What Can I Expect?


Going to a Doctor of Chiropractic is a new experience for many - maybe you've heard through a friend how helpful chiropractic or acupuncture was for them or maybe you have done some research online...maybe you were referred by your primary care provider, etc.  Or it's possible that you are just fed up with living in pain and it's time to do something about it!  Although, we also do wellness care so not everybody comes to us with a pain complaint.

In any case, during your first visit, you can expect a thorough assessment and discussion about your health and medical history, an examination, discussion of the examination findings, initial treatment (unless contraindicated on the first visit) and development of a treatment plan.

Here's an overview of what happens during a typical visit but keep in mind that we take an individualized approach to care so your visit may vary from this outline:

  1. Health History Discussion:
    • We will ask about your current health concerns, medical history, lifestyle and any specific symptoms you may be experiencing.  This information helps us to understand your overall health and identify potential factors contributing to your complaints.
  2. Physical Examination:
    • A comprehensive physical examination will be conducted, which may include tests such as checking your range of motion, flexibility, posture, reflexes and more.  Depending on the reason for your visit, we may also assess the alignment and movement of your spine or other joints as applicable.
  3. Diagnostic Tests (if needed):
    • We generally don't require imaging on all patients and only do so when the situation calls for imaging.  This will be discussed with you and if appropriate, a referral will be made to an outside imaging center to complete the requested diagnostic imaging.  This may include diagnostic x-rays, MRI or other imaging studies, to get a more detailed view of your area of complaint - but again, this is only done on a case-by-case basis when medically necessary.
  4. Discussion of Findings:
    • After the examination, we will discuss the findings with you.  This includes explaining any imbalances or dysfunction that may have come to light during the exam that may be contributing to your symptoms.
  5. Treatment Plan:
    • Based on the assessment, we will develop a personalized treatment plan.  These plans are always fluid and can change but we will start by giving you a general idea of the frequency of visits needed for your particular situation.  This plan may involve spinal adjustments, other joint adjustments, therapeutic exercises, stretches or other chiropractic or acupuncture techniques aimed at improving mobility, reducing pain and promoting overall health and well-being.
  6. Informed Consent for Treatment:
    • Before any treatment is administered, the chiropractor will explain the proposed interventions and obtain your informed consent.  You'll have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have.
  7. Post-Treatment Discussion:
    • After the adjustment, we will discuss any necessary post-treatment care, including any recommendations for ice/heat, at-home exercises, ergonomic improvements, supplements or lifestyle modifications that can support your healing process.
  8. Follow-Up Plan:
    • Chiropractic and acupuncture often require multiple visits for the best results and in fact occasionally, people may feel a little worse before they feel better as in some post-treatment soreness.  But don't worry, that post-treatment soreness generally dissipates within 24 hours or so and generally becomes less significant after each visit.  We will discuss a follow-up plan with you, including the frequency of visits and any additional recommendations for ongoing care.
  9. Wellness Visits (Maintenance):
    • Once the initial complaints have resolved, we often discuss how the person can prevent such issues in the future.  This often includes maintaining regular visit, generally every 3-6 weeks on an ongoing basis.  While this isn't required (and isn't covered by insurance), so many people say that they feel so much better after their visits and they know that by helping to maintain proper alignment, they may be preventing future issues or preventing possible future issues from becoming lasting problems.  In other words, by getting your oil changed in your car on a regular basis, you prevent sludge and gunk from building up in your engine, allowing your vehicle to continue to run properly.  The same with chiropractic or acupuncture maintenance visits - we are generally preventing malfunction and allowing for YOU to continue to run properly.  :)
  10. Patient Education:
    • Throughout the visit, we may provide you with education about maintaining a healthy spine, healthy joints, preventing injuries and adopting habits that support musculoskeletal well-being.

Remember that the specific details of your first chiropractic visit may vary based on your individual needs.  It's important to keep open communication and be sure to ask any questions you may have.

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