Most people visit their chiropractor for the first time after receiving a personal reference or by being referred by another health care provider. However, you may find that you’re feeling a little anxious about what to expect during your initial visit. This article will walk you through what you can expect during your first visit with your new chiropractic team.
Before Your Visit
Prior to your arrival, you may want to prepare yourself for your visit. Because a chiropractic adjustment is a physical one, there are a few steps you may want to take to ensure your comfort.
- It may make you more comfortable to take a shower before your visit.
- Be sure to wear loose-fitting clothing to make your adjustment easier.
- Consider taking an ibuprofen before your adjustment to combat future discomfort.
After your arrival and prior to seeing your doctor of chiropractic, you will be asked to fill out forms that will provide your chiropractor with the background information on your symptoms and conditions that he or she will use to come up with a treatment plan that’s catered to your needs. Your chiropractic team will want to know things like:
- Where is your pain located?
- When did the pain begin?
- Is your pain the result of injury or illness?
- What makes the pain worse?
- What makes the pain better?
- Do you have a family history of any illnesses the chiropractor should know about?
At this time you will also inform the clinic of your payment information and your current health care providers and treatments.
The Chiropractic Examination
Once you’re in an exam room, your doctor of chiropractic will spend a little bit of time discussing the issues that brought you to the office. Afterwards, he or she will perform a physical examination to test for things like:
- Your range of motion
- Your reflexes
- Muscle strength and tone
If there are any additional tests necessary, your chiropractor may schedule a follow up with a qualified professional for further testing.
Your chiropractor will most likely begin treatment right away for your condition. Therapeutic adjustments will help to position your spine properly and are performed with short, quick thrusts. You may notice a popping sound as your chiropractor adjusts you. This is perfectly normal and safe. The sound that you hear is only the sound of gas being released from your joints, similar to the noise that accompanies knuckle cracking. The adjustment is not painful; in fact, most patients experience immediate relief from their pain following an adjustment.
Most patients feel better immediately after visiting their chiropractic team. However, others may experience tenderness or stiffness similar to what you feel after an intense workout. A warm shower, combined with the ibuprofen that you took earlier should alleviate any discomfort. Your body has most likely been misaligned for a long period of time and it may take a little while before it accepts proper posture as “normal.” Be patient with yourself during this period of treatment. Eventually your body will adjust to this correction and you will find that you’re feeling better than you have in a very long time.
That’s it. As you can see, chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to deal with the aches and pains that come along with life. You will most likely find that you’re looking forward to your next treatment as soon as you leave the office for the very first time.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
Photo credit: Jim Dubel Chiropractic by planetc1. Used under a Creative Commons license.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.