This post is for anyone with neck pain wondering what to expect as part of your initial assessment with us at Align.
Neck pain is one of the most common issues people will come to visit us for. We are chiropractors after all.
The goal of your first visit with us is to determine not only the likely cause of your neck pain, but the best course of action moving forward for you as well.
If you have been watching the other videos about initial visits that we have posted recently, you will notice there is a certain level of commonality between the different assessments.
This is by design.
The video outlines the common elements to our cervical assessment.
We want our examination process to be accessible to people with various levels of pain, injury or disability, and at the same time give us enough scope to individualise our assessment on an individual basis.
There is a transcript of the video below. Although why WOULDN'T you want to see it filmed live?
Hi, Martin from Align Chiropractic and Kieran...also from Align Chiropractic. This video is just going to give you a little bit of an idea of what to expect if you're coming to see us and you're concerned with having neck pain.
The first thing we're going to do, Kieran if you’ll pretend that you’re the person with neck pain is make sure that you get to tell me all that you need to tell me about your neck pain.
Certainly I have some questions about when it started, what makes it better, what makes it worse etc, and for a lot of people it's really important for us to understand what is it that their neck pain is making it harder for them to do, or stopping them from doing that they need to get back to.
It’s really important that you get to tell all about neck pain so that we know what's going on.
Step two: Palpation
When we're assessing somebody who's come to see us with neck pain is a palpatory exam. A plapatory exam is where we use gentle pressure to assess what is happening in your neck, are there areas where the joints are restricted in their ability to move? Are there areas where there's tenderness or discomfort? Are there areas where there's increased muscle tension?
Once we've assessed the neck, often, because the spine is one
integrated system it's all part of one whole system, we extend our palpatory examination through the rest of the spine.
Sometimes we will also assess other related areas such as your shoulders or your jaw.
Step 3: Show us your moves
When we are assessing somebody who's come to see us with neck pain is to assess how they bend, move and twist.
Often when you have neck issues that will affect how far you can go one way compared to the other. The way we measure that is we use inclinometry, which is where we use an accurate measuring tool to see how far you can bend to the left comfortably and then compare the left side to how far you can move to the right. Simple as that.
Step 4: Assess Alignment
When we're assessing somebody who's come to see us complaining of neck pain is that we have a look to see if there’s any alteration in alignment of their spine.
The way that we do this is we can use specialised software to take a photo of the person and then digitising that photo to see if there’s any misalignment or alteration in their posture.
The software works by taking a photo and it uses the iPad to make sure that we have a photo that is absolutely vertical.
The software then places our grid around exactly where straight up and down is and then we can compare landmarks on your body to measure against.
Your body's landmarks should also be aligned so we can then see exactly how straight up and down or symmetrical your posture is.