1st Appointment Tips
- Arrive 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork
- Bring a notebook to jot down your questions and observations
- Take some time to gather your thoughts on what symptoms are most bothering you. When do they show up? What makes them worse or better?
- Ask lots of questions! We are here to help you understand your treatment options and find the solution that’s best for you.
Your first visit with your chiropractor will take approximately 45 minutes and is intended to gather information about your current and previous health status, determine your areas of main concern, and understand the cause of your symptoms and how best to treat them.
What to Expect
As you enter the clinic, you will be greeted by our receptionist and asked to fill out the New Patient Intake Form. If you have completed it prior to coming to the clinic, our receptionist will collect it and ask you to take a seat. New patient forms are required to be filled out before a chiropractor can see you.
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After the paperwork is completed, the chiropractor will come out to greet you and take you back to the treatment room.
To get a well-rounded picture of your health, the chiropractor will review your current and past health status with you and give you time to explain what you would like to have addressed. This is the time to provide the chiropractor with details about the symptoms or issues you are experiencing.
During the physical exam the chiropractor will walk you through ranges of motion, orthopaedic testing, a neurological examination, and muscle and joint assessment to determine the cause of your issues. The purpose of the physical exam is to rule out different conditions and determine which specific tissues are causing your symptoms.
Treatment & Plan
Once your medical history and physical exam have been completed, the chiropractor will recommend a treatment plan to get you back to normal functioning as quickly as possible. The chiropractor will go through the findings with you, so you understand what tissues are being affected, why you are experiencing particular symptoms, and why a particular course of treatment is likely to help.
All risks and benefits of your treatment options will be discussed with you, and together we will develop a treatment plan that you understand and are comfortable with. After you are comfortable with the treatment plan we will typically have the opportunity to proceed with a treatment on your first visit, unless x-rays or some other external evaluation is needed prior to treatment. Whenever possible, we begin the process of getting you feeling better than when you walked in the door!
Your treatment plan may include:
- adjustments of joints (manually, by activator, or by table drop-piece)
- soft tissue therapy (such as trigger points, active release, or active stretching)
- rehabilitation or strengthening exercises
- daily-living recommendations for to avoid flare-ups
There is no cookbook recipe to getting you back to normal, pain-free function and optimizing your health. Your care will be very individualized and it will be adapted based on your body’s response. Although at least a few visits are usually necessary to treat the problem, your progress will be re-evaluated as we go. Our ultimate goal is to get your body functioning so that you can do the things you love without pain or discomfort, to give you the tools needed to maintain a great state of health, prevent symptoms and flare ups, and get you to a point where you are not relying on frequent visits.
Alternatives and Referrals
Should you not respond as expected to manual therapy we will investigate further and make sure you get into the right hands, whether that involves being sent out for x-rays, imaging or follow-up with your physician, or referral to a different health care provider. We not only want to get you out of pain, but give you the tools you need to prevent the same issues from coming back again and again.
Your future visits will typically take 10-15 minutes. Each time you come for an appointment we will chat about your progress and discuss how you responded to the last visit. The chiropractor will re-assess the issues that were being addressed and move forward or adjust the treatment plan, or not, based on your progress and response to prior treatment. Once again, the goal will be to return you to normal functioning as soon as possible, or refer you to more appropriate resources should chiropractic treatment not be working for you.
Once your symptoms have decreased and the affected area has returned back to normal, the chiropractor will likely take you through either a stretching or strengthening program or provide some recommendations about daily activities that will help support the therapy you have received. Whether you decide to continue with active, preventative chiropractic care or to construct a maintenance program at home, active care is most often crucial in preventing the same issues from coming back again and again.