What Do Chiropractors Do on the First Visit?
It’s very common to have a ton of questions and thoughts circulating as you think about what to expect at your first visit to Pro Chiropractic or really any chiropractic office:
- Will I get an adjustment today?
- Will the chiropractor perform an exam?
- How long with the visit take?
- What will it cost?
- Will an x-ray be taken?
- What should I wear to my first chiropractic appointment?
These are just a few examples of the questions that most new patients have. So, to help put you at ease and hopefully answer your questions, I am going to walk you through what a typical first visit to Pro Chiropractic will look like.
How Long Will My First Chiropractic Visit Take?
Let’s begin with the time frame of a first visit, a typical first day will last between an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. In this time frame there will be paperwork that has to be completed, a portion of the exam is started by the front desk staff, then an examination by the Doctor, followed by electrical muscle stimulation & hydro bed therapy, and a great first treatment to finish the visit.
First things first, we will need you to complete the initial intake paperwork. This gives the Doctor some information about what is causing you pain, how it affects you, and apprises them of your past health history. There is also a section for any other aches or pains you may be having outside of what is bringing you to the office.
Most Paperwork Can Be Completed Online
Paperwork usually takes about 15 minutes and can be completed on our website prior to your visit or it can be completed in the office. Completing the new patient paperwork online shortens your time in the office, but if you are unable to complete it before hand, we ask that you allow for an extra 15 minutes of time in the office to complete the intake once you arrive. There will also be a few signatures that the front desk staff will ask for to allow for the examination and treatment to take place (HIPPA and an informed consent primarily).
The Chiropractic Exam
Paperwork is finished and it is time to start your chiropractic examination! A first few exam procedures will be administered by the chiropractic assistants. We have a system that will electronically record your range of motion to evaluate your spinal mobility, a digital posture screen and a gait scan to evaluate how your feet are working. Often back pain and other spinal problems have their origins in poor foot function, and we like to screen for this! Following the scans from the staff your doctor will meet you in the exam room for evaluation of your complaint. The doctor will get to know you and ask you questions about you, your pain or complaint, and what your goals are in seeking treatment. Our chiropractic doctors use static and motion palpation, functional movement tests, mobility and stability assessments, neurologic exams, orthopedic testing and more to determine what is causing your pain will follow the chat with your chiropractor. This examination approach and length will be different for every patient as it is dependent on the nature and complexity of your specific needs.
What Should You Wear to Your First Chiropractic Appointment?
We recommend you wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing that allows for easy movement. Avoid wearing tight or restrictive clothing, which may limit your ability to move or the chiropractor’s ability to fully evaluate your mobility and make it more difficult for them to treat your spine.
Avoid clothing with sharp zippers, rhinestones, buttons and closures, as these can become a nuisance and potentially could get caught in or damage the treatment table.
It is also a good idea to remove all piercings, especially body piercings, which could block important anatomy on an x-ray evaluation. If you choose to wear a skirt, please make certain it is long enough to ensure you feel comfortable. Lastly, wearing a sports bra and bringing a pair of comfortable shorts are great ideas.
Coming prepared and wearing the right type of clothing can ensure this that you feel safe and comfortable during your chiropractic examination, and this is very important to us!
X-ray and The Chiropractic Exam
Now let’s talk about x-rays. If there is no history of injury, trauma, or red flags x-rays may not be needed. However, an x-ray is a great tool to assist the doctor in catching underlying issues and may be used if the doctor feels it is necessary to treat you or to offer you rehabilitative options. Ther choice to administer x-rays is once again made on an individual basis and is based on your personal history and unique findings. If there any red flags or a history of an injury or trauma an x-ray evaluation will be completed before any treatment will be administered.
Following the exam, most new patients will have electric muscle stimulation placed around the area of pain. This stimulates muscle contraction to help relax the muscles and calms the painful area.
While this is going on you will also get to relax on one our hydromassage therapy bed. Warm water jets run up and down your neck, back and legs, and you able to adjust both the speed and intensity. Trust me you will love this!
Next, it is time for treatment and YES we will be adjusting and doing any other therapies needed on the first visit! Your doctor knows that this is the moment you have been waiting or and we appreciate your patience as we evaluated you to determine what is causing your pain and the appropriate interventions to get you pain free and back to doing what you love as fast as possible! Treatment typically starts with chiropractic spinal adjustments. The goal of these adjustments is to reduce your pain and restore motion to stuck, painful joints. Sometimes these great adjustments are all you need, and more often there is a component of your pain that needs the addition of another therapy that will happen following your adjustment, these include soft tissue therapies like Graston IASTM, Pulse Wave Therapy, Dry Needling Therapy, and more!
Let’s recap your first visit to Pro Chiro! Paperwork, followed by a thorough and pleasant exam, soothing hydro bed massage, and finally adjustments and treatment specifically for your pain! We want you to feel as comfortable as possible during this experience, and hope this has helped you know what to expect from your first visit. If you have any questions while at the office never hesitate to ask! The team at Pro Chiropractic is dedicated to helping you live free from pain – and healthier than ever – with advanced, compassionate chiropractic care.