An accurate diagnosis is the key to managing all health issues. Without an understanding of the cause of pain and discomfort, it is difficult to effectively manage the presentation.
Chiropractors are trained as primary contact health professionals, which means that they have the capacity to diagnose a broad range of conditions. This also is what determines the decision of whether chiropractic care is appropriate in your case, or whether you would be better served by another health professional.
Diagnosis is reached through a combination of factors; taking a thorough history, a physical examination, and if required other investigations such as diagnostic imaging, blood tests etc.
There are two components of the diagnosis:
Tissue in lesion or pain diagnosis: this tells us what is causing the pain. With musculoskeletal problems, it is generally a structure that has been overloaded, either by a traumatic event or through prolonged, improper loading.
Functional diagnosis: This is an important component of addressing overload injuries. Many pain syndromes are caused by lifestyle habits, lack of mobility, or muscle imbalances. These components need to be identified, and addressed, for long term solutions to be achieved.
Diagnosis is a multifaceted process that takes some time. Your initial consultation will consist of a thorough history and examination, from which a diagnosis will be made. It will involve
- History of complaint
- Family History
- Medical History
- Occupational and sporting history
- Systems Review
- Physical Examination
- Neurological Examination
- Orthopaedic testing
- Functional testing
- Specific chiropractic tests
If required, further investigations will be undertaken. This may be diagnostic imaging such as x-rays or MRI, blood tests, Any further examinations will be explained to you, and will be undertaken in communication with your GP and other healthcare providers as necessary.