If you’re considering scheduling your first appointment with a chiropractor, then you’re probably wondering what the initial consultation will entail. You might even feel a little nervous, as you’ve got no idea what information you need to provide and what kind of treatment you’ll receive.
Let’s lift the lid on what goes on during a patient’s first consultation with a chiropractor so that you can feel a lot more comfortable on the day.
Filling Out a Questionnaire
The receptionist will request that you arrive 15 minutes before your consultation to fill out a detailed health and lifestyle questionnaire. A good chiropractor will want to know as much as possible about your medical history, including any chronic conditions or injuries that could contribute to your pain.
You’ll also be asked about the kind of work you do, and whether or not you play contact sports.
All this information will allow the chiropractor to analyse the likely cause of your pain and determine the best possible treatment under the circumstances.
Getting a Physical Examination
Once your chiropractor has had the chance to review the answers to your questionnaire, it’s time to enter the office to receive a physical exam.
The chiropractor will first perform a series of tests, some of which may seem a little strange to the untrained eye. However, rest assured that the chiropractor has strategically selected each one to test for things like reflexes, muscle strength, blood pressure, pulse, range of motion, and anything else that may relate to your condition.
Next, the chiropractor will perform a thorough examination of your spine, paying particularly close attention to any areas or nerves that could contribute to your pain. A good chiropractor will conduct a detailed examination, including orthopedic, neurological and postural screenings and establish if chiropractic care will be beneficial to you.
Whenever required, a chiropractor may even order an X-ray of your spine to better understand your anatomy as well as any anomalies that could affect your treatment.
Formulating a Treatment Plan
Once the chiropractor has finished the physical exam, it’s time to put together a tailor-made treatment plan. The chiropractor will draw upon information obtained from the questionnaire and the physical exam to create a tailor-made treatment program for you.
Every patient is different, so no two treatment plans are the same. The type of treatment, the number of follow up sessions, and the intensity of each will vary depending on your specific condition. Treatment plans are also highly flexible, so the chiropractor may alter them in line with the recovery process.
Getting Your Very First Treatment
A chiropractor will almost always begin treatment on a patient’s initial consultation. After all, he or she already knows what’s wrong with you and has formed a treatment plan, so there would be no point in delaying therapy.
The chiropractor will first explain each planned adjustment in detail, including why it was chosen, how it’s done, and how it works. Patients are encouraged to ask questions at this stage to ensure they feel totally at ease. You’ll be told to lie down on a chiropractic table, either face down, on your side, or your back. Sometimes you may be required to sit upright. The chiropractor will then perform the adjustments. Once finished, you’ll be asked to hang around the office for a few minutes to ensure there aren’t any unexpected side effects.