Maybe you’ve been experiencing pain in your neck, spine, or hips, and your general practitioner (GP) recommends that you go to a chiropractor. So you book a session with a chiropractor in Alexandria. But you do a little research and end up in a black hole of videos showing chiropractors “cracking” people’s backs, and you get a little worried. Is this going to happen to you? For your first time at a chiropractor, you should expect to meet your doctor and have them get to know you, i.e., your health status and medical history. Depending on the diagnosis, adjustments can happen during your first time, so it’s best to come prepared for anything.
How To Prepare For Your First Chiropractic Visit
Before anything else, make sure to choose the right chiropractor for you. Generally, you can ask your GP for recommendations, but you can also seek advice from family and friends who’ve experienced chiropractic treatment before. Just make sure you do proper checks on your end to make sure you end up with a doctor that’s suited for your needs and preferences.
If you’re not 100% sure about the doctor or the experience, it’d be good to make an initial call or even drop by the chiropractor’s office, if possible, to answer some of your questions or ease a bit of tension.
On the day of your visit, make sure to wear comfortable clothes. You may receive an adjustment right after your diagnosis, so you should put on something that doesn’t restrict your body too much from movement.
What To Expect On Your First Visit To The Chiropractor
Your first visit to the chiropractor is more of an introductory session. This first session is meant for you to build rapport with your chiropractor to ensure that your subsequent sessions are comfortable, and you can also expect an in-depth consultation and examination to determine your diagnosis. Immediate chiropractic treatment may or may not follow.
Consultation and Diagnosis
Just like your first visit to any doctor, your initial chiropractic session will begin with a consultation on your medical history and current health status. Be prepared to answer a number of your chiropractor’s questions. Here are some examples of questions you may encounter.
“What hurts? How long has it been bothering you? On a scale of one to 10, how painful is it? What other related pains are you experiencing?”
The chiropractor will use this information to create a treatment plan for you; one which will also help address health goals that you want to achieve through chiropractic treatment. It’s also essential to bring up your concerns, such as how often you should go to the chiropractor for maintenance or if they have any recommended changes in your diet or lifestyle to aid in improved neuro-musculoskeletal health.
Your chiropractor may also perform a physical exam, which involves observing your posture, examining your spine, and moving your joints. In severe cases, your chiropractor may have to perform an x-ray or refer for an MRI. Your chiropractor might also need to refer you to other practitioners for certain aspects of your diagnosis or treatment.
Depending on your diagnosis, your chiropractor will then outline the next steps of your treatment. This process may entail an adjustment right then and there. Your chiropractor might also provide other treatments such as massages or applying tape or therapeutic lotion to the affected area.
If no immediate treatment is needed, you’ll probably have to come back after a few days for your first adjustment.
How Long Is A Chiropractic Session?
Your first chiropractic session can last between thirty minutes to an hour. But succeeding sessions will be shorter, lasting from fifteen to thirty minutes.
What To Expect At A Chiropractic Adjustment
Your chiropractor may recommend immediately making a chiropractic adjustment during your first visit. If that’s the case, they will ask you to lie or sit down on a unique treatment table. Then, they will move the affected area in a way to help restore proper movement by making an adjustment.
Do Chiropractic Adjustments Hurt?
You’ll often, but always, hear a popping sound during your adjustment. Don’t be alarmed. Your bones have not broken. When a chiropractor performs an adjustment that pops, the joint fluid releases gas bubbles because of the change in pressure inside the joint fluid. It causes almost no discomfort, but if there is any tenderness, it disappears right after your joints are manipulated.
Adjustments aren’t painful. Instead, you should feel relief almost immediately. That said, you may feel a little bit of soreness after your session, but this usually doesn’t last longer than a day.
What Happens After Your First Chiropractic Visit?
After your first chiropractic session, your chiropractor will schedule you for your next visit. In the beginning, you may have to come back one to three times a week. But after that, you’ll probably only need to return once or twice a month for maintenance.
Your chiropractor will also give you stretches and exercises that you can do to keep up your neuro-musculoskeletal health. And though they don’t prescribe drugs, some chiropractors may also recommend vitamins or various supplements. Lifestyle advice including improving ergonomics and diet is usually given.
Make sure to keep your chiropractor in the loop should there be any changes in how you feel, for better or for worse, so that they can adjust your treatment accordingly, especially after you first begin.
Time to Book A Chiropractor!
Now that you know what to expect on your first time at a chiropractor, nothing is stopping you from booking a session to relieve any pain you feel and to start taking better care of your spinal health.