It's All in the Verbage at Back and Body New York

chiropractor working on man's neck

One of the “tricks” that we can employ at Back and Body New York when assessing a patient is to watch our verbage. How we speak to a patient and ask them questions is actually vital in understanding their condition and how they perform. Interpreting answers and actions can be misleading if we are not careful with the way things are phrased in the first place.

For example, when testing neck movement patterns, we could get the patient to lay down on their back and then ask them to “lift your head off the bench.”

Sounds reasonable enough?

Well, we could have also asked, “lift your head up” or “lift your head straight up” or even “lift your head to your chin.”

Each has a different suggestion as to what we expect of the patient and each could potentially influence the actual test by leading the patient in to what is expected of them.

This is all well and good, but it can make the assessment difficult. In other words, if the patient is led by what we ask of them, they will try and perform that task. We therefore might not know exactly what is a habitual movement that needs correction, or if the movement is purely what the patient is trying to do to follow the instruction.

So the habitual movements do not necessarily correlate with the patients actual ability to reproduce (or not) the proper functional movement being asked of them.

We are very mindful of this and try to understand all our patients abilities in order to accurately correct through education and properly treat the condition too. This is of course vital to our patients for them to receive the best possible care and attention that we can provide.

If you are in pain, contact us now. We have three simple ways you can make an appointment at our Back and Body NY chiro office:

Call now on (212)371 2000 or text (315)873-3095 or email us at

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