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Chiropractic Exam of Lower Back Pain

An initial chiropractic exam for back pain will typically have three parts: a consultation, case history, and physical examination. Laboratory analysis and X-ray examination may be performed.


1 - Consultation.

The patient meets with the chiropractor and provides a brief synopsis of his or her lower back pain, such as:Duration and frequency of symptomsDescription of the symptoms (e.g. burning, throbbing)Areas of painWhat makes the pain feel better (e.g. sitting, stretching)What makes the pain feel worse (e.g. standing, lifting).

2 - Case history.

The chiropractor identifies the area(s) of complaint and the nature of the back pain by asking questions and learning more about different areas of the patient's history, including:Family historyDietary habitsPast history of other treatments (chiropractic, osteopathic, medical and other)Occupational historyPsychosocial historyOther areas to probe, often based on responses to above questions.

3 - Physical examination.

A chiropractor may utilize a variety of methods to determine the spinal segments that require chiropractic treatments, including but not limited to static and motion palpation techniques determining spinal segments that are hypo mobile (restricted in their movement) or fixated. Depending on the results of the above examination, a chiropractor may use additional diagnostic tests, such as:X-ray to locate subluxations (the altered position of the vertebra)A device that detects the temperature of the skin in the paraspinal region to identify spinal areas with a significant temperature variance that requires manipulation.

Many chiropractors utilize a holistic, biomechanical concept of treating the bipedal structure in its entirety, in an attempt to balance the structure from the feet upward.


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