What to Expect at a Chiropractor Appointment
Chiropractic adjustments are a great way to improve your overall health and well-being, but it can be intimidating to take the first step. In this article, we'll walk you through what to expect at your first chiropractic appointments so you can feel more prepared and confident. We'll explore how to prepare for your first appointment, what happens during your initial consultation, and what ongoing treatment looks like.
How to Prepare for a Chiropractor Appointment
Your first chiropractic appointment can be an exciting time, but it's also normal to feel a little nervous. Here are a few tips to help you prepare and make the most of your visit:
What to Expect During Your First Visit to the Chiropractor
Step 1: Review Medical History
As with any initial medical appointment, chiropractors will start by reviewing your health history. There are certain things they need to know about your physical condition that may alter how they administer treatment. For example, does your family have a history of genetic, physical, or medical complications? Have you had recent injuries? Have you had surgeries in the past? Are you pregnant? All of these factors are crucial to know before beginning chiropractic care.
Step 2: Physical Examination
After discussing your health history, expect to have a physical examination. During the initial exam, the chiropractor will evaluate a variety of factors, including:
This allows chiropractors to assess your unique needs and determine how best to treat you — it’s all dependent on why you considered chiropractic in the first place. If you have chronic aches and pains, they’ll find the source and the best way to relieve them. If you have a sports injury, they’ll need to thoroughly examine the injury site to determine a treatment plan. At Petrak Family Chiropractic Center, we have an on-site X-ray that we may use as an added benefit.
What to Expect During Recurring Chiropractor Appointments
Step 1: Discuss Treatment Plan and Progression
At Petrak Family Chiropractic Center, we start your second visit with a detailed overview of our findings from your initial appointment. This helps give you a better understanding of your personalized treatment plan and clarify the cause(s) of your discomfort.
No patient is the same, so one size does not fit all. Treatment can vary from chiropractic spinal manipulation, massage therapy, physiotherapy and rehabilitation methods, or orthotic analysis. We want you to feel informed about your care, so we take the time to answer any questions you may have and make sure that you understand your treatment options. We also encourage you to provide feedback on your progress and any concerns you may have along the way.
Step 2: Begin Treatment
Once there is a clear understanding of your treatment plan and why we’re doing what we’re doing, we can begin treatment. Chiropractic care is both curative and preventive maintenance to the body so treatment is ongoing. We’ll schedule periodic appointments to check in on how you’re improving and how we can be helping stay on track.
We will also go over steps you can take to improve your condition outside of our office including stretches, nutritional advice and exercise recommendations. We keep an open atmosphere, so any questions or concerns you may have about your treatment plan are more than welcome!
If you’re ready to start taking charge of a healthier you, set up an initial appointment today!
What is the History of Chiropractic Care?
According to the American Chiropractic Association, "The word ‘chiropractic’ comes from the Greek words cheir (meaning ‘hand’) and praktos (meaning ‘done’), i.e. Done by Hand." But how did it become one of the leading non-invasive forms of neck and back pain relief that it is today? Here, we will explore the origins of chiropractic as a practice, how it developed, and give a brief historical background of its founder, Daniel David Palmer.
The fascinating journey of chiropractic care traces back thousands of years. In ancient times, healers across cultures displayed an early understanding of chiropractic concepts. Hippocrates, often referred to as the Father of Modern Medicine, believed in the spine’s essential importance, stating, “Look well to the spine for the cause of disease.” While Hippocrates' ideas are widely known and documented, evidence shows even earlier instances of chiropractic principles in ancient Egyptian and Chinese societies. These early insights collectively laid the groundwork for our present understanding of modern chiropractic care.
The Start of Modern Chiropractic
In the summer of 1895, Daniel Palmer, who was a practitioner of “magnetic healing,” ran into the building's janitor, Harvey Lillard, on his way to the office. Palmer noticed a visible bump on Lillard's back and inquired about it. Lillard explained that he had experienced a painful pop in his back while working, which he believed to be a slipped disc, and this incident had led to hearing difficulties. Taking action, Daniel Palmer performed the very first chiropractic adjustment on Lillard, successfully realigning his spine. As a result, Lillard claimed a noticeable improvement in his hearing, marking the birth of chiropractic care.
