What to expect during your first visit

 

The first visit will last about an hour. The chiropractor will take a complete medical history and identify problem areas to be addressed during treatment. Your chiropractor will want to know about your pain, if any, where it is located, when the pain started, and what activities improve or exacerbate the pain. Your blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and reflexes may be assessed. Depending on your specific situation, your doctor may perform X-rays and/or refer you to have an MRI scan or other diagnostic tests. The physical examination will generally be performed through light clothing. It may include observation of posture and range of motion and palpation of muscles, joint movement, and soft tissues.

Treatment may cause mild discomfort but should not cause pain. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience pain. A typical patient being seen in a chiropractic office can be treated effectively with an average of 8 to 12 sessions. Subsequent visits may last just a few minutes.

What Is An Adjustment?

Chiropractors are said to perform “adjustments.” Adjustments are done by applying a specific force in a certain direction to the body, and the result is a change in the position and motion of spinal bones. Force can be applied with hands only or with a small instrument called an Activator. You may hear a popping noise, resulting from gas and lubricating fluids in the spinal joints shifting. Usually you will receive treatment on a special chiropractic table designed of several parts that can be moved to assist the chiropractor in performing the adjustment.

Adjustments are done to correct what are called “subluxations.” Subluxations occur when the joints of the spine fail to move properly and/or spinal bones move out of alignment, which results in interference with the nerve messages from the brain to the body or vice versa. Muscle balance, organ function, and the body’s production of hormones and chemicals can be affected. Subluxations can exist without causing any obvious symptoms, since only about 10 percent of nerves actually perceive pain.