What To Expect At Your First Chiropractic Appointment

What To Expect At your First Chiropractic Appointment

Chiropractic treatment is a highly efficient alternative to conventional pharmacological and surgical therapies. There has been a significant shift among patients toward chiropractic care for chronic pain disorders in recent times. This patient preference is due to two factors, i.e., high efficacy with no potential side effects of spinal adjustment. 

Several patients realize that chiropractic care can bring positive outcomes for their pain problems. However, many people do not take the plunge and see a chiropractor due to instinctive fears and doubts regarding the treatment.

If you are dealing with chronic pain but don’t know what happens at the first chiropractic visit, you’re at the right place. Read on to learn more about what to expect when you visit a chiropractor for the first time!

What Happens at First Chiropractor Appointment?

A visit to the chiropractor is systematic and sequential, consisting of the following steps:

Taking Patient History

As a new patient, your first visit to your chiropractic clinic will involve filling out paperwork. You will be required to provide details about your general overall health and complete medical history, any drugs you might be taking, and a history of illness in the family, if any. 

A large portion of the questionnaire will include details about pain. You will be asked to explain the location and type of pain you experience and the duration and frequency of the discomfort. Another crucial question you will answer is what aggravates the pain and how long you have been experiencing the symptoms.

Conducting a Chiropractic Exam

The next step of your chiropractic appointment is a thorough chiropractic exam to determine the severity of your pain or injury. Your chiropractor will analyze you based on your body type, weight, age, and gender. Trigger points of pain are identified during the physical exam.

Factors assessed during the chiropractic examination include muscle strength, tone, posture, and range of motion of joints. The physical condition of the body is matched with the provided diagnostic studies.

Reviewing Diagnostic Tests

X-rays and MRI scans are the most common imaging tests that provide accurate insight into underlying musculoskeletal problems. Radiographs provide a significant aid in diagnosing bone issues, especially spinal deformities. 

After the chiropractic exam, your chiropractor might suggest diagnostic tests, specifically an X-ray, if you don’t already have one done. X-rays are a quick and cost-effective tool to evaluate bone density and reveal fractures, helping determine where the pain emanates. Accordingly, your chiropractor can create an accurate chiropractic treatment plan. 

In some cases, chiropractors also use advanced imaging tests like an MRI scan, such as to reveal disc herniation, spinal nerve compression, or soft tissue damage.

In addition to the radiographs, your chiropractor might also want to look into your blood reports. Specific blood gene markers and blood factors (ESR, CRP, etc.) can help reveal infections.

Explaining the Procedure

After a complete analysis, your chiropractor will explain the pain relief procedure. There are multiple treatment options in chiropractic adjustment. Patients can opt for manual spinal adjustment or instrument-aided spinal adjustment. Your healthcare provider will guide you about the best pain relief treatment for your condition.

The chiropractor will also inform you of the number of sessions required for your specific problem. You might also need massage therapy or physical therapy in addition to the chiropractic adjustment to speed up the healing process. 

It would be best if you put forward any queries regarding the procedure. Clear communication between the chiropractor and the patient develops a stronger bond and consequently yields better results.

Adjusting the Body or Spine

After obtaining a clear picture of your physical condition, your chiropractor will likely suggest you get an adjustment on the first chiropractic consultation. Spinal adjustment usually takes less than an hour to complete. 

There are different techniques that a chiropractor might adopt for pain relief, including:

  • Gonstead technique
  • Flexion distraction
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Spinal decompression
  • Spinal mobilization
  • Soft tissue techniques

During the chiropractic adjustment, you will likely lie on a flat table at various angles, including face up, face down, and sideways. You will feel pressure on the joints and a lot of cracking or popping sounds. That will occur as the chiropractor applies gentle pressure to adjust your spine and the misaligned bones move into their original position.

Most people explain the process as relaxing and pain-relieving; however, some experience mild discomfort during a chiropractic adjustment. 

Your chiropractor may also use advanced appliances and devices to release muscle tension. You might be required to make multiple follow-up visits to the chiropractor clinic for complete resolution of symptoms.

Slight muscle soreness is common after a chiropractic manipulation, which goes away sooner than you think. Use a cold application to flush out the muscle soreness. 

How to Prepare for Your First Chiropractic Appointment?

There are a few simple yet essential steps that you should take when visiting the chiropractor for the first time, including:

Wear Easy Clothing

As chiropractic treatment involves a lot of wiggling and joint twisting, it will help if you wear loose and easy clothing. That allows for easier, nonrestrictive movement of your body parts without clothing becoming a hindrance in imaging tests. 

Learn more about what to wear to the chiropractor.

Take a Light Meal

Eat something before heading to the chiropractor, as an empty stomach can cause low blood sugar levels. However, it would help if you avoid heavy meals before chiropractic adjustment, as you might feel bloated. Keep at least an hour’s gap between the last meal and the chiropractic visit. 

Stay Hydrated

Drinking water has numerous benefits, including improved general health. Drinking ample water before visiting the chiropractic facility will help avoid lightheadedness or dizziness due to dehydration.

Arrive Early

By arriving early at the facility, you can get ample time to fill out the chiropractic forms. You can also calm your mind before going through the procedure. Being rushed can add to stress and anxiety levels.

Make Notes of Your Symptoms

Sometimes, it can be difficult to communicate all your problems to the healthcare provider, and some things you had planned to tell them can slip your mind. 

So, it is better to note down all your symptoms before going to the chiropractor, such as the intensity and frequency of your pain, to avoid missing out on telling them everything related to your pain they need to know. 

Relax and Trust the Process

Visiting a chiropractor for the first time can be a nervous and overwhelming experience for some people. 

To maximize chiropractic benefits, you must trust the chiropractor and relax your mind and body. Chiropractors are highly trained individuals who work to realign your bones and joints using natural, risk-free, and noninvasive techniques. 

For example, be prepared to hear cracking and popping sounds during the procedure. Instead of fretting, you must know they indicate your bones shifting into the right place again.

Logan Osland Chiropractic Care: Your One-Stop Solution to Comprehensive Chiropractic Care

If you have decided to seek chiropractic care for your chronic pain or sports injury, look no further. Logan Osland Chiropractic is a state-of-the-art facility that emphasizes patient comfort and ease.

The highly trained and patient-friendly staff is here to support you from your first appointment to the last, ensuring you have a pleasant and memorable chiropractic experience. Whether you are experiencing lower back pain, neck pain, or shoulder pain, our doctors have many years of hands-on experience with the latest chiropractic techniques.  

Book your appointment today and regain a pain-free and happy life!

About the Author

Picture of Dr. Logan Osland

Dr. Logan Osland

Dr. Logan Osland, D.C., is a Doctor of Chiropractic deeply rooted in the principles of hard work and community service. Beginning his career in construction, Dr. Osland’s early encounters with back pain led him to chiropractic care, sparking a passion that directed his educational and professional journey. He earned his Doctorate from Palmer College of Chiropractic and has been an active member of the chiropractic community in Ventura, California, since opening his own practice in 2004. Not only does he hold multiple certifications, including in sports medicine and as a strength and conditioning coach, but he has also served as a team doctor for various local sports teams. When not in the clinic, Dr. Osland enjoys an active lifestyle with hobbies like surfing, hiking, and spending quality time with his family.