Who is Daniel David Palmer?
Daniel Palmer was born in 1845 in Ontario, Canada. After emigrating to the US as a young adult, he held many jobs, including teacher, beekeeper, and grocery store owner. Before chiropractic care, he was a practitioner of what was known as “magnetic healing,” where magnetic fields around a patient’s body were manipulated to heal ailments. Throughout his life, he believed in various health philosophies and tried to blend the scientific method with concepts of metaphysics.
He saw that physical manipulation had been used for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, but no one scientifically or philosophically looked at what was being done to make sense of it all. He then began to study these ways through anatomy and physiology, ultimately developing the philosophy, art, and science we call Chiropractic today.
Founding The Palmer School of Chiropractic
Following his success in restoring Lillard's hearing through spinal alignment, Palmer dedicated himself to unraveling the science behind this healing approach. In 1897, Palmer formed the Palmer School of Cure to share his knowledge and teach others about chiropractic care. People were fascinated with this innovative healing art Palmer was practicing and wanted to learn about it. Palmer’s son, B.J. Palmer, is credited for much of the development of this healing practice and eventually took over the school in 1906.
The institution still exists today and is called the Palmer College of Chiropractic. Located in Davenport, Iowa, it stands proud as the trusted leader in chiropractic, the first chiropractic college, and continues to have the highest enrollment amongst other chiropractic colleges. Many skillful and talented chiropractors have studied at this institution, including Dr. Steve Petrak.
Palmer Method of Chiropractic
The Palmer method is named after Daniel Palmer and involves combining several different techniques for more efficient healing:
Chiropractic Care Today
In 1913, the first state law licensing chiropractors was passed in Kansas. By 1931, chiropractic was legally recognized in 39 states. Today, the practice is recognized in all 50 states and even internationally in places like Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Australia, Japan, and Switzerland. In 1996, the National Institute for Health began funding chiropractic research and has since become a more renowned profession. As chiropractic care evolves, spinal manipulation remains at its core. Today's chiropractors have embraced various practice styles, incorporating diverse therapies and techniques to cater to their patients' requirements. They follow a holistic healthcare approach that typically avoids the use of medication or surgical interventions.
Palmer left a monumental mark on the medical world. With over 70,000 licensed chiropractors, his legacy carries on as they provide assistance to the approximately 30 million people worldwide who seek chiropractic care annually.
If you're considering chiropractic treatment for pain or other conditions, schedule a consultation below.
Everything You Should Know About Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
During your pregnancy journey, your body undergoes rapid changes that can be both exciting and challenging. These transformations may lead to chronic discomfort, leaving you with numerous questions about how to take care of your body over the next 9 months and beyond. Chiropractic care is commonly associated with treating back and neck pain, but it can also be used to treat many other symptoms such as pregnancy pains.
In this article, we will explore and address all the questions racing through your mind about chiropractic care during pregnancy.
Is It Safe to Go to the Chiropractor During Pregnancy?
As a chiropractor, I am often asked whether or not chiropractic and massage therapy are safe for pregnant women. The answer is a resounding YES!
Not only is it safe, it’s beneficial to your rapidly changing body. Chiropractors are specifically trained to work with pregnant women, utilizing specialized techniques that avoid placing unnecessary pressure on the abdomen. This ensures a safe and comfortable experience for expectant mothers. Note that you should always inform your chiropractor that you are pregnant. Doing so will allow your chiropractor to alter the treatment regimen as necessary to ensure the safety of yourself and your child.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
Your body changes immensely as it adapts to nurture the growing life inside of you. Your body will gain natural weight as it accommodates your child during the course of 9 months, causing shifts in the lower spine, leading to subluxations, also known as misalignments, that cause pinched nerves. These pinched nerves lead to some of the common negative side effects of pregnancy, including nausea, dizziness, back and neck pains, and even morning sickness.
