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What to Expect for Your First Chiropractic Visit

What to Expect for Your First Chiropractic Visit

If you are unfamiliar with chiropractic care, the thought of your first appointment may be a bit daunting, as most new things are. The truth is, a chiropractic appointment isn’t much different from any other type of medical appointments. In fact, roughly 22 million Americans see chiropractors annually for treatment, more than one-third of which seek treatment for back pain. While many people see a chiropractor for back pain, others seek treatment following car accidents, or to treat sports injuries, headaches, muscle strains, or other issues. Regardless of your reason for chiropractic care, it is important that you understand what to expect from your chiropractor from the first visit onward.

Choosing the Right Chiropractor

Before your appointment begins, it is crucial that you feel comfortable with your chiropractor and the medical facility where you receive treatment. Chiropractors strive to improve the health and wellness of their patients, and it is their goal to help you, so don’t hesitate to communicate your concerns prior to the examination. Most chiropractors will have an undergraduate degree as well as 4 years of training at a chiropractic college, but feel free to ask your chiropractor about their education and training if it makes you more comfortable. If you are confused or worried about what to expect during the physical examination, just ask your chiropractor what you should expect.

What to Expect for Your First Appointment

When you come in for your first visit, your chiropractor will want to know your medical history before administering any treatment. If certain conditions run in your family, or you yourself have any past injuries, make sure you tell your chiropractor. Almost all offices will require new patients to fill out forms concerning medical history, and the symptoms or condition that brought the patient in for their visit. Your chiropractor will want to know as much as possible about your current issue, including when the pain started and where you feel discomfort, what type of pain you feel and whether or not your pain was caused by an injury or incident.


Next, your chiropractor will conduct an examination. Depending on your ailment, the examination may vary. Typically the chiropractor will use general tests to check blood pressure, pulse, and reflexes, as in addition to any other tests specific to the patient’s injury or ailment. The chiropractor may test the range of motion of the injured joint or limb, as well as the muscle strength, muscle tone, and neurological integrity of the surrounding area.

If your chiropractor deems it necessary, it is also possible they will request diagnostic studies for further understanding of your complaint. This can include an X-ray exam, an MRI scan, or other laboratory tests.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

After your chiropractor has gathered enough information and evidence, you should be left with a specific diagnosis. After diagnosing the issue, the chiropractor will discuss treatment options, as well as the estimated duration of treatment. Treatment options may vary, but can include spinal realignment, electrical stimulation, strengthening exercises, stretches, massage therapy, or the application of hot and cold compresses. In many instances, chiropractors may choose to use multiple treatment methods in conjunction for more effective pain relief.

It is important to understand that each individual is different and injuries and ailments can sometimes heal at varying paces. Chiropractic care works to alleviate pain and restore movement as quickly as possible, but may not work immediately. It often takes time to fully restore function and strength to injured joints and muscles. If you have certain goals regarding your recover time, discuss these with your chiropractor to see what can be done.

Contact Atlanta Pain & Rehab to schedule an appointment for chiropractic services today.


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