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Back Talk: What to expect from a chiropractic visit

By By Dr. Layne Towery
Oct. 8, 2013 at 5:08 a.m.

Dr. Layne Towery

I have chronic lower back and neck pain. My medical doctor refuses to prescribe anymore pain medication. He said I need to see a chiropractor. What should I expect on my first visit? How long before I see relief of my pain? What type of treatments will he administer? How much will it cost?

In a typical chiropractic practice, most patients are treated for back and neck pain along with a variety of joint and muscle conditions. Here is what you should expect on your first visit.

First, you will fill out a comprehensive history about yourself. You will then sit down and consult with the doctor. He or she will review your history and medications and look over any MRIs or testing that you've had.

Next, you will get a thorough physical exam - one like you never had before. Your spine, muscles and joints will be evaluated for restriction, tension and soreness. The doctor may perform a variety of orthopedic tests to help make a proper diagnosis. He or she may recommend X-rays or further testing if indicated.

The doctor will now give you his or her professional opinion on your condition and make treatment recommendations. Treatment options will include spinal and/or joint manipulation (mobilization), physical therapy such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation ultrasound, infrared heat and therapeutic massage. Acupuncture may also be used to help relieve your pain.

You will now be given some instructions on how to use ice or heat to the affected area and will be shown different exercises and stretches to do daily. Before leaving, questions will be addressed about your care and treatment.

Chiropractic treatment is somewhat similar to physical therapy. You will get treatment close together at the beginning - usually two to three times a week for a couple of weeks, then your treatment will taper off as you progress.

Most of the time you get immediate relief of some of your pain. Be patient; it may take several treatments before you get relief. If you do not see results in five to six sessions, then chiropractic care is not the answer. Treatments range between $40-$75, depending on what treatment is performed. Medicare and most major medical plans cover chiropractic care.

I am having problems with all my joints. My muscles stay sore most the time. X-rays of my knees show a lot of arthritis. My doctor prescribed pain pills and an anti-inflammatory, but I do not like the side effects. Can acupuncture help my pain? What supplements do you recommend for joint and muscle pain?

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years for all kinds of pain. It especially works well on knee conditions. Get on the Internet and Google "acupuncture for arthritis" and you can read all the research that has been done to verify this.

In regards to supplements, I use pharmaceutical-grade glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate with MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). Most people do not take enough. I recommend at least 2,000 milligrams daily. You should see results in several weeks.

Layne Towery is a Victoria chiropractor and acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.

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