You may have heard that chiropractic care has many benefits. It is a natural form of healthcare that can lead to long-term relief of pain, discomfort, and improved mobility. Most patients see a chiropractor when in pain, but you do not have to wait. If you want to lead a natural and healthy life, seek natural medical care through a chiropractor.
Regardless of your reason for seeking chiropractic care, you may wonder about your first appointment. What can you expect?
Paperwork. Many new patients mistakenly believe they will not need to fill out a lot of paperwork. Unfortunately, all medical professionals recommend it. This is for your own safety though. Even though chiropractors do not administer medication, they still need all the information on your background and medical history. In addition to the medical history forms, you will be required to provide your contact and payment information.
On average, it can take 10 to 20 minutes to fill out all required paperwork. Your chiropractor may ask you to arrive early. If you are pressed for time, ask to pickup these forms ahead of time. You can complete them at home and bring with you to your appointment.
Education. Chiropractic care is unlike traditional medical care. Yes, there are many similarities, but there are also many differences. As previously stated, they do not administer medication. They also do not perform surgery. What they do use is diagnosable medical tools, such as sonograms, x-rays, and MRIs. After these tools are used to get a proper diagnosis, manual therapy kicks in. Chiropractors use their hands, precise force, and their training to treat spinal and joint problems.
As for why education is important, many are unfamiliar with chiropractic care. Most Americans have it drilled into their heads that rest, relaxation, and pain medications are the best way to seek relief. After all, we have heard this for years. Your chiropractor will educate you on the history of chiropractic care, its benefits, the differences between other forms of medical care, and why you made the right choice to come in for an appointment.
Examination. You will undergo a number of tests when at a first chiropractic appointment. As previously stated, you will get a quick physical exam. Your doctor may take your height and weight, test your blood pressure, or take your temperature. If he or she suspects a serious injury, a sonogram, MRI, or x-ray may be used. If not, your chiropractor will rely on their hands to get a good feel of the area causing you pain.
Consultation. This step varies depending on appointment length, chiropractor preferences, and diagnosis. If your doctor wants to wait and review your tests or take time to think about a course of treatment, you will need to return for a second appointment. This should conclude your first one. Some chiropractors can and will diagnose right away. They will then consult their findings and preferred method of treatment right away. In fact, treatment may begin. This may involve a simple therapeutic massage or a spinal or joint adjustment.
Picture taking. Although optional, many chiropractors like to take pictures of their new patients. Some want to highlight improvements. Your chiropractor may use before and after pictures to show to new patients or at medical conferences, but most will ask for permission first. They may also want you to see the difference at the end of treatment.
So, there you have it. You can expect some of these things at your first appointment. All medical professionals are different, so your first appointment may vary slightly.