Your back pain has finally gotten to the point that you feel it is necessary to see a chiropractor. However, now you are concerned about what the first appointment will be like. There is really nothing to worry about. Your initial exam is more like an assessment to see if chiropractic care is right for your particular problem. Although, to make you feel more at ease, it can help to examine each of the four parts of your initial appointment before you get there.
1. Symptoms and Patient History
The first portion of your visit will typically be spent filling out paperwork and answering a few questions about your medical history and any symptoms. For example, the chiropractor will want to know when your pain started and whether it is persistent or the result of another injury. Also, they will want to know about any current treatments you are undergoing or if there have been any surgeries that may relate to your current condition.
2. Chiropractic Examination
Once the paperwork has been filled out and all pertinent questions have been answered, your chiropractor will move onto the chiropractic exam. During this portion of your visit, your blood pressure, respiration, pulse and reflexes will be examined. Also, the doctor of chiropractic will check muscle tone and strength, neurological integrity and range of motion. All of these tests are to determine the limitations of the affected area.
3. Diagnostic Tests and Labs
Next, the chiropractor may want to perform several diagnostic studies and lab work to narrow down the cause of your discomfort further. However, extra testing is not always necessary. If it is, the tests will usually include an MRI, X-ray and other common imaging and lab tests. Although, if more extensive imaging is required, then they may refer you to an outside center.
4. Diagnosis and Treatment Plan
Last, the doctor of chiropractor will review all of the results from patient history and testing to determine if chiropractic care is right for the patient. If treatment is determined to be the best course of action, then the chiropractor will present a treatment plan. Also, it is possible that after everything, they might perform a spinal adjustment at your initial exam, but that depends on testing.
While chiropractic treatment might be intimidating, especially if you have never experienced it, it can be extremely beneficial. Stop hesitating. If you are living with chronic spinal or joint pain, then schedule a consultation with a local, licensed chiropractor.