A patient at their first visit to a chiropractor.

Navigating Your Initial Chiropractic Appointment: What You Need to Know

Are you considering visiting a chiropractor for your aches and pains but aren’t sure what to expect? Well, don’t worry – your first visit to a chiropractor is similar regardless of the provider you choose. Let’s break it down.

A Quick Look at Chiropractic Care

Whether you suffer from chronic back pain or are dealing with an injury caused by sports or another accident, a visit to the chiropractic clinic can provide instant relief — all without medication.

Chiropractic care focuses on diagnosing, treating, and preventing disorders in the musculoskeletal system. It’s a form of alternative medicine that emphasizes the body structure (mainly the spine) and how it functions. Chiropractic adjustments help regulate the nervous system, reducing tension, inflammation, and pain.

Chiropractors are trained to manually manipulate parts of the body. This is done with a controlled but sudden force applied to a joint, either by the chiropractor’s hands or special instruments (depending on the patient and their condition).

It’s believed that proper alignment of the musculoskeletal system allows the body to heal without surgery or medication. Other related treatment options for chiropractic care include massage, stretching, soft-tissue therapy, heat or cold therapy, electric stimulation, and lifestyle counseling. Effective treatment often includes a combination of these treatment options. Chiropractors can also work together with physical therapists to ensure the patient’s medical condition is properly addressed.

Pain Relief (and More!)

Chiropractic adjustments are known to help relieve different kinds of pain, including:

    • Back pain
    • Joint pain
    • Neck pain
    • Muscle pain and injuries
    • Sciatica
    • Scoliosis
    • Chronic pain (fibromyalgia)

While chiropractic care is most often associated with medication-free pain relief, many other medical conditions can be addressed with chiropractic adjustments.

Here are just a few additional benefits of chiropractic care:

    • Improved mobility
    • Faster recovery
    • Improved circulation
    • Stress relief
    • Improved sleep
    • Strengthened immune system
    • Lower blood pressure

→ [Free Guide] Chiropractic care goes way beyond back pain relief. Download our guide to see if you could benefit from a chiropractor!

The Start of Your First Chiropractic Visit

It’s okay to feel a little nervous about your first chiropractic appointment as a new patient. Before arriving at the office for your initial visit, bring any questions you may have and medications you are currently taking, and be ready to provide your medical history.

Providers start visits with a chiropractic consultation to discuss the pain and symptoms you’re experiencing as well as an overall health history. The more detailed you are about the affected area and your complete patient history, the better you can be treated.

Time For Adjustment

Once your chiropractor knows your medical condition and symptoms, they will conduct a physical exam to determine your range of motion, muscle strength, and tone. A posture analysis may be done, especially if you have back pain.

As your chiropractor learns about your pain and misalignments from this initial consultation, further tests like an X-ray may be ordered, although not always necessary.

Now your physical examination is complete, and you can get ready for your first adjustment!

The First Treatment

After the chiropractic exam, your chiropractor will get you situated on a comfortable, padded table. Depending on how your medical condition and symptoms present, you could be on your side, on your stomach, sitting upright, or on your back.

Throughout the entire process, your chiropractor will talk with you about what’s going on, explaining things each step of the way. They may explain what they are doing and why. (If you want to know, just ask!) They’ll adjust you, which will be very quick.

Once the adjustment is completed the first time (and every adjustment), take a moment to relax before you get up and move around. Depending on what was adjusted, there is a slight possibility that you could feel dizzy or light-headed if you immediately jump up. If you experience any deep pain, let them know immediately, whether during the adjustment or shortly after.

Follow Through With Follow-Ups

Your first visit may result in the provider determining a full chiropractic treatment plan. Now that you’ve had your first chiropractic adjustment, your chiropractor has an idea of how often you should visit (if recurring sessions are necessary).

It’s important to note that after your first visit, you can experience mild soreness as your muscles and joints return to their normal alignment. Your progress will be monitored at the follow-up visit, so communicate any issues that arise between sessions. They may suggest stretches or exercises to address your symptoms. Follow through on these suggestions to receive the best care possible.

It’s important to continue moving after your adjustment to work the muscles and stay hydrated. If soreness turns into chronic pain, tell your chiropractor immediately.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Chiropractic care is a beneficial tool to relieve pain and improve your overall well-being without relying on surgery or medication. Here at Meridian HealthCare, we strive to provide high-quality and reliable services that ensure our client’s health is always optimally managed.

Our goal is to help you gain control of your health and live life on your terms. If you’ve decided that chiropractic care or another form of treatment may be the path for you, visit us online and get in touch with one of our welcoming staff members to schedule your first visit to a chiropractor.