You made the first step of seeking long-lasting pain relief from a chiropractor. You made an appointment and went. So, what comes next? Most chiropractors encourage a second appointment. If yours makes the suggestion, what can you expect?
The review of findings. Typically, your first chiropractic appointment will be used to gather your medical history and diagnose the problem. This may have involved an MRI or x-ray. Some chiropractors can diagnose a problem immediately, but others may review your tests and physical exam in between your first and second appointment. At your second appointment, they will review the findings with you. For example, if you suffer from ongoing headaches, the problem may be poor posture, stress, or muscle contractions that resulted in spinal distortion.
Treatment plan outline. After reviewing their findings with you, your chiropractor will discuss treatment options. Together, you will decide on a short or long-term course of treatment. For example, headaches caused by daily stress may require regular therapeutic massages. Headaches caused by muscle contractions and spinal distortion may require a neck adjustment.
Questions. After hearing the report of findings and hearing your chiropractor’s preferred choice of treatment, you will likely have many questions. This is the time to ask. In fact, your chiropractor should ask you if you questions. What should you ask? Anything. If you are worried about pain, ask if you will feel it. Are you curious if you need one treatment or continued care? If so, ask. Your chiropractor should explain your treatment option, such as an adjustment, realignment, or therapeutic massage. If you didn’t get a detailed explanation, ask for more information.
Treatment may start. As previously stated, some chiropractors can diagnose and start treatment in the first appointment. This all depends on the length of your appointment, your doctor’s preferences, and the severity of the problem. If treatment did not already start, it will now. For example, if your doctor recommends neck adjustments to treat ongoing headaches, they will properly position you and use precision force of the hands to force the joints back into place. When properly done, this should reduce or eliminate pain.
Expectations. After treatment, your chiropractor will highlight expectations. Even if ongoing care is not needed, you still need to take care of your body. You cannot help a car accident or arthritis, but you can stop pain due to poor posture and stress. If ongoing care is not required, your chiropractor will still stress the importance of returning if the pain does. You will be shown natural ways to avoid pain. For example, if poor posture caused your back pain, your chiropractor should show you the proper way to sit. Listen and take their advice.
Financial issues. Some chiropractors prefer to discuss financial issues at the first appointment, but others wait. If onetime treatment is enough, financial issues may not be a problem. They can be with continued care. For example, those with rheumatoid arthritis can benefit from regular therapeutic massages and may need yearly adjustments. Those without insurance can have difficulty making payments. Some chiropractors will agree to affordable monthly payments.
End of session. At the end of your session, your chiropractor should once again ask you if you have any questions or concerns. If you do, now is the time to ask. If continued care is required, you will need to schedule a third appointment. Do this before leaving the office. If continued care is not required, still take the business card handed to you. Chiropractic care fixes the problem at the source, so pain should subside, but there are no guarantees it will not return.