Are you tired of dealing with pain or limited range of motion? Visiting a chiropractor can help you pinpoint the cause of that pain, and you might even be able to obtain relief right there on the spot!
Of course, a little nervousness is natural – nobody knows what to expect during that first appointment, but rest assured that the process is often very simple and straightforward. This quick guide will set your mind at ease by describing the typical first-time visit so you can show up prepared.
Scheduling An Appointment
Setting up an appointment is typically a simple affair. Be prepared to describe your ailment and a little background about yourself and your health. Choose an appointment date that allows you to show up early to fill out a few forms (insurance, medical information, you know the drill). If you have the time, leave the rest of the day open for recuperation.
Consider what you will wear to the appointment. Most offices will suggest wearing your everyday clothes – but the more comfortable your outfit, the more comfortable you will feel at the appointment. The average appointment takes place fully clothed, but if you will need x-rays or extensive movement tests, the chiropractor may ask that you change into a provided gown and drape.
As the appointment day draws nearer, make sure to avoid aggravating your condition and drink plenty of water to help your muscles and joints recover after the adjustments. If you have to attend work or school on the day of your appointment, pack along a comfortable outfit with a wide range of motion. Try to avoid long necklaces, earrings, or other jewelry that might get in the way of a neck or back adjustment.
The Initial Consultation And Treatment
When you first arrive at the chiropractic offices, the practitioner will ask a few detailed questions about your symptoms – it helps to think about your answers to these questions well ahead of time. When and how did it start? Is it the result of an injury? Does anything help or make it worse? You will need to describe any relevant family medical history and your own pre-existing conditions or prior injuries.
The initial consultation will consist of a few simple tests: blood pressure, pulse, breathing, reflexes. The chiropractor will test the range of motion of the afflicted area, and may check for muscle tone and strength. If the practitioner believes the injury or condition is particularly serious, you may have to undergo a quick x-ray and a few lab tests, and may even schedule an MRI.
Depending on the preliminary diagnosis, you might receive treatment for immediate relief right after the checkup. You’ll lie on a specially designed table and the chiropractor will administer hands-on bodily adjustments. The practitioner will also give you information about preventative maintenance – he or she will show you how to adjust your posture for alignment, often including ergonomics.
What Happens Next?
Depending on the severity of your condition, the chiropractor may suggest making a few more appointments for corrective care and further maintenance. The injury or pain itself may have been bad enough on its own, but certain conditions can actually reduce the function of your spine, muscles, and supporting tissues. Further appointments can help to restore this function so you can avoid the potential for further injury.
Keep in contact with your chiropractor to discuss your situation if the pain or discomfort returns, or if new problems pop up. Chiropractors have the training to catch many conditions before they develop and periodic checkups are a good way to make sure potential developments do not fly under the radar.
Knowledge is power. Are you looking for more information about chiropractic health in general? Take some time to visit BottiChiropractic.com in Oak Lawn for an interactive 3D explanation about how different types of injuries can affect the nerves and body.
Stay positive! Your first chiropractic appointment is sure to go smoothly. The more relaxed and comfortable you feel when you show up for your adjustments, the better your chances of obtaining an accurate diagnosis and long-term relief.
Crystal is a passionate health blogger who has written this resourceful article to help others take the jitters off for their first chiropractic visit