The initial intake is completed on the very first visit, regardless of whether the patient is an adult, child or infant. The first appointment involves gaining a full picture of the patient and their complaint by:
Completing a Detailed Health History:
This involves gathering information about the presenting complaint, a full systems check of the body, as well as gathering information about the patient’s past state of health. Surgeries, accidents and injuries are also discussed, including the time frame since their occurrence, if there was any medical attention received, and a conversation about recovery from the incident.
Outlining Current Medical Conditions and Concerns:
This includes discussion about all prescription and over-the-counter medications, any vitamins and supplements, reason for taking, if they are helpful and whether or not they are being taken on the advice of a medical or naturopathic doctor. It may also be a more in depth discussion of the patient’s current ailments that were mentioned during the health history.
Discussing other Treatments:
This includes determining if the patient is currently receiving, or has received in the past, other treatments such as: naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, registered massage therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic, and osteopathy.
Orthopedic and Osteopathic Assessment:
Orthopedic and osteopathic assessment involves looking to see how the patient and their body moves, where the restriction is that’s causing the dysfunction, and tests the functionality of the body.
Osteopathic assessment determines this through tests of position, mobility and vitality of the structures. Orthopedic assessment looks at pinpointing any pathological changes occurring in the body and their location. It includes neurological assessment, which measures the integrity of the neurological system through testing of reflexes, muscle strength and sensitivity to touch.
Treatment is based on the information received during the intake and uses a variety of osteopathic manual techniques. A treatment and maintenance schedule is discussed with all patients in order to achieve maximal results and minimize the risk of reoccurrence. The patient is always educated during the session about what is being treated and why, and when necessary, the patient is prescribed homecare between visits in order to help capitalize on the gains made during the treatment session.
On occasion it is necessary to refer patients out to other types of practitioners and doctors for further testing and treatment. Referrals are discussed with the patient and are assisted by the practitioner.