Your First Chiropractic Adjustment

Woman receiving a back adjustment

What to Expect During Your First Chiropractic Visit

Have you been thinking about making an appointment with a chiropractor due to pain in your back, neck, hip or limbs? Chiropractic treatment offers a natural way to ease pain, reduce insomnia and stress, relieve numbness and tingling, and help you stay healthy. Here's what you can expect during your first appointment.

You'll Spend a Little Time Talking to the Chiropractor

Before your treatment begins, your chiropractor will review the questionnaire you completed and ask you to describe the location, duration, and intensity of your pain and its cause, if known. You'll also discuss your hobbies, lifestyle, and job.

These questions help your chiropractor get to know you and provide valuable information about the lifestyle factors that may have triggered or worsened your symptoms.

Your Chiropractor Will Perform a Thorough Examination

During the exam, your doctor will evaluate the strength and tone of your muscles and also assess your posture, range of motion, flexibility, and level of pain when moving the sore or injured part of your body.

The exam will include vital sign measurements and neurological and orthopedic tests. Your chiropractor may also take a few X-rays to evaluate the health of your spine and joints. In some cases, other tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies, may be ordered.

You May Receive an Adjustment During Your First Visit

After your chiropractor reviews your history and the results of your exam, he or she will prepare a treatment plan. Many plans include spinal manipulations, also known as adjustments. Adjustments correct subluxations, which occur when the vertebrae in your spine become misaligned.

Misalignments can cause joint and muscle pain, restrict movement, and press on nerves. Pressure on nerves may trigger pain and even affect the normal functioning of organs. Subluxations can happen due to falls, injuries or poor posture. You may develop them if you spend hours working on a computer, driving a truck or looking at a smartphone or digital screen.

During an adjustment, your chiropractor will ask you to sit or lie on your side, back or stomach. An adjustment only takes a few seconds and involves quick, hands-on thrusts applied to your back or neck to realign the vertebrae. Your chiropractor may also use a small, handheld device to perform adjustments.

Although it may sound as if your bones are cracking during your adjustment, that's not the case. The sound actually occurs when gas in the joints is rapidly released.

Before your chiropractor adjusts your spine, he or she will explain what will happen during the treatment and discuss how the adjustment will improve your symptoms.

Your Chiropractor Many Recommend a Few Other Therapies

In addition to adjustments, your chiropractor may recommend one or more of these therapies:

  • Massage. Massage loosens tight muscles, decreases stress, and improves flexibility and range of motion.
  • Spinal Mobilization. Mobilization involves slow, hands-on pressure to improve the position of your vertebrae.
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization. Stretching your soft tissues with handheld instruments breaks up scar tissue, improves range of motion, and may decrease pain caused by tendonitis, bursitis, sprains, strains, and plantar fasciitis.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS). TENS treatment blocks the transmission of pain signals with a gentle, low-voltage current applied to your body through small electrodes.
  • Ultrasound Treatment. Ultrasound waves promote healing, improve blood flow, reduce swelling, and loosen tight muscles.

You'll Discuss Next Steps Before You Leave

Although you'll probably notice that your pain has decreased after your first adjustment, you'll need additional treatments to keep your pain under control and address the underlying issue that caused your symptoms. During the next several weeks, your chiropractor may recommend that you visit a few times every week.

Your treatment schedule will vary depending on the nature of your complaint and the severity of your pain. Your chiropractor may also show you a few exercises that you can do at home between visits to improve your comfort.

Are you tired of living with pain or muscle weakness? Chiropractic treatment can ease your pain without drugs. Contact our office to schedule your first appointment.

Sources:

Spine-Health: What Expect at the First Chiropractic Consultation, 8/1/13

Medline Plus: Chiropractic Care for Back Pain

Spine Universe: Chiropractic Therapies

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Testimonials

Patient Experiences

  • "Dr. Falwell and staff are wonderful people! I have been coming in quite frequently over the past few months and Dr. Falwell has completely changed my life. I went in with extremely painful lower back problems and other issues I had from being an athlete my whole life. Dr. Falwell completed an assessment before starting anything which i really liked. She asked me very thorough questions about my life and background so she had a good understanding of who I am and life changes I might need to make to improve my physical health. The staff here are fabulous, I love those ladies! There is a very friendly but professional atmosphere and I am always greeted with big smiles every time I come in."
    Jenna H.
  • "Monday is the first working day of my week, and I begin early by placing my physical self in the hands of a true healer, Dr. Fallwell. After adjusting me and checking to make sure I am in balance, she sends me to the next phase of healing: my laser treatment. I think of this as amplifying light waves to stimulate my nervous and immune systems, promoting better health to my entire body God certainly made my life happier and healthier when he sent the two of you my way."
    Maurice R.
  • "About three years ago, I suddenly started having blackouts brought on by bouts of heavy coughing. They lasted only a few seconds, but within a very short span of time they developed into seizures lasting longer and more frequently. Sometimes following these episodes, I actually felt as if I had been in another state of consciousness.
    After several medical tests, I was diagnosed with Cough Syