Ask A Chiropractor – First Visit

We often receive questions from new patients such as “What happens at your first chiropractic visit?”. We answer that question here in our newest installment of Ask A Chiropractor.

What Should I Expect From My First Visit?

Before The Appointment

What should you wear to your chiropractic appointment? Comfortable loose clothing is best. Avoid stiff or bulky clothes and accessories like rigid belts. We often recommend athletic clothes such as running shorts, basketball shorts, sweatpants, yoga pants, or leggings. T-shirts or a tank-top are good choices for tops.

Patient Intake

Patient intake involves a questionnaire to assess your medical history and current health condition.

Medical History

If its your first visit you may have to go into depth about your medical history. You may be asked questions about past injuries, existing medical conditions, any medications you take, and about your exercise, sleep and diet.

Patient Symptoms

During your visit you’ll be asked about your symptoms including questions about the level of pain or discomfort and where it’s felt. You’ll also be asked to describe the pain. Is it sharp, dull, burning, or throbbing? Is the pain related to an injury? What activities make it feel better or worse?

Physical Exam

Depending on your needs the exam can involve a number of different tests. Your range of motion will be tested. Your chiropractor may also test your pulse, blood pressure, reflexes, and examine your muscle strength in the affected area. Your exam will often focus on the neck and spine areas. Further tests may be carried out such as posture analysis. The chiropractor may recommend X-Rays or other tests.

Patient Diagnosis

Based on your medical history, the physical exam, and diagnostic tests the chiropractor will make a diagnosis. Your chiropractor will advise you if your condition won’t respond to chiropractic care.

Treatment Plan

Your treatment plan will be a culmination of your diagnosed condition and an individualized chiropractic treatment plan. Your treatment plan may involve further tests. The chiropractor should be able to provide an anticipated length of chiropractic care.

Patient Treatment

Once a plan is in place, your treatment will be carried out. It will depend heavily on your

After Treatment

Your chiropractor may provide you with stretches or exercises to do on your own as part of your treatment plan. You may be asked to schedule a follow-up visit or further treatments. Depending on your treatment you may want to avoid strenuous activity immediately following your appointment. We’ve covered post appointment questions in other Ask A Chiropractor articles. Click here to learn more about what to do after your chiropractic appointment.