain the information we need in order to make a diagnosis of any complaints and explore any imbalances in detail.

We examine you both physically and neurologically and relate this information to your symptoms. This gives us a much deeper understanding of your condition and how it affects you and other aspects of your health and allows us to direct you to the most appropriate practitioner first time around.

The initial consultation follows a structured format:

Education

At all times we aim to increase the knowledge and understanding you have of your own body, this is especially true at your first consultation. To begin with you will be ‘walked through’ an introduction to your spine and nervous system, subluxations and what you can expect from your practitioner. Even if you have some familiarity with the world of spinal care to begin with the feedback we receive is that this process is enlightening and appreciated.

Case History

Your previous medical history is covered in detail (similar in scope to a medical doctors general examination) and information is taken relevant to your injury i.e. site of discomfort, aggravating and relieving factors.

Orthopaedic and Neurological Examination

This is an assessment of the positions which aggravate your complaint including range of movement, palpation, muscle tests and provocative manoeuvres designed to stimulate a measurable response. This will highlight the severity of the complaint and the structures involved.

A neurological examination includes an assessment of the function of the nerves in the spine or extremities (arms and legs) which will deduce the area of possible neural involvement.

X-rays

These are taken only if medically necessary. All our clinics are equipped with state of the art digital X-Ray equipment which create images displayed on plasma screens for instant review.

Often they assist in ruling out non-mechanical causes of pain such as an infection or fracture. Observing the spine in a weight-bearing posture as used during X-ray provides us with information regarding any areas of the spine that are under stress on a day to day basis which assists in ascertaining the degree of degeneration.

If X-Rays are taken these are then transmitted to a specialist centre for review prior to a Report of Findings.

Treatment

You will usually not receive a treatment at the first consultation unless there is an urgent requirement. An array of techniques may be used depending on the directed treatment.

If it is felt that treatment is not appropriate or further investigations are required, patients are referred onto the relevant healthcare professional.

What can I expect at my second visit?

Report of Findings

Upon completion of the examination, any complaints and imbalances are diagnosed and explored in detail with your practitioner. Appropriate treatment plans are discussed and these may involve different modalities. If x-rays have been taken, these will be reviewed.

Commonly patients have numerous questions and the aim of this visit is to have those answered as well as ensuring the patient fully understands their complaint. A treatment plan will be laid out from acute care through to rehabilitation and maintenance along with a time frame for recovery. Once the practitioner is confident the patient has a full understanding of their condition, treatment will be given.

If you have any questions prior to your first consultation, please feel free to contact a member of Optimal Spine who will do their best to answer these to your satisfaction.

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