Preparing for your first visit
Your initial consultation with Hedd Piper is all about getting to the bottom of why you are hurting.
This begins with an opportunity for you to explain in depth how your pain has come about and how it behaves.
Your individual pain story will provide a huge amount of information and give Hedd a lot of clues needed to be as sure as possible that you have a problem that can be helped at the clinic. If it's felt that your problem requires medical attention, or that it becomes clear that you would benefit from further tests (such as blood tests, X-ray or MRI) then this will be discussed at this visit. We won't proceed unless we can be confident of a good outcome.
Hedd uses a simple scientific approach to being able to help people in pain, which is to match the most appropriate treatment to the most accurate diagnosis. This is the opposite of a 'one size fits all' approach, whereby you only receive the treatment that the practitioner is trained to perform. This may mean that your treatment plan doesn't place much emphasis on manual therapy and manipulation if it is deemed that the nature of your pain is beyond the scope of those methods.
Current understanding of spinal pain includes consideration of the whole person, and not just the structure of the spine. It is now accepted that back pain, especially if it has been present for longer than 12 weeks, is influenced by your lifestyle and personal circumstances. It is therefore crucial that elements of your pain story include a discussion of your general health, exercise, sleep, stress and mood. By paying attention to these factors we may be able to get a much better understanding of why you are in pain and (most importantly) what can be done for long term benefit.
Following your consultation you will have a thorough physical examination. Much of this examination is to establish whether or not you are in need of being referred for extra tests and to get a decent understanding of what's going on in the part of your back which hurts.
Following this process of gathering information Hedd will sum up and give you an idea of what he thinks is the cause of your pain. This will be done using understandable language as it is vital that you begin to feel in charge of your problem through understanding it. Your plan will also be discussed - what will be involved in your visits, how often you need to attend for appointments and for how long.
This process may take up the entirety of your first visit. In instances where you have a seemingly straightforward case (usually localised pain, present for a few days) then some manual therapy may be offered at the end of this session.
Perhaps the most important thing for you to consider is that there is no quick fix for back pain. Even the 'simplest' case of spinal pain will take a while to settle down.
The Royal College of Chiropractors have developed a series of Quality Standards, which can help us with this:
"Patients with acute low back pain whose symptoms are either progressing or very severe are assessed at least twice a week"
"Patients with acute low back pain are referred if their condition shows no sign of improvement, or worsens over a four week period, if not before"
"The progress of patients with chronic low back pain is continually kept under review with regular formal reassessments, the use of validated outcome tools, and potential referral to another healthcare practitioner if they do not show significant signs of improvement within six weeks"
Again, the RCC can help understand what is likely to expect here:
"Patients with acute low back pain are discharged from acute care within four weeks of their signs and symptoms being absent"
"Ongoing supportive self-management, including rehabilitation and prophylactic care, is offered to patients presenting with chronic low back pain once their condition has stabilised"
Hedd is passionate about his work and hopes to be able to help you with your painful problem.
If you are ready to work with him and get back to the things you love please get in touch with us