Spinal manipulation targets the subluxations and relieves the stress on the nerves, which in turn eases or eliminates them, making for a smoother, less painful pregnancy.
This is especially true during the last trimester — pregnancy often affects the way you walk and carry yourself. This leads to poor posture, which intensifies any back pain you may be experiencing. Periodic chiropractic visits will alleviate back and neck pains, as well as prevent them in the future.
How Will Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy Affect Your Baby?
Spinal manipulation and massage therapy go a long way toward helping your child. It doesn’t necessarily affect them directly but rather indirectly via you, the mother. Your health and wellbeing are crucial to your child’s healthy development.
Chiropractic care improves the mother’s immune system, which is connected with the developing fetus’ immune system, strengthening both at the same time. Additionally, maintaining spinal and pelvic integrity will ensure that the fetus has room to develop and avoid improper birth positioning (breech, posterior position, etc.). This will ensure a shorter labor when the time comes and minimize the risk of needing a C-section birth.
Should You Visit the Chiropractor Postpartum?
Absolutely! After birth, your body doesn’t just wash its hands of the whole experience and say, “well, I’m done now!” It needs time to heal. Chiropractic care is highly useful as your body returns to its normal self after you’ve given birth. On top of that, it will relieve stress, aches, and pains that your brand new bundle of joy may help induce.
Finding the Right Pregnancy Chiropractor
Eliminating Back Pain at Your Desk Job
If you work in an office or from your home, chances are you spend a substantial amount of time sitting at a desk, fixated on a computer screen. It's easy to overlook, but this sedentary lifestyle can greatly affect your spinal health. Back pain is a common issue among office workers, but there are preventive measures you can take to reduce your risk. By being proactive and adopting healthy habits, you can protect your back and minimize discomfort caused by prolonged sitting.
Does Sitting at a Desk Cause Back Pain?
Extended periods of sitting at a desk can contribute to back pain due to the increased stress on the back, neck, and spine. The sedentary nature of desk work may result in muscle stiffness, reduced flexibility, and heightened pressure on the spine, which often leads to back pain. However, it is important to recognize factors, such as poor posture, limited movement, and inadequate workspace design, that can exacerbate back pain associated with prolonged sitting. Addressing these factors and optimizing your workplace setup can significantly reduce the risk of experiencing back pain and discomfort at your desk job.
Preventing Back Pain at Your Desk Job
1. Stretch Regularly
Spend 10-15 min everyday stretching. Improve your range of motion and relieve spinal pressure with exercises such as forward fold, cat-cow stretches, and hip raises. These stretches are excellent for promoting spinal health and overall well-being.
2. Take Frequent Breaks
Incorporate regular movement breaks into your day to stay active. Take a walk or do some quick stretches at your desk every couple of hours to reap the benefits. These activities not only enhance productivity but improve blood circulation and loosen up your body.
3. Create an Ergonomic Workspace
You’re sitting for 8+ hours per day, so it goes without saying that you should be as comfortable as possible. Arrange your setup to avoid straining any part of your body. Choose a chair that promotes good posture, position your monitors at eye level to avoid looking down, and adjust your chair to the appropriate height for optimal comfort.
4. Use Supportive Accessories
Utilize supportive accessories such as an adjustable standing desk, ergonomic keyboard and mouse, or a stability ball as an alternative chair. These aids can help reduce strain on your spine and promote better posture and movement.
5. Plan Regular Visits to the Chiropractor
Chiropractors create personalized plans, provide treatment, and offer lifestyle recommendations and essential stretches to combat office back pain. With their expertise and knowledge, you’ll be able to effectively work toward relieving and preventing back pain.
6. Focus on Good Posture
Sitting at a desk for extended periods often leads to slouching and poor posture, which can negatively affect our spinal health over time. To prevent back pain, make a conscious effort to sit up straight and maintain proper spinal alignment while working at your desk. Implementing the other tips mentioned in this article will make good posture more attainable.
