Upon entering our office, our receptionist will welcome you as a member of our family. We will request that you complete our new patient forms. This paperwork provides us with your health history and information on your condition.
You will have an initial appointment to discuss your health-related problems, concerns, and potential treatment options. This initial visit is designed for Dr. McGough to learn more about you, your condition, and expectations to determine how chiropractic care can meet your goals. Dr. Mike McGough will perform a complete chiropractic examination testing your reflexes and flexibility. Other standard neurological, orthopedic, postural, and physical tests will be performed as well. However, nothing will be done in our office without your consent.
Digital X-Ray Studies
Depending on your specific condition, we may take X-rays as well. X-rays help us develop the most effective treatment plan for you, and alert us of any serious spinal conditions.
At the conclusion of this initial appointment, Dr. McGough will discuss recommendations and answer any questions including “How can you help me?” and “How often do I need to come in?” This may include chiropractic adjustments, physiotherapy, and/or soft tissue massage. Treatment is interactive, so you can express concerns about the different styles of treatment anytime.
Prior to leaving, the doctor will suggest a wellness program to incorporate outside of treatment. If you are in pain when you first come into our office this may include ice or heat application instructions, certain activities or positions to avoid, and at home exercises and/or stretches. Every person is unique, therefore everyone requires a customized wellness plan. The purpose of our wellness program is for you to achieve good spinal alignment, have a healthy diet, exercise, and maintain a positive mental state.
Chiropractic care is like building a house- certain things have to happen in a particular order in order for everything to stand strong and work correctly. When building a house, if you tried to put up your walls before you had a solid foundation, your walls would be weak and eventually collapse. If you tried to put on your roof before the walls were ready, you would run into the same problem. The same is true for your body. Your body has to go through a particular plan of care in order to repair itself correctly and fully. There are three general phases of chiropractic care
Phase 1: Relief Care
If you are in pain when you come into our office, the first objective is to help you feel better. Depending on the severity of your problem, it is typical to need care 2-3 times per week for 4-12 weeks.
Many people go to a chiropractor because they are in pain. In this first phase of care, the primary goal is to reduce your symptoms. Sometimes this will require daily visits or two to three visits per week for a time. Most people are under the assumption that if they don’t feel any pain that there is nothing wrong with them – that they are healthy. Unfortunately, pain is a very poor indicator of health. In fact, pain and other symptoms frequently only appear after a disease or other condition has become advanced.
For example, consider a cavity in your tooth. Does it hurt when it first develops or only after it has become severe? How about heart disease? Regardless of whether you are talking about cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stress or problems with the spine, pain is usually the last thing to appear. When you begin chiropractic care, pain is also the first symptom to disappear, even though much of the underlying condition remains.
Phase 2: Corrective/Restorative Care
During the corrective care phase, muscles and other tissues are allowed to heal more completely, thereby helping prevent injury. It is typical to need care 4-8 times per month for 6-24 months, depending on your overall health and the severity of your problem. Most chiropractors regard the elimination of symptoms as the easiest part of a person’s care. If all that the chiropractor does is to reduce the pain and stop there, the chances of the condition recurring are much greater. In order to prevent a rapid recurrence of symptoms, it is necessary to continue receiving care even though your symptoms are gone.
During the correction / restorative phase of your care, you will not have to receive adjustments as often as you did during the first phase of care and, depending on your particular circumstances, you may begin doing exercises and stretches at home to help accelerate your healing.
Do not be discouraged if you have mild flare-ups in your symptoms on occasion. This is normal. Flare-ups are bound to occur during this phase because your body has not fully healed. Depending on the severity of your injury or condition and how long you have been suffering from it, this phase of your care may last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.
Phase 3: Wellness Care
Once your body has fully healed, it is important to come in for periodic adjustments to avoid problems in the future. Usually, this only requires a quick visit to the chiropractor 1-4 times per month, based on your lifestyle and goals.
Once your body has fully healed, routine chiropractic care can help ensure that your physical problems do not return, and keep your body in optimal condition. Just like continuing an exercise program and eating well in order to sustain the benefits of exercise and proper diet, it is necessary to continue chiropractic care to ensure the health of your musculoskeletal system.
When you make routine chiropractic care a part of your lifestyle, you avoid many of the aches and pains that so many people suffer through, your joints will last longer and you will be able to engage in more of the activities you love.