Chiropractic care is an effective way to relieve chronic pain when medications and other forms of treatment don’t work. When you make an appointment for chiropractic treatment, you may be wondering what to expect. Here are the things that will generally happen during your first visit to a chiropractor:
Review of Medical History
Before conducting an exam and doing a chiropractic adjustment, a chiropractor will need information on your medical history. This includes any injuries or illnesses you’ve had recently, as well as any chronic conditions you have or any serious illnesses you’ve had in the past. The chiropractor will also ask about your family medical history to better understand what complications you’re at risk for.
You will also be asked about the pain you’re experiencing, such as how severe it is, what parts of your body it affects, and whether there are any movements or activities that make it worse. Knowing your medical history and information about your pain helps the chiropractor determine what might be causing your chronic pain and what type of treatment plan would provide you with safe and effective pain relief.
Physical Evaluation of Spine and Muscles
After gathering the initial medical information from you, the chiropractor will do a physical evaluation. This typically includes evaluating the strength of your muscles, checking your reflexes, and assessing your range of motion. The chiropractor will examine any area of your body where pain is felt, but special attention is given to your spine and neck. Any pain that you’re having is generally associated with the nerves coming from your spine and neck. Chiropractic adjustments correct spinal misalignments that affect these nerves, resulting in pain relief.
If needed, the chiropractor might have X-rays of your spine taken. These detailed images provide important information on the extent of your injury or damage to your spine, which helps the chiropractor come up with a treatment plan for you. X-ray images can also show if there are any other problems with your spine that need to be addressed during chiropractic care. After the physical evaluation and X-rays, the chiropractor will determine if chiropractic adjustments are a suitable treatment for your condition. If so, you’ll most likely have your first adjustment done at this visit.
These adjustments involve manipulating your spine in order to restore it to its proper alignment. When you have even the slightest misalignment in your spine, this can place pressure on nerves that are attached to it, which causes pain in your back, neck, or other areas. Moving your spinal discs into the right alignment takes the pressure off these nerves and relieves pain and stiffness. If you have neck pain, realigning your upper spine through chiropractic adjustments can ease this discomfort. For lower back pain, making adjustments to your lower spine helps relieve pain.
The chiropractor will make sure that you’re comfortable during your first chiropractic adjustment and any other adjustments you have afterwards. You can expect to lie down on a chiropractic table during your adjustment. Having your spine manipulated should not cause you any discomfort. You might experience a bit of soreness afterwards, but this is only temporary and very mild. After your adjustment is done, the chiropractor will talk to you about what to expect in terms of pain relief. You may need to come back for additional adjustments, especially if you have persistent or serious pain.
Chiropractic Treatment Plans
Thr chiropractor will finish up the visit by discussing a treatment plan with you. Your treatment plan might include coming in for more spinal adjustments or possibly going through physical therapy. This is especially true if you continue to experience chronic pain or if your pain gets worse. The chiropractor will also provide you with advice on reducing your risk of chronic pain through healthy lifestyle choices, such as making good nutritional choices and doing stretches and other exercises to improve your muscle strength and flexibility.
If you have any questions or concerns about your condition or treatment plan, you can bring these up to the chiropractor before the end of your first appointment. The chiropractor will provide you with any information you need to ensure that you’re well-informed about chiropractic care.
If you deal with chronic pain, please contact Health First Pain and Injury Centers to make an appointment with one of our experienced chiropractors. We have locations in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, and Cleburne.