Your initial visits to the office are extremely important. They allow you and Dr. Leavitt to have a greater understanding of your issue. They also help you feel comfortable with our office and validate that you have made the right decision to consult us for your care. Here's what you can expect at your first few visits.
As in any doctor's office, you will need to complete forms that provide us with basic information, details about your health history, and the reason you are consulting us for care. First, we'll ask you to fill out a registration form and patient confidentiality forms, which you can print and complete prior to your visit by accessing our Patient Forms.
We pride ourselves on running a technologically advanced practice, and we now maintain our patients' health records securely via computer. When you arrive at the office for your first visit, you will have the opportunity to complete your health history information using the computer rather than filling out additional paperwork. If you need assistance doing so, we will be happy to walk you through the process. Our goal is to ensure that Dr. Leavitt has all your pertinent information in one place, so he can properly assess your concerns and expedite treatment.
Patients seek chiropractic treatment for a variety of conditions, and one of the first steps in the process is a consultation with Dr. Leavitt. He will review your health information with you, discuss your condition and goals in detail, and determine the answers to a number of questions. For example, what makes it better or worse? What activities might be aggravating your condition? What do you hope to gain from treatment - pain relief, improved health and well being or exercise/lifestyle advice? We have found that when we are on the same page with our patients, they have the most favorable response.
After your consultation, Dr. Leavitt will perform a complete examination. He may perform tests to determine the precise cause of the problem and the best course of treatment. These may include neurological, orthopedic, postural, bending, twisting or muscular tests.
We may refer you for X-rays or other imaging studies. X-rays provide information about the position of the bones in the spinal column and can help determine how long the problem has been present. They may also tell us how long it may take to resolve the issue and whether there are any arthritic changes. Other imaging studies, such as MRI, CT or bone scans, may be ordered if additional diagnostic information is required.
Report of Findings
Once Dr. Leavitt reviews all of the information, he will compile a "Report of Findings" and discuss the details with you. Doctor in Latin means "to teach." Dr. Leavitt is a great advocate of education; in fact, his father, mother and brother were teachers. Ensuring that his patients understand their treatments has been critical to his successful outcomes over the years. This "explanation visit" addresses the cause of the problem, the recommended course of treatment, the time frame for treatment and information on any out-of-pocket expenses.
Once we have reviewed your findings, treatment can begin right away. Depending on the nature of your issue, this may include spinal adjustments, soft tissue massage, bracing, cryotherapy (ice), moist heat, electrical muscle stimulation, intersegmental traction and/or exercise instruction. Patients usually receive instructions about what to do at home or work to help with recovery, such as ice or heat application, activities to avoid and exercises or stretches. Those who take an active role in their care usually have the best response to treatment.
Treatment generally includes three phases:
This phase includes frequent office visits focused on reducing your symptoms. Your adjustments may be combined with other therapies, such as physical therapy or stretching, to offer pain relief.
The goal of this phase is to rehabilitate or strengthen the structures (muscles, ligaments and tendons) supporting the spine and extremities. Muscle and soft tissue damage can remain even after your symptoms improve. Corrective care stabilizes your spine, promotes more complete healing and improves range of motion. You'll find that office visits become less frequent during this phase.
The wellness phase supports the positive gains your body has made during the prior phases of care. When stability of the spine and its supportive structure has been achieved, periodic checks during the wellness phase can help you stay at your best and prevent future problems.
We encourage you to ask any questions you may have about your care at any point during the course of treatment.