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How to Communicate Symptoms to Your Chiropractor

By Sara Butler

Trying to express to someone else what your symptoms feel like or where they are coming from is often easier said than done. Back pain, especially, is a very subjective experience. It’s important that you know the best ways to communicate to your chiropractor what you’re feeling and how. This helps to give them a clearer picture of what may be happening so they can get to the bottom of it and hopefully have you on the road to recovery. Here are some of the best ways you can communicate to you chiropractor what's going on with your back pain.

The Type of Pain

The type of pain you are feeling in your spine or neck helps to give your chiropractor an idea of what may be going on behind the spine scenes. For example, if you use words to describe the pain such as stabbing, burning, or electrical zaps it could mean a nerve is involved. If your muscles feel tight or stiff it could mean you are having muscle pain due to injury or a posture issue or even both! Just try to be descriptive as possible as to the type of pain you are feeling because it can help your chiropractor to know what may be going on.


Where you are feeling pain is very important. If you are having issues with a nerve root in your spine the pain may radiate from your back down your leg. If you are experiencing your pain at trigger points it could be referred pain, meaning the pain is located in an area unrelated to the actual area causing the problem. Your chiropractor knows what to look for, but being able to tell them where you’re feeling the pain is really important.

Patterns of Pain

When you are experiencing pain is also a big clue for your chiropractor. Did it come on all of the sudden or was it more gradual? Is it always there or does it come and go? Is it worse at night when you’re trying to sleep? Does it get better with activity? All of these things are really important to let your chiropractor know so they can not only diagnose you, but evaluate the patterns in your pain to be able to know if your symptoms are improving or not.

All you have to do is try your best to convey what is going on with your chiropractor. Remember, the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic have a lot of education and experience to help them figure out what is going on, but the more information you can give, the better off things will probably be!

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