Your First Chiropractic Visit
You've decided to visit a chiropractor, but you're not quite sure what to expect on your first visit. The following page will help you feel at ease during your first chiropractic appointment. During the first visit, the doctor of chiropractic-commonly referred to as a chiropractor-will complete a thorough examination that typically includes:
• Patient history
• Physical examination
• Diagnostic studies (when indicated)
• Chiropractic treatment plan
Prior to your initial consultation, you will be asked to fill out forms that provide background information about your symptoms and condition. Questions may include:
• When did your pain/condition start?
• Where is the pain located?
• Did pain/condition immediately follow an injury or accident?
• Is anything improves or worsens the pain?
• What treatments have you already tried, and how successful were they?
You may also be asked to provide family medical history, any pre-existing medical conditions or prior injuries, and previous and current health providers and treatments.
To properly diagnose your problem and design a treatment program, your doctor of chiropractic needs to know about any of the following:
• Bone disorders such as osteoporosis
• Implants like pacemakers, artificial joints, cosmetic implants, etc.
• Circulatory problems
• Dizziness or blurred vision
• Heart conditions such as hypertension
• Injuries, such as bone fractures, muscle sprains/strains, or disc injuries
• Joint disorders such as arthritis
• Any current health condition for which you are receiving care from another health care practitioner
When applicable, bring with you any copies of previous tests (for example, MRI or X-ray reports), lab results, and a list of any medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications, nutritional supplements, vitamins, herbs, teas, and homeopathic and/or naturopathic substances.
Chiropractic Physical Examination
The next step is a physical examination your chiropractor will perform to evaluate your condition and develop a working diagnosis. In addition to general physical examination procedures such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and temperature, the examination will include specific orthopedic and neurological tests to assess:
• Range of motion of the affected area that is observed while you walk, turn, bend, or lift
• Muscle tone
• Muscle strength
• Neurological integrity
Diagnostic studies help diagnose conditions more accurately. The most common used by chiropractors include:
• MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT, or bone scan
• Laboratory tests