Visiting a Chiropractor
What to Expect on Your First Visit
Your chiropractor needs a full understanding of your health history and overall current health in order to provide the best possible care for you.
Set aside at least an hour for your first visit to the chiropractor. Future visits typically last 15 minutes or less, though the time required will depend upon the type of treatment you require. Here’s what you might expect.
On your first visit, your chiropractor may ask about the following:
- a description of your present condition and how it’s affecting your daily life
- the steps you have taken to manage your condition
- personal and family medical history
- major illnesses you have experienced
- surgeries you have had
- medications and supplements you are taking
- your diet and exercise
- your sleeping habits, daily activities, work routine, stress level, and home life
It is a good idea to wear comfortable clothes and shoes for your visit to the chiropractor. Your chiropractor may ask you to change into a gown to perform some of these tests:
- a check of your blood pressure, pulse and breathing
- a test of your reflexes, strength and sensations
- an analysis of your movement — he/she will observe how you walk, turn, bend or lift things, as well as how your body moves in the affected area
- a hands-on evaluation of how well your joints, muscles and other tissues are moving, identifying restrictions and areas of improper motion
Tip: Bring a copy of any X-rays or radiology reports you have. These assessments give your chiropractor a better picture of your complete health. He or she will make a diagnosis, discuss options and recommendations for treatment, and once the matter of informed consent has been discussed, treatment usually begins.
If your chiropractor diagnoses a condition more appropriately treated by another health care professional, he or she will make a referral.
What to Expect After Your First Visit
Shortly after, or sometimes on your first visit, your chiropractor will review their findings, diagnosis and make recommendations regarding treatment options. They will discuss these with you so that you can ask questions and understand the benefits and risks of the various options.
Your chiropractor will periodically reassess you, and update your schedule of care depending on your specific circumstances and preferences.
For some people chiropractic treatment is like a regular tune-up, to help deal with the daily wear and tear of life. For others, it’s an effective treatment when pain or discomfort strikes.
Take the time to discuss with your chiropractor the treatment plan that’s best for you.