Why do we ask so many questions?

Questions Questions Questions

Why are you asking me so many questions?

Sometimes your chiropractor may ask you questions that seem completely unrelated to your
condition. Or, you may have a medical condition that you think your chiropractor doesn’t need to
know about. Getting in and out of the office quickly is important to some of our patients and we
understand that, however it is our goal to ensure you are getting the best care possible and you
can help by answering all of our questions to the best of your ability. Just as a physical
examination of your complaint is important in leading us to the correct diagnosis, the health
history portion of the exam is equally (if not more) important to us. Remember that your health
is a two-way process and any extra information you can share with us can help us help you!

Some of the questions your chiropractor may ask are listed below with some of the reasons we
are asking them, but remember each case is different and may require more or less discussion.

Let’s use an example of low back pain.

How long have you had the pain?

Why: we need to know if this is a chronic, acute, or recurring problem.

Can you point to the pain with one finger?

Why: some conditions cause generalized pain while others have specific pain sites or patterns.

Was there an injury?

Why: how the pain started helps us establish what tissue might be causing the pain. Insidious
pain (or pain that began without a reason) might lead us to consider different pain generators
then just muscles or joints.

Do you have pain in any other joints?

Why:sometimes joint pain can be the result of systemic conditions/generalized disease such as
certain types of inflammatory arthritis.

Do you have pain in your legs?

Why: sometimes back injuries can cause pain, numbness, or loss of sensation in the legs. We
need to know if you are experiencing any of these symptoms as it could indicate nerve root
irritation. Some more serious conditions like a disc herniation, spinal stenosis, neurological
diseases, or cauda equina syndrome may need to be ruled out.

Does the pain vary throughout the day?

Why: different tissues are stressed with different activities, it is important that we can identify
which tissue is causing the problem. In some conditions pain is worse with activity and
sometimes it’s worse with rest. This information will also help us make recommendations of
positions that may offer you relief or activities that you should avoid until you’re feeling better.

Can you describe the pain?

Why: different tissues cause different types of pain and this is critical to our ability to diagnose
your problem. Burning pain, numbness, or loss of sensation may indicate nerve irritation while
stiffness might be more indicative of a muscular origin.

Have you noticed any changes in your bowel or bladder function?

Why:If you are male, prostate enlargement or cancer may alter your bladder control and may
also cause back pain. Kidney infections or kidney stones can cause low/mid back pain that
seems muscular in origin.Sudden changes in these functions can indicate a serious condition of
a pressure build up in the spinal canal that requires immediate medical attention.

Past medical history/current medical conditions?

Why: Some medical conditions such as diabetes, organ diseases, cardiovascular illness, prostate
enlargement, infections, or neurological diseases can either cause back pain or masquerade as
back pain. They can also alter our treatment choices and change our expectations on how
quickly you will be able to recover.

Family medical history?

Why: family history is important so that we can watch for the development of any signs of these
conditions beginning in you! It may also change which treatment strategies we use, or whether or
not we need to do some further medical testing. Whether you like it or not, we don’t just inherit
our parents’ good looks!

Medication use?


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