If you visit a chiropractor for back or neck pain treatment, the practitioner will most likely begin the consultation with a series of chiropractic tests. These tests will help the chiropractor to pinpoint the area of the spine that is causing you pain and to gauge how severe your spinal condition is. He or she also will want to know if certain movements cause your pain to travel from your spine to other parts of the body, as this may help indicate whether neural compression is at fault.
Types of Chiropractic Tests
Chiropractic tests can take a variety of forms, including:
- Gait test – the chiropractor will watch you walking or marching back and forth so that he or she can check your posture and detect instability that might indicate pelvic or spinal abnormalities.
- Movement test – you will be asked to perform a series of movements like bending backward, forward, and twisting from side to side so that the practitioner can gauge your range of motion.
- Straight leg raise test – you will lie on your back and the chiropractor will raise one leg at a time about 30 degrees off the examination table. This test checks for sciatica, which is an assortment of symptoms that arise due to the compression of the sciatic nerve in the lumbar (lower) spine.
Tips for Finding a Reliable Chiropractor
There are two major things to keep in mind as you begin your search for a chiropractor: research and instinct. Compile a list of chiropractors in your area and do a thorough examination of their background, training, education, and reputation. Request patient reviews and references. Finally, schedule a meeting with the chiropractor to make sure you feel comfortable and at ease.
Other Nonsurgical Treatments
If you decide to undergo chiropractic treatment, you may want to do so in conjunction with other nonsurgical treatment options. Ask your physician about pain medication, stretching, exercise, behavior modification, or hot-cold therapy, which are all noninvasive ways to combat spine pain due to a pinched nerve, sciatica, slipped disc, bulging disc, bone spurs, and a variety of other degenerative spine conditions.