We Chiropractors love to ‘show and tell’ our patients everything we have found that is causing the symptoms (usually pain somewhere!) We ramble on about spinal bones, normal contours, posture, alignment etc. etc. etc. We like to sound knowledgeable, efficient, and effective.
In essence, we are establishing a rapport and building trust.
We have to do this for a number of reasons. Primarily, most people who see a chiropractor are doing so for the first time. We are the last resort. Having tried the concoction of painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication and the endless wait to see an NHS physiotherapist, people decide to take action – they try something new.
Sometimes however, chiropractors ramble on too much. Lost in the excitement of explaining to patients ‘this is what it is, and this is what we can do’ –the one question going through every new patients mind is always:
Is the treatment going to hurt?
First and foremost we are in the business of getting people better. A chiropractic adjustment to a joint shouldn’t hurt – even though we see patients present to us sometimes in maximum pain. It’s all about being in the moment and getting a patient to relax. If a patient is relaxed at the very micro-second we deliver an adjustment to re-align a joint, it shouldn’t hurt.
A relaxed patient allows us to successfully apply a small force designed to ‘free up’ stiff joints.
Overlying anxiety, stresses at home, and in the workplace all create tension in the muscles. Applying an adjustment to these individuals will overstretch muscle fibres leading to a muscle strain.
Ultimately this will result in increased pain.
So it’s down to you whether a treatment is painful or not.
Thankfully over the years I have developed sensory acuity in my hands and fingers. Detecting the very moment a patient is relaxed enough to deliver a treatment has become an art-form!