The first visit to our chiropractic office includes 3 areas:
- Patient History and Symptoms
In preparation for the chiropractic consultation, the patient will be asked to fill out our forms that provide background information about his or her symptoms and condition. Questions typically include:
- When and how did the pain start?
- Where is it located?
- Did the pain start as a result of an injury?
- What activities/circumstances makes it better or worse?
You will be asked to provide information on family medical history, any pre-existing medical conditions or prior injuries, and previous and current health providers and treatments.
2. The Chiropractic Exam
The chiropractic exam includes general tests such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and reflexes, as well as specific orthopedic and neurological tests to assess:
- Range of motion of the affected part
- Muscle tone
- Muscle strength
- Neurological integrity
Other tests may be necessary to assess the affected area, such as having the patient move in a specific manner, posture analysis, or chiropractic manipulation of the affected body part.
3. Diagnostic Studies
Based on the results of the patient’s history and chiropractic exam, diagnostic studies may be helpful in revealing pathologies and identifying structural abnormalities to more accurately diagnose a condition. Diagnostic studies are not always necessary during the chiropractic exam, and will only be undertaken if the chiropractor has a good reason to believe that the X-ray or other test will provide information needed to guide the patient’s treatment program.
The diagnostic studies during the first visit may include:
- X-ray exam
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan
- Other laboratory tests
Based on the patient history, physical examination and required diagnostic studies we will have a specific diagnostic. Once the diagnosis is established, we will determine if the condition will respond to chiropractic care.
At the end of the patient’s first visit, to our chiropractic office, we will explain the patient’s:
- Diagnosed condition
- Individualized chiropractic treatment plan
- Anticipated length of chiropractic care
Chiropractic treatment goals and recommendations may include:
- Adjustments to key joint dysfunctions
- Modalities to improve soft tissue healing and pain control, such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and traction
- Strengthening and/or stretching exercises to improve muscle balance, strength, and coordination
- Patient education to improve posture and motor control, as well as possibly reduce anxiety
- Other treatments such as massage, heat/cold application, and education on ergonomics and nutrition.
Based on each patient’s diagnostic we will establish the individual treatment plan
- Short-term goals typically include reducing pain and restoring normal joint function and muscle balance
- Long-term goals include restoring functional independence and tolerance to normal activities of daily living.
Chiropractic adjustment (spinal manipulation) is a recognized and popular pain relief treatment for many types of lower back pain, sciatica, and neck pain. Knowing what to expect from your first chiropractic visit can help an individual receive the maximal benefit from chiropractic treatment.