Treating Office Back Pain
If you're experiencing back pain due to your sedentary work lifestyle, it's important to follow the preventative steps outlined above. By combining these tips, you can improve your posture, mood, and overall spinal health. However, if back pain persists, it's recommended to seek the expertise of a medical professional. Back pain can range from mild to chronic and have various causes. A qualified chiropractor can gather relevant information and create a customized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. With their professional opinion, you can receive the personalized care needed to address your back pain effectively.
Find relief at Petrak Family Chiropractic Center. Schedule your free consultation today to get started.
The Best and Worst Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain
Dealing with lower back pain can make it challenging to achieve a good night's sleep. Yet, it's often overlooked how our sleeping habits directly affect the health of our spine. By prioritizing proper sleeping positions and establishing adequate spinal support, you can significantly reduce discomfort and achieve a restful night's sleep. Whether you're dealing with lower back or neck pain, adopting the correct sleeping technique can offer a simple yet effective approach to finding relief.
Finding the Best Sleeping Position for Lower Back Pain
Getting a good night's sleep isn't just about the position you sleep in—it's also about having the right pillow and mattress to support your spine. If your pillows have become worn-out, they won't provide the necessary support, causing your neck to bend unnaturally while lying down.
Additionally, mattresses should be replaced far more frequently than most people bother. It’s best to replace your mattress about every 6 or 7 years. A sagging mattress is a surefire way to get on the fast track to lower back issues, so flip it every few months or more frequently if sagging is visible. Once you've got the proper pillow and mattress set up, it's time to find the best sleeping position that minimizes lower back pain and ensures optimal spinal alignment throughout your sleep.
How to Sleep on Your Side
The optimal sleeping position for lower back pain is on your side, with a pillow placed between your knees. This helps maintain the natural curve of your spine and prevents unnecessary strain. If there's a gap between your waist and the mattress, using an additional pillow provides further support. Sleeping on your side not only alleviates lower back pain but has also been shown to reduce acid reflux and snoring — good news for your significant other.
How to Sleep on Your Back
If sleeping on your side is uncomfortable, try sleeping on your back with a pillow positioned beneath your knees. This position evenly distributes your body weight, reducing stress on sensitive areas of the spine. When sleeping on your back, it's important to use a pillow that supports your neck to maintain proper spinal alignment.
The Worst Sleeping Position
The absolute worst position you can sleep in is on your stomach. It adds stress to your neck and lower back. If you absolutely cannot sleep unless you’re lying on your stomach, add a pillow between your pelvis and the mattress to relieve some stress.
Visit Petrak Chiropractic for More Information on Sleeping Position and Spinal Alignment
These techniques aren’t exclusive to people that suffer from lower back pain — everyone should employ these successful sleep systems to help prevent future complications. However, a word to the wise: if you already suffer from lower back and/or neck pain, these techniques won’t fix everything overnight (pun very intended), so give it some time. If the pain persists, there may be a deeper issue at play and you should consult with your chiropractor.
At Petrak Family Chiropractic, we recognize the value of a restful night's sleep. Our dedicated team is here to help you identify the underlying causes of your discomfort and provide practical solutions to promote a healthier spine. Take the first step towards a pain-free sleep by contacting Petrak Chiropractic to set up your free consultation.
The Ultimate Guide to Tech Neck: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatments
As smartphones become a ubiquitous part of our lives, the constant hunching over screens is wreaking havoc on our necks and posture like never before. Recent studies have revealed that, on average, Americans spend 7 hours a day looking at screens, putting them at risk for musculoskeletal issues such as tech neck.
What is Tech Neck?
Tech neck is exactly what it sounds like - neck soreness and stiffness caused by constantly looking down at our devices for extended periods of time. As we spend an increasing amount of time interacting with technology, it is crucial to be aware of the strain we are putting on our bodies. Continually bending our head forward to view our screen exerts significant pressure on our neck, back, and spine, which can have detrimental effects on our posture and long-term health. By being mindful of our posture during screen time and taking necessary precautions, we can mitigate the potential negative impacts of tech neck on our bodies.