YOUR FIRST VISIT WITH US
To receive our best, we ask certain things of you.
Here’s what you can expect.
- Preparing for your first visit
Your initial evaluation is scheduled for 45 minutes. If you're consulting with us for a low back or lower extremity condition, we ask that you bring loose fitting shorts to change into. Women who are consulting with us for a neck, upper back or shoulder condition will need to wear a tank top or sports bra (the doctor will need to inspect and palpate the area being examined). It is important to bring any previous X-ray, MRI and/or physical examination reports with you for the doctor to review. If you'll be using health insurance, be sure to bring your insurance card with you as well.
The required paper work should be completed prior to your scheduled appointment time with the doctor. You can download the form directly from our website. We recommend that you plan on arriving at least 15 minutes early to ensure you’ll be ready to start on time. Please set aside some extra time to locate our office for the first time. Patients who arrive more than 10 minutes late for their appointment will unfortunately have to be rescheduled. Depending on the complexity of your condition, the doctor may need all of the 45 minutes allotted to provide you with a complete and thorough consultation and examination, as well as a discussion of his findings.
The doctor will begin by taking a complete history of your condition. By obtaining the appropriate detailed information, he is able to rule out serious disease and direct the physical examination to the structures most likely causing the problem.
- Physical Examination
The initial portion of the examination consists of standard medical testing such as reflexes, muscle strength, orthopedic tests and ranges of motion. This portion of the examination helps us rule out serious disease that would require a referral to a medical specialist.
The second portion of the examination will focus on special functional tests that help us evaluate for joint and soft tissue dysfunction. This will include motion palpation of your joints and compressive palpation of your soft tissues, as well as assessing several functional movements.
We will also assess provocative movements. If possible, we find a test (motion or position) that reproduces your symptoms. Based on this we know what structure is overloaded. For example, if while watching you lunge we see you lean forward, we will suspect weak hamstrings. If this also causes knee pain, a link has been established between weak hamstrings and your knee pain.
Occasionally, it is necessary to order diagnostic imaging such as X-ray, MRI or bone scan to further investigate the problem. If this is required, the doctor will refer you to a local imaging center for testing.
All pertinent facts from the consultation, examinations and any diagnostic imaging will be carefully evaluated to establish a working diagnosis. Your condition will be explained to you in easy to understand terms.
Our four-part diagnosis includes:
1. Determine exactly what structure is responsible for your pain.
We need to know exactly what part of what structure is irritated or damaged and in what way. For example, knee pain can be caused by many structures; the patellar tendon is one possibility. If this were the case, we would then need to determine if the tendon is inflamed, degenerated or both.
2. Determine what has gone wrong to overload that structure.
Knowing your knee hurts is one thing; knowing why is another. If your knee hurts, there is a good reason for it. Something in the knee is getting overloaded and has been damaged. It is critical we figure out where the overload is coming from. Usually, there is scar tissue, weakness or nerve entrapment altering movement and load patterns. We look for these problems.
3. Identify perpetuating factors.
We may also need to address other factors that could be contributing to your pain. When indictated, stress, posture, exercise, fatigue and diet should all be considered as potental problems as early as possible.
4. Provide a diagnosis by name.
The above example could be called, "patella tendonitis".
- Treatment Plan
If your condition can be effectively treated by manual therapies, a treatment strategy will be recommended to you. It will include the various treatments that will be used, self-care prescriptions and advice on how to modify perpetuating factors. The doctor will also let you know how many treatments your condition will likely require to resolve and the projected cost of your care. Should you decide to commit yourself to our recommended treatment plan, your first treatment will begin on your following visit. If your condition is not amenable to a manual medicine approach, you will be referred on to the appropriate medical specialist.
- Treatment Sessions
Treatments are scheduled for 20 minute sessions and are always one on one with the doctor. The session will begin with a brief functional test or two to evaluate the status of your condition before you receive treatment. Immediately following your treatment, the doctor will repeat your functional test or provocative movement to assess the effect of treatment. Each session is an assessment and treatment process, that addresses both joint and soft tissues components of your problem. We constantly monitor your condition and adjust treatment as necessary from visit to visit. Please be in loose fitting shorts/sports bra if appropriate for your condition at the time of your appointment (make it easy for us to provide you with effective treatment). See our treatment procedures section for specific treatment information.
- Progress Evaluations
Every few visits we ask you to fill out a short progress report. We use this as a tool to formally track your subjective complaints to compare them with our objective findings. We want to be certain your condition progresses as expected.
Welcome to our practice of Sports Chiropractic.
We look forward to being your trusted partner in care.