You have received a referral for chiropractic treatment. You spent some time thinking, but realized that there must be another way to relieve pain than taking pills almost on a daily basis. So you scheduled your first chiropractic consultation.
As D Day approaches, you are increasingly worried: what will the chiropractor do? Will they start a course of treatment right away? Should I arrange for someone else to drive me to and from their practice?
Your Feelings Are Valid
First of all, we are not here to tell you how you should feel. Your reactions and feelings are valid. You want to be healthy again and hope that this type of treatment will work. At the same time, you are not completely sure what chiropractic treatment is about.
But you should not let your fears dominate you. Countless people walked into a chiropractor’s office with the same feelings and thoughts. Yet, at the end of the course of treatment, they were grateful for the help they received. Their pain disappeared or decreased to a very low level. They could go back to an active life and to their hobbies. And so can you.
So, what exactly happens during the first chiropractic consultation? Here’s what you should expect:
The initial chiropractic appointment will take 30-45 minutes. Subsequent treatment sessions will be longer, around 1 hour.
The Chiropractor Will Review Your Case
During the first chiropractic consultation, the practitioner will get familiarized with your case. You need to be completely honest in answering the questions. Remember that anything you say to a chiropractor is protected by HIPAA privacy rules.
The chiropractor will start identifying the cause and the extent of your condition for which you need treatment. They will ask you:
- When and how the pain started
- Where the pain is localized
- Physical activities and actions make the pain worse.
You will also have to describe the type of pain: dull or sharp, like a burning sensation, etc. When the chiropractor has all the information, they can devise a specific and effective course of treatment for you.
Disclose Pre-Existing Conditions
Also, during the first chiropractic consultation, you will have to disclose any pre-existing conditions you suffer from, such as heart disease, neurological diseases, other chronic diseases.
The chiropractor will take this aspect into consideration when planning your treatment.
The Chiropractor Will Perform an Initial Physical Exam
For the purposes of chiropractic treatment, the practitioner must have a clear idea of the extent of your pain and its localization. Thus, they will conduct a short physical exam, which includes the assessment of:
- Your reflexes
- The range of mobility of the affected area
- Muscle strength and tone.
Depending on the observations, the chiropractor may recommend an X-ray examination to have a clear view of your health problem.
Discussing the Course of Treatment and Its Duration
At the end of the first chiropractic consultation, the practitioner will outline the treatment plan they have for you. This outline will also include milestones – when you should feel the first improvements – and the estimated duration of the treatment.
Once you agree with this course of treatment and sign the patient agreement, the chiropractor will make the appointment for your first treatment session.