Chiropractic FAQ: Answers for First-Time Patients

Are you preparing to schedule your first chiropractic appointment? Get excited, because relief is on its way! But before the appointment date approaches, you might have questions. We have answers! This quick guide will cover five of the most common questions that new patients tend to ask.

1. Do I need to bring any documents to my first appointment?

Your first chiropractic visit will include all kinds of important paperwork, so you may want to call in ahead of time to make sure that you have all the information you need all packed up and ready to go. The clinic will probably ask you to bring the recommendation from your general physician, written verification of insurance approval, etc.

Make sure to arrive early so that you can have plenty of time to fill out the appropriate forms. Don’t worry – the reception department will let you know how early to arrive, but it still helps to show up even earlier than recommended to ensure you have plenty of time to ask questions. Always check the website first! This chiropractor in Oak Lawn, for example, makes certain forms available online so you can save time at the appointment.

2. What kind of questions will the doctor ask?

Although the clinic is sure to ask a great number of questions as you book your appointment, you’ll answer even more once you get a chance to speak with the chiropractor. The chiropractor will ask you about the nature of your pain or discomfort: the location of your pain, what makes the pain worse, what makes the pain better, when it started. This will help the chiropractor decide which diagnostic route to take.

3. What does a chiropractic examination entail?

The appointment will start with a basic but hands-on diagnostic examination. The chiropractor will guide you through various movements and rotations of the injured area, and will ask you to speak up when it begins to feel uncomfortable. You might have to walk back and forth across the room a couple of times to demonstrate posture. The doctor will measure your muscle strength and tone along with basic reflexes.

Simple pains and discomfort can lead to a direct treatment while serious injuries and complicated subluxations will require further examination, maybe even x-rays or an MRI. You might have to wait until those test results come back before receiving anything beyond immediate relief treatments.

4. Will the adjustments or treatments hurt?

A chiropractic adjustment usually involves the positioning of the afflicted body part followed by a quick “burst” of pressure to create the proper alignments. Some adjustments do hurt, but instant relief usually follows. Some adjustments will not hurt at all. The chiropractor will let you know which adjustments are more likely to hurt so you won’t be startled.

You might feel sore and extra-limber for a few hours after the adjustments so give yourself plenty of time to recover. While the chiropractor will probably give you the green light to go directly back to work or school after the appointment, it is never encouraged to embark on rigorous physical activity right after undergoing major adjustments.

5. Should I keep in contact with the chiropractor after treatment?

Yes! Chiropractic adjustments can provide immediate relief but some more complicated problems require treatment over time. While you can expect to receive basic adjustments or treatments during your first visit, treating a more serious injury requires a different approach. Your chiropractor might not get the results of your x-rays or certain tests until the next day.

If you are hoping to adopt better posture, for example, you may want to visit the chiropractor for periodic treatment as your body adjusts to the changes. Your chiropractor will let you know whether you should come in for follow-up treatment.

Some patients even choose to schedule maintenance visits just as a preventative measure or for therapeutic benefit.

There is no need to be nervous! Chiropractors know that first appointments always involve a little nervousness, and they know that treatments are more effective when the patient is relaxed, so expect your chiropractor to make you feel as comfortable and welcomed as possible. So get excited – the feeling of relief is well worth the effort!