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What Happens When You Visit a Chiropractor?

January 30, 2019
Chiropractic treatment can be an excellent alternative to prescription drugs for relief from aches and pains throughout the body. While you may have a basic understanding of what a chiropractor does, the process of chiropractic treatment remains a mystery to many. In the following infographic, we’ll explain what you can expect during that initial visit with a chiropractor. 

Infographic Text

Visiting a Chiropractor--What to Expect During Your Initial Appointment

You might be surprised to know that your visit will hardly be any different than an appointment with your standard doctor.

With that in mind, here’s what you can expect during your initial chiropractic appointment.

The Questionnaire

Like at a doctor’s appointment, you’ll be asked to fill out paperwork and explain your medical history, followed by some questions about the reason for your visit.

Common things you’ll be asked include:

  • When and how did the pain start?
  • Where is the pain located?
  • Does the pain come and go, or is it continual?
The Examination

A thorough chiropractic examination includes general tests, such as checking your blood pressure, respiration, reflexes and range of motion.1

From there, your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan, taking the following into account:

  • Extent of the injury or irritation
  • Your general health
  • Condition of your spine as affected by the injury
The Treatment

Most chiropractors will begin the treatment plan during the initial appointment, although some may postpone treatment until a follow-up visit.2

Based on results of the examination, treatment may include:

  • Adjustments (therapeutic manipulation that uses force, leverage, direction, amplitude and velocity directed at specific joints)
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Techniques to improve soft tissue healing and pain control
Establish Goals

The goal of any chiropractor should be to help relieve the patient’s symptoms as quickly as possible, with the fewest necessary treatments.

Your chiropractor will discuss both short and long-term goals for treatment at the conclusion of your initial visit.

  • Short-term goals generally include reducing pain and helping restore joint function.
  • Long-term goals include restoring functional independence and getting you back to enjoying daily living, pain free.
  • Once goals have been established, your chiropractor will be able to estimate length of treatment.

1 https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/chiropractic/what-happens-chiropractor

2 https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/what-expect-first-chiropractic-consultation

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