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What to Expect During Your First Chiropractic Visit

Switching our blog up this week to discuss what the first visit with us typically looks like!

As a chiropractor, we would be doing you a huge disservice if we only looked at the one area causing you pain. Your body is too complex for that.

While we do have you fill out a new patient paperwork with some of your health history, we usually follow that up with a much deeper dive in person.


#1: We Go Over Relevant Health History

Oh, you got into a skiing accident 5 years ago? You tore your ACL in high school? You're crazy if you don't think that these could be effecting you years later!

During your visit, we go over all of your relevant health history. This includes accidents, surgeries, illnesses, and all things major medical. By going over these major life events, we start to learn your body. If you had knee surgery 5 years ago, that may have caused an altered gait, resulting in your hip pain. If you got into a car accident last year, you may be dealing with some chronic whiplash changes.


#2: We Go Over Your Day to Day Life

What do you do for work? Do you get enough sleep? What do you do for workouts? Do you have small children you are picking up daily? Do you sit for the majority of your day?

If you sit for you job, we are going to manage your treatment plans and recommendations just a little bit different than if you were a college baseball player. We can use these lifestyle factors and habits to predict weaker, tighter, stronger areas that are commonly found, and go from there.

This is also a time that we can discuss some habit changing. Maybe you always sleep on your right side, or maybe you sit for 10 hours a day. We can discuss some simple lifestyle changes that you can do to help set you up for success years down the road.


#3: We Discuss What You Put in Your Body, Including Medications, Supplements, and Nutritional Factors

"Oh, I did not realize that that medication's side effect was joint pain, I wonder if that is why I have felt achy ever since I started that" - If we had a dollar for every time we've heard that!

What you eat, supplements you take, and what pills you take, have such an important factor in your life. While we obviously can't tell you to stop or start a medication, what we can do if inform you of any side effects that are public knowledge, and maybe discuss if that is part of your symptom presentation.

We also love supplements here, meaning, that we can work with you to see if a) the supplements you are taking are necessary, good quality, or if you should discontinue them, or b) hey, maybe we need to start taking magnesium, vitamin D, fish oil, or whatever we feel like you need.

And don't even get me started on how food and diet can impact your life.. But we discuss it because it is SO important! Oh, you eat pizza and drink pop daily? Maybe that is contributing to your inflammation, and why you feel crappy some day.


#4: We Run You Through Movement Patters and Perform Testing

While static palpation (feeling your joints and muscles), is so so important for learning more about you, we want to see you MOVE! If you have pain in your knees when you squat, you can bet we are going to take you through a squat moving pattern to see how you look. You have pain at your office job? Let's look at your neck range of motion to see what we can find.

Each movement assessment is unique to the patient. We always look at neck and back range of motion, followed by a posture exam to see how you look when you are not moving. These findings help up come up with YOUR unique treatment plan.


#5: We (Likely) Perform a Treatment

We typically perform treatment on the first visit! If you have been in an accident, have any major red flags, or a few other reasons, then we may refer out for imaging or send you to a specialist. But, the majority of the time we start treatment on the first day! Again, our treatment is super personalized to you and your needs.


#6: We Schedule a Follow Up Visit

If we could do 1 treatment and give you 100% permanent relief, we would be millionaires!!

We do pride ourselves on the majority of our patients have relief leaving the office, but most of the time, that relief is temporary. The adjustments are not 'putting your bones back in place', and the muscle scraping is not 'breaking up all your fascial adhesions'. It is helping to restore motion and improve muscle tone. But odds are, while you do feel better leaving the office, you are likely to have some of the pain return, and that is normal!

This why we pair treatments with stretches and exercises, because when we pair the in-office treatments with out-of-office work, we get the most success.


That's it, sounds easy and fun, right?? Each visit brings something different, so expect to be treated for the unique person you are!

Some exceptions include pregnant women and children, as these visits are typically longer and we go into a little more depth.

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