What to Expect on Your First Visit to the Chiropractor
On the first visit, we’ll sit down and talk. I’ll get a history of when your pain(s) started, the nature of the pain, how often it bothers you and all the important information. This is the time for you to tell me in detail everything that is going on concerning your problem. I want to develop a dialogue that will serve us throughout your care so that we can communicate easily with each other. Part of what I want to do is understand what your personal goals are for treatment. Some patients just want to get out of pain for now. Some want to go back to playing tennis and want to be able to keep playing into their 60’s. Understanding your goals will help me tailor a treatment plan for you to meet those goals.
Next, based on what you have told me, I’ll begin an exam which will consist of performing orthopedic tests, neurological tests (if radiating pain is present), measuring range-of-motion to evaluate restrictions, and palpation. Palpation means feeling the spine or extremities to determine specifically where the pain is, locate swelling, and get a sense of how the joints are restricted and misaligned.
All this will take about 30 min. At this point I should have a good idea of what is going on. Depending on the nature of the problem, we may decide to take X-rays to see specifically what is happening inside. It is often very helpful to have a detailed inside view of the structure of the area in which we will be working. If we decide to X-ray, we have a room in the clinic where I’ll take the views needed then develop them right away. This generally takes about ½ hour.
At this point, I’ll go over all my findings including my analysis of any X-rays taken and give you a short term plan to get you out of pain and back to your activities. On this visit, I’ll perform the first treatment.
During the first treatment, and the rest, your feedback is welcomed. I want to know how each area feels as I work on it. I’ll go more lightly if need be. And I want to know how each area is progressing. The bottom line is to get you out of pain and restore joint function as quickly as possible so that you can enjoy and live life more fully.
Each treatment will most likely take 10 minutes