What to expect during your first chiropractic appointment?

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If you’re considering seeing a chiropractor for the first time, some questions about what to expect. Chiropractic care focuses on the health of your nervous system and alignment of your spine. While adjustments and manipulations of your joints and muscles are commonly used, chiropractors also provide advice on posture, exercises, and overall wellness. 

Initial paperwork

When you first come into the chiropractic office, you’ll likely need to fill out introductory paperwork. This often includes:

  • Contact, insurance, and personal information
  • Health history 
  • List of current medications
  • Description of the issues that brought you in to see the chiropractor
  • Any pains, disabilities, or past conditions you want the chiropractor to know about

Be thorough and honest when filling this paperwork out to help guide your care. For example, include past injuries, accidents, surgeries, or family history of conditions. Bring a list of any prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, supplements, or vitamins you currently take as well. 

Physical exam 

Next, the chiropractor will do a hands-on physical examination evaluating your spine, joint mobility, range of motion, posture, gait, and more. As these proceeds, describe or point out where your problem areas or pain points are located when prompted.  They may also assess your muscle strength, reflexes, balance, coordination, and other neurologic functions depending on your symptoms. Don’t be afraid to speak up with feedback on pain intensity as your chiropractor moves your limbs and spine into different positions.

Detail whether certain postures make the discomfort better or worse. Chiropractor Parramatta will likely take notes on parameters like areas exhibiting restricted movement or tenderness. Being communicative during the exam gives the best clinical picture possible. Relax and allow your body to be fully examined – the assessment isn’t intended to cause agony. Provide steady feedback so the chiropractor gains maximum insight into your challenges to guide the next steps.  

Diagnostic conclusions

Drawing on the background information you provide combined with clinical exam findings, your chiropractor will share what they believe is causing your problems. Depending on presenting symptoms, some chiropractors take and analyze additional diagnostic x-rays. If imaging hasn’t yet been conducted, the chiropractor may order spine films or other testing before finalizing conclusions.

However, they often develop an initial working diagnosis based on the exam. The chiropractor will clarify what joint dysfunctions, muscular tightness, inflammation issues, biomechanical imbalances or other disruptions likely contribute toward your discomfort or disability. Listen closely to the rationale so you understand what specific spinal or postural problems need attention via ongoing adjustments and related treatment.  

Initial chiropractic adjustment

Beyond hands-on examination, chiropractors frequently provide at least an initial adjustment during your first visit. This involves expertly moving joints into better positions so motion is restored and tissues heal. There are many adjustment techniques ranging from low-force to higher-impact manipulations. 

Being as relaxed as possible while laying down, sitting up, or standing for the adjustment facilitates maximum benefits. Breathe slowly and don’t tense up. Let your chiropractor know right away if an adjustment causes unexpected pain, numbness/tingling, or worrisome sensations so techniques be modified. While some soreness may occur after appointments as your body calibrates, sharp intense worsening of symptoms shouldn’t persist.


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