If you are a new chiropractic patient, there are several initial tests that your chiropractor may wish to perform. In addition to a detailed family and patient history, you will likely receive a detailed physical exam to identify any potential issues. Your chiropractor may also request or perform a spinal and postural screening.
A spinal and postural screening is a test conducted by your chiropractor that can help identify neuromusculoskeletal disorders before serious issues arise. This test can find spinal alignment and postural positioning that may have yet to present with an actual problem. If left untreated, these conditions may cause chronic conditions in the neck or back.
Our bodies are meant to have all portions of the torso balanced. This means that our heads, necks, shoulders, rib cage, spine, abdominal cavity, and pelvis must all be in proper alignment to function at our highest level. When one of these systems is out of alignment, it can have a cascading effect on the rest of our body. When we aren’t in proper alignment, it’s generally the spine that compensates and bends to accommodate our positioning. This places additional stress on the spine and surrounding tissues. Over time, poor positioning can lead to spinal injuries or disease. Some of these diseases include:
Strained, sprained or pulled muscles
Neck or back pain
Furthermore, poor positioning in our adolescent years has a correlation in the progression of arthritis and chronic pain in adulthood. This means that young adults or children may also benefit from receiving a spinal and postural screening from a licensed chiropractor.
The actual screening process occurs in two parts. The first is the static screening. This screening looks at potential issues while the patient is not moving. The chiropractor will assess several factors. These include pelvic tilt, elevation posture and rotation posture.
The second part is dynamic screening. This process looks for alignment issues while the patient is moving. This helps to identify how the body compensates for weight in the body while the body shifts positions. Improper positioning or poor posture can be determined if a patient favors one leg over the other or if the patient is holding their body in an unnatural position. If patients maintain this positioning, it can lead to issues over time.
The dynamic screening has patients perform several moves for the evaluation. These moves include:
Standing on one leg
Attempting a push-up
Standing up from a seated position and then returning to the seat.
Raising your hands above your head
Your chiropractor will also measure your legs and arms to ensure that they are the same length or to identify the reason for any differences. Your head position will also be evaluated. Poor head position often causes neck and upper back or shoulder issues.
At the completion of your screening, your chiropractor will discuss your results. Patients often find that their chiropractor has identified several different issues that were bothering them and maybe several that they hadn’t even noticed yet. If you have any questions about any of these conditions, be sure to discuss them with your chiropractor.
Finally, after you have discussed some of the issues or conditions that you may have, your chiropractor will help you develop a personalized treatment plan. Many plans include spinal manipulation or adjustments, massage, and exercises.
Spinal manipulation will help to restore your spine and joints to their proper positioning, while massage and exercise help the muscles maintain proper positioning.
Chiropractors priority is to make sure that you receive the appropriate care to help you live your life to a higher standard. Through initial screenings and evaluations, they can quickly identify and execute the best plan for you. If you think that chiropractic care is an option for you, please contact your chiropractor today to set up your initial consultation.