Frequently Asked Questions - Chiropractic

Will treatment hurt?
Chiropractic treatment should not normally hurt however most patients who visit a chiropractor are already suffering from some discomfort or pain. It is very important therefore to inform patients that they may experience some post examination, and/or post treatment soreness. These symptoms should improve within a day or two, however if anyone has any concerns they should seek advice from their student clinician to fully investigate.

Can I do anything to help with soreness?
Icing the area that is sore or uncomfortable can help, however the use of ice should be controlled. An ice pack, or ‘bag of peas’, should always be placed inside a thin cover before placing on the skin. Ice should never be placed directly on the skin as it can burn. Ice should only be used for a maximum of 15 – 20 minutes at a time, and it should be used regularly (every few hours). If soreness or discomfort persists, the patient should seek advice from their student clinician or one of the supervising floor tutors.

Who can make an appointment to attend the WIOC as a chiropractic patient?
Anyone can make an appointment to attend the WIOC for chiropractic care. There is no need to be referred by another healthcare provider, anyone can call and make an appointment.

How are appointments made?
Appointments can be made by calling the WIOC on 01443 483555 where the reception staff will schedule specific appointment times for you.

How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
We can usually offer you an appointment within 2-3 working days, and will endeavor to ensure you are seen as soon as possible at a time that is convenient for you. We can often accommodate acute patients on the same day.

Where is the clinic? How do I get there?
The clinic is located at the University of South Wales, opposite the Treforest Railway Station Park & Ride, making it very easily accessible by public transport.

Where can I park if I choose to come by car?
The clinic has dedicated patient car parking space alongside the clinic. There are a few spaces on the ground level just to the side of the reception, some of which are dedicated to disabled parking. There is also a larger car park which can be accessed via a small ramp to the left of the clinic building.

Who will I see?
The WIOC is a teaching clinic and therefore the clinicians are all training, and are referred to as Student Clinicians. They will have successfully completed 3 years of study and training before they begin their final year clinical training in the outpatient clinic. They work under the supervision of qualified Chiropractors who are all registered with the General Chiropractic Council, and therefore you may often see a supervising tutor in the treatment room during your assessment and treatment visits.

Do I need to bring anything with me?
If you are taking any medication it is useful for you to bring the details along to your first appointment. It is also useful to bring along any x-rays, MRI’s or imaging reports that you may have, especially if they have been taken within the past couple of years. You may want to bring along some reading material or an MP3 player just in case there are any delays. We attempt to avoid delays as much as possible and have procedures in place to manage situations of high demand however as we are a teaching clinic there may be occasions where slight delays are unavoidable and it is useful at such times if patients have something to occupy their time. You may also want to consider wearing appropriate underwear for the appointment, as you will be asked to wear a back opening gown for examination purposes. You could also bring along a pair of shorts to wear under the gown if it makes you feel more comfortable.

Where should I go on arrival at the WIOC?
On arrival you should report to the clinic reception. On your first visit the receptionist will hand you some paperwork to complete. The information requested will contain details such as your name, date of birth, address, contact details etc. You will also be asked for very brief details about your general wellbeing and lifestyle, medical history, health condition, and asked to complete a pain diagram to illustrate the presenting complaint. Do not worry too much if you are uncertain what information is required, as the student clinician will go through it in more detail during your appointment.

What can I expect to happen during the initial consultation?
The Student Clinician who has been appointed to take care of you will collect you from the reception area and escort you to one of our treatment rooms. They will go over the information you have already provided, and then take a complete medical history. Once they have recorded all the information they need, the student clinician will leave the room for you to change, they will provide you with a back opening clinic gown to wear and ask you to undress to your underwear. This is important for assessment purposes, however if you feel uncomfortable about wearing a back opening gown, please raise your concerns with your student clinician.
With your consent the student clinician will undertake a very thorough examination to assist with making an informed diagnosis, and consequently determine if it is appropriate for you to receive chiropractic care. Treatment can sometimes be provided on the first visit if the condition is very acute, however it is usually a few days afterwards once the student has presented your case to one of the supervising clinical floor tutors.

When will I start my treatment?
Occasionally, if you are very acute, some immediate intervention can take place following the initial consultation, however treatment normally commences once the student clinician has written up your case and presented it to one of the clinical supervisors. In some circumstances you may need to return for a continuation visit to enable the student clinician to complete the relevant paperwork. There is no charge for this additional appointment, as it is an extension of the initial assessment.
There may also be a small number of patients who require further investigation to aid the diagnosis; this could involve having an x-ray, diagnostic ultrasound, MRI or DXA. All of these diagnostic images can be arranged through the WIOC, however, there would be a charge involved. Alternatively we can arrange a referral back to your GP who may be able to arrange for imaging through the NHS. Further investigation could also involve referral back to the GP for other tests, or onward referral to another healthcare professional. If no further investigation is required, once your case has been presented to a clinical supervisor, and they have agreed your treatment plan with the student clinician, you will be contacted and asked to return to the outpatient clinic for a report of findings appointment.

What happens during the Report of Findings Appointment?
The student clinician will be accompanied by a clinical supervisor, and they will present their findings to you and explain what they think is causing your complaint. They will also explain the proposed treatment plan, including any potential risks involved. There may be occasions where it is felt that chiropractic care would not be appropriate, or may not be in your best interest. If this were the case it is likely that the student clinician would seek your consent to refer you to your GP, or onto another healthcare provider.
If however your complaint is appropriate for chiropractic care you will be asked to provide written consent before receiving any treatment.

How many appointments will I need?
The number and frequency of appointments required will vary from patient to patient. Your improvement will be monitored very carefully on an ongoing basis to ensure that the treatment you are receiving is appropriate for you. If your care is ongoing, you will receive a full case review at treatment 6, or sooner if your progress is not as good as originally expected. Once the review has taken place, your student clinician will discuss your case with the clinical supervisor and amend your individual plan of management if necessary. This will be discussed with you in the same way as your original report of findings, and further treatment may continue with your written consent.