If you’ve never been to a chiropractor before, you may be wondering what to expect at your first chiro appointment. Although doing some online research about chiropractic treatments helps to some degree it can also make you even more nervous about what to expect. The first thing to note is that there is nothing to be nervous about at all. Your chiropractor will make you feel at ease from the moment you arrive, and he or she will go over the process with you beforehand so that you are fully aware of how the first session will go.
To give you even more peace of mind, we have put together some of the most common steps involved in the first chiro appointment. Keep reading to find out how the first session will go.
Preparing For Your First Chiro Appointment
Your first chiro appointment is mainly about giving your chiropractor an indication of why you have sought treatment. If possible dress as though you are going to the gym or an exercise session. If necessary gowns and shorts are available. Before treatment starts, there are a few steps that need to be taken. These include the following steps.
Going over your history.
The first – and most important – step is going over your history and symptoms with your chiro. To begin treatment, your chiropractor must have full knowledge of why you are here. You will complete a form to outline or tick specific boxes relating to symptoms, medical history, injuries or anything else your chiro should know about. You will also go over your history verbally once you arrive. Make sure that you are completely honest and thorough when discussing your history and your symptoms. This will ensure that your specific problems can be addressed without any possible complications.
Doing a physical exam.
Once your history has been discussed, you will complete a physical exam. Many new patients are a little apprehensive about this step. In reality, the exam is easy and there should be minimal discomfort. Your chiropractor may feel your spine and muscles, flex your joints, test muscle strength, test your range of motion, check your reflexes, and ask you to walk to check your gait. This step is important because it shows up any issues that you may not have been aware of before the visit. You may have a sore back, for example, but you may not have realised that there is also pain or tightness in your neck when the range of motion in these areas is checked.
Starting a treatment.
You may in some cases require further testing such as x-rays, ultrasound, blood tests or a referral to a specialist. However, you will usually begin treatment right away. You will lie on a specially adapted treatment table and your chiro will focus on the area of your body that is having problems. Using our example above, this could be your back and neck. Your chiropractor will gently move the area to test the range of motion, moving it to its maximum range. Extra thrusts will be used to adjust the area. There may be a popping noise, but don’t worry – this is completely normal. You should not experience significant pain during the adjustment, however some brief discomfort is possible.
In addition to manipulation of the joints, other treatments you may experience are soft tissue therapies where pressure is placed on certain tight spots in the muscles to relieve the knots. Dry needling using acupuncture needles is also used for those people who tolerate needles well. Certain stretches may be used in addition to help with tight areas.
Once the treatment is over, your chiropractor will talk with you to discuss the best course of treatment going forward. You may be given some exercises that you can do on your own. You will very likely be scheduled for follow-up visits over a few weeks until the problem is healed. After that, you can go for routine follow-ups to keep your joints healthy. You may have a bit of tenderness the next day. Unless the pain is severe or it continues for more than a few days, it will go away on its own.
Spine & Beyond goes over and beyond to make every patient feel comfortable from the very first session. Contact us now to book your first chiro treatment.