Four Stages of a Chiropractic Visit

By Randi Morse 

A visit to a chiropractor's office is very much like a visit to your primary care physician. There are, however, a few differences that you should know about before you head to your first chiropractic appointment. A typical initial chiropractic visit will include four stages: 

  • Intake
  • Exam 
  • Treatment 
  • Follow-up 

Intake 

Most medical intake questionnaires are the same. You can expect the intake questionnaire at your chiropractor's office to have questions that you will easily know the answer to. You will have to answer questions about your health and may be required to answer questions about your family health. The big difference between the intake at a chiropractor's office in the intake at a regular physician's office is that at the chiropractic office you may be asked to circle, or mark, areas on a human body drawing to show the chiropractor where you are feeling pain.  

Exam 

When your chiropractor initially comes into the room, they will look through your intake form and may ask you some follow-up questions. Once they have finished asking questions, they will do a bodily exam. This exam will likely focus most on the place you marked on the drawing, as the chiropractor will be trying to determine what is causing the pain in that area. Don't be alarmed if your chiropractor checks other parts of your body as well. Because the spine connects the entire body, there are a number of situations during which the injury, and the pain resulting from the injury, are pretty far apart. For example, a problem with your lower back could be causing pain in your leg. 

Treatment 

Once the exam is completed, your chiropractor will then talk over a treatment plan with you. They will give a rough diagnosis and will ask you what goals you have. For example, you may say that your main goal is to get rid of the pain so that you can go back to work. In many situations, treatment will then begin. There are many types of adjustments chiropractors can make using different manipulation techniques. These adjustments may, on the surface, seem almost violent, as you will likely hear popping sounds. Don't be alarmed, an experienced chiropractor knows exactly how to get the discs in joints into correct alignment -- by removing the restrictions -- to help rid your body of pain. 

Follow-Up 

After your treatment is concluded, your chiropractor will speak with you about your follow-up options. Once treatment is completed it will be up to you to work together with your chiropractor on a solid treatment plan with regular follow-up visits. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Chandler, Ariz.

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