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Commonly Asked Questions Series – (3) Assessment

My last chiropractor didn’t assess me, why do I have to undergo one here?

This question luckily hasn’t come up very often, but I have been asked this periodically. While there is no way for me to know what your last chiropractor did, I suspect that he/she did perform an assessment during your first visit which you may not remember or may not have realized was an assessment.

Initial assessments vary from chiropractor to chiropractor based on education, experience, and style of chiropractic practiced. Some chiropractors take x-rays while others do not, some perform leg-length checks while others do not, and there are varying degrees of detail that can be included in a physical assessment.

However, the ultimate answer to this question is: how am I supposed to know what to treat if I do not perform an assessment? While the history portion of the appointment directs the assessment and will give me an idea of what is going on, various conditions present similarly, and can therefore be differentiated during specific testing. This diagnosis will then direct the best treatment options. 

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