Margaret Mead, the anthropologist once said, “Life in the 20th century is like a parachute jump: you have to get it right the first time.” Thankfully, your first visit to a chiropractor has nothing like that kind of pressure.
Do you need to see someone about your spine or your joints? It’s okay to be nervous before your appointment. Here’s what to expect at a chiropractic first visit.
What Is a Chiropractor?
A chiropractor is a health professional that specializes in the neuro-musculoskeletal system. This means they work on neck pain, back pain, headaches, and joint pain in the legs and arms.
The chiropractor uses adjustments to correct joint dysfunction. They can also advise on any problems with misalignment of your spine and how to maintain the health of the neck, back, and joints.
A chiropractor will never conduct any treatment without conducting an interview and examining you. You may complete a questionnaire which speeds up the consultation process.
Before the examination, the chiropractor will want to know about any symptoms you have. What pain do you have and when did it start? How did it start and where is it?
If you’ve had a previous injury, the chiropractor will be interested in knowing what happened. Did you have any treatment and what happened as a result? Any information you can provide about current treatments and other conditions will be useful too.
A Chiropractic First Examination
Some standard medical tests will be carried out including blood pressure, pulse, breathing exam and reflexes. There will be an examination of the range of movement in the affected area, a check of muscle tone and strength. There will also be some non-invasive neurological tests.
It’s possible they’ll have to run further diagnostic tests. These could include x-rays or MRI scans.
Following the examination, the chiropractor will discuss their diagnosis. This diagnosis is the basis for a treatment plan. In some cases, the chiropractor will recommend that you’re not a good candidate for chiropractic care and will suggest an alternative course of action.
You’ll have the opportunity to decide whether to continue with the chiropractic treatment plan.
What’s That Noise?
During the examination and treatment, your chiropractor may carry out some chiropractic adjustments. There may be some unfamiliar popping sounds associated with this.
The noises are the sound of small pockets of gas being released from around joints. They’re nothing to worry about and don’t indicate any particular problem.
Does It Hurt?
If you’re seeking treatment from a chiropractor, you may already be in pain. Muscle or joint pain can, in turn, make you feel tense and sensitive. Sometimes, patients have suffered pain for some time and they’re tired and stressed because they’re not sleeping well.
All these circumstances mean that there’s a concern about pain. A chiropractor will take care to cause minimal discomfort. They use gentle pressure and the minimum of force.
Rather than having more pain, most patients have some relief from pain immediately.
Your chiropractor may warn you that you may have some mild discomfort after the treatment. This is like the feeling you might have after starting a new exercise program. They’ll recommend drinking plenty of water.
If you have pain, they may advise you to reduce inflammation by applying an ice pack. They’ll also advise you where to apply the ice pack as this is not always best applied where the sensation of pain is felt.
Is It Safe?
Always make sure that any treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal problems is only carried out by properly accredited chiropractors or doctors.
Malpractice claims are very rare. On average, a chiropractor would have to work for 1,430 years before finding themselves involved in a claim where they caused a stroke or vertebral artery dissection as a result of a chiropractic adjustment.
A chiropractic first consultation is a non-invasive procedure. It’s also completely drug-free. The risks of injury or harm are very low.
Get in touch to learn more about chiropractic treatment.