A chiropractic adjustment is a pain relief alternative treatment also called spinal manipulation. This treatment is recognized and quite popular. It can be used to treat several types of pain including neck pain, sciatica, as well as lower back pains.
If you have made an appointment in a chiropractic clinic for the first time, we bet you are somewhat anxious about what the experience will be like. It’s normal to be anxious, but trust us when we say you have nothing to worry about.
Typically, each chiropractic clinic process would vary from the other. However, the basics are generally the same or slightly different. While we may not describe what you would experience at the clinic in accurate details, we can give you a rundown of what we believe will happen during the consultation.
Hence, we’ll explain what you can expect in a chiropractic clinic when you visit one for the first time. But first, let us discuss what you need to do before you even visit the clinic.
What to Do Before You Visit the Chiropractor
A chiropractor is a trained health professional in the field of chiropractic care. Before you even go to visit the chiropractor, we advise that you have a one-on-one conversation with them either in person or over a call. Conducting this initial interview would help you find out more about the chiropractor that will be treating you and whether they are reputable enough for you to visit them.
Questions you need to ask during this interview should be based on the chiropractor’s expertise, philosophy, as well as the general approach that will be used during the session. You can even go ahead to ask them for references; people that they have treated before that you can call to find out more about their practice.
Once you’ve confirmed their reputation, then you can set up an appointment with them.
What to Expect During Your First Visit
Your first visit to a chiropractic clinic will typically be made up of 3 major stages. We’ll discuss these areas one after the other to enable you to understand them better.
1. Information About Your Symptoms and History Will be Collected
Before you start the consultation, you’d be given a form that you’d fill out. This form will collect important background information including your condition and symptoms. Common questions these forms include are:
- How and when did you start feeling the pain?
- Where do you feel the pain?
- Did you start feeling the pain because of an injury?
- What circumstances or activity makes the pain feel worse or better?
- Can you describe your pain? Is it throbbing, burning/searing, or sharp? This would help them to determine the type of pain you are experiencing. Read this article to find out more about different types of pain and how to describe them.
You would also be asked to give information on the medical history of your family, current and past treatments, and even pre-existing health conditions.
2. The Examination
The next step would be to have you examined. This examination includes tests like reflexes, pulse, blood pressure, and respiration. Some specific neurological and orthopedic tests may be carried out as well so that the following can be assessed:
- Neurological integrity
- Muscle strength
- Muscle tone
- The affected part(s) motion range
Your chiropractor may also carry out some further tests so that they can assess the areas affected. The tests may involve you being asked to move a certain way and posture analysis.
3. The Diagnostic Studies
Diagnostic studies can help identify structural abnormalities and pathologies based on your chiropractic exam and medical history so that your condition can be accurately diagnosed.
X-rays are commonly used in chiropractic care during the initial session; however, they may not be needed in some cases. Generally, x-rays are used in chiropractic clinics to:
- Diagnose recent traumas
- Study spinal deformities that may progress, like scoliosis
- Diagnose spondyloarthritis. Spondyloarthritis or spondyloarthropathy affect entheses; these are the areas where tendons and ligaments are joined to bones. You can visit https://www.webmd.com/ to learn more about spondyloarthritis.
X-rays generally are meant to be performed only when the chiropractor believes that they’ll provide information that is vital for the patient’s program. Because x-rays expose patients to ionizing radiation, it is meant to be used when necessary.
Furthermore, x-rays are helpful when viewing the bones; however, when studying soft tissues, they aren’t particularly useful. If the chiropractor suspects damage to soft tissue like nerve compression, torn muscle, and disc issues, they most likely will recommend an MRI.
Most chiropractic clinics carry out x-ray studies by themselves. However, when complex imaging studies or MRI scans are required, some clinics may not have the facilities for these and would likely refer you to get them done in another center.
After analyzing your medical history and carrying out a physical examination as well as diagnostic studies, the chiropractor should be able to make a diagnosis.
When they’ve accurately established the diagnosis, they’ll determine if chiropractic care can work for the condition. This is because not every condition responds to this treatment method. For instance, infections, tumors, and fractures do not. If you are diagnosed with any of these conditions, you would be better off contacting a specialist physician.
The consultation typically will be coming to an end at this point, so the chiropractor would talk with you. During this talk, they would explain everything to you including:
- The condition you’ve been diagnosed of
- The treatment plan; whether chiropractic treatment will work or if you’d have to get other treatments.
- If chiropractic care will work for your condition, you’d be told how long the treatment program is expected to last.
Some clinics give their patient’s written form of the information above. This way, the patient can think about all that they were told and carry out research about them at home.
If you are visiting a chiropractic clinic for the first time, you typically should go through 3 stages during the consultation. First, you’d be asked to provide specific information about your condition and medical records. Next, you’d go through a physical examination. Finally, diagnostic studies will be carried out. The chiropractor will then use the data collected from these stages to diagnose your condition, which they will then discuss with you.