If you’ve never been to a doctor of chiropractic, it’s natural to wonder what to expect on your first visit. To dispel any fears or uncertainties, we’ve prepared the following step-by-step guide.
When you walk into a chiropractor’s office, it may very well look like the office of a medical doctor or a dentist. In some cases, however, your chiropractor may opt for a different look, one that’s warmer and less sterile. It all depends on his or her personal style and philosophy.
Your chiropractor or the office manager will greet you, take your name and ask you to fill out some forms and a questionnaire. That questionnaire will cover your medical background, family history and any previous treatment or surgery. Forms will include Consent to Treat and HIPPA forms.
When your Chiropractor is ready to see you, you will talk together in detail about the history of your complaint. as well as detailed questions about your health history.
Chiropractors examine patients in much the same way that medical doctors do. Your chiropractor will take your basic vitals, perform a thorough physical examination including a cranial nerve exam and neurological exam. Range of motion is of particular interest to chiropractors, so expect a test to see how far certain joints in your body bend comfortably. Orthopedic examination is also performed to help further identify the problem and come up with a diagnosis.
In some cases, x-rays and or MRI may be ordered if medically necessary.
If your DC finds a problem with joints in your spine, he or she may use adjustments to care for these joints. An adjustment is a quick but gentle pressure on a joint to loosen it. Chiropractors can perform adjustments either with their hands or with a mechanical device called an activator tool. (Doctors receive years of training to learn about manipulating bones in the back safely.) Adjustments shouldn’t be painful, although you may feel some discomfort until the pressure in the joint is relieved. Chiropractors have a a variety of methods and tools that they are well trained in to treat patients. At Reinforce Health & Wellness may use a combination of tools including but not limited to pelvic blocks, ultrasound, electric stimulation, hot moist packs, and cold packs. The facility is also equipped to perform acupuncture, massage therapy, nutritional counseling, and functional rehabilitation. The chiropractor is able to use good medical judgment according to the patient’s specific needs.
Depending on your condition, your chiropractor may schedule a series of visits for care. However, depending on the patient’s response to treatment and follow through with home care, this may change.
If so many visits seem unusual, consider this: when you see a medical doctor, he or she may prescribe pills to treat your condition. Because you can take the pills yourself, you don’t have to go back to the doctor’s office. Your chiropractor’s care, on the other hand, involves adjustments and tests that must be done in person.
Phases of care:
Phase 1: Relief Care
Phase 2: Corrective Care
Phase 3: Wellness Care