Chiropractic examination and diagnosis

A chiropractic examination and diagnosis differ from practice to practice. Even though chiropractors must undergo rigorous and extensive training, there are no accepted standards in place to regulate how a particular chiropractor will determine whether chiropractic treatment, typically manual manipulation of a portion of the spinal anatomy, is necessary.

The traditional theoretical basis of chiropractic practice is that the body possesses a powerful self-healing ability and good health is related to the proper alignment of the spine. There are several diagnostic methods described in the following article that patients can expect to experience when visiting a chiropractor for the first time.

Where does it hurt?

One reason diagnostic examinations differ among chiropractors is that a number of chiropractic practitioners take a scientific approach to chiropractic practice while others still adhere closely to the original philosophy of chiropractic founder Daniel David Palmer. This self-described spiritual healer postulated that the body possesses an innate intelligence or vitality, which is a metaphysical relationship between the nervous system and overall good health.

This vitality, Palmer concluded, is centered within the spine. Palmer used neither scientific methods nor observation to draw his conclusions, citing inspiration acquired from a deceased physician, Jim Atkinson. So-called “straight” chiropractors that follow this age-old philosophy may reject proven scientific diagnostic techniques and often find themselves at odds with the modern medical community.

Another group of chiropractors has historically been called “mixers,” because they choose to blend modern diagnostic and treatment techniques with the manual spinal manipulation that is the cornerstone of chiropractic therapy. Typically, an initial consultation with a “mixer” will resemble a visit with a medical doctor, with tests and questions that include:

  • A description of your symptoms, how long you have been experiencing them, where they commonly occur and if there is anything that makes it feel better or worse
  • A patient history, eating habits, past treatments, illness history and family psychological history
  • A physical examination, including a full-body range of motion tests, static and motion palpation techniques and medical imaging tests

Minimally invasive alternatives to chiropractic care

If chronic neck or back pain from sciatica, a herniated disc, arthritis of the spine or another spinal condition persists after several weeks or months of chiropractic therapy, it might be time to contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery. We use a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery^ to help you recover your health without the need for more invasive traditional open back surgery.

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. Through a small incision, that does not unnecessarily disrupt the muscles or ligaments surrounding the spine, our procedures can relieve your pain and discomfort, allowing you to get back to the activities you have been missing out on. To find out if you are a candidate for one of our procedures, reach out to our team today and ask for a free MRI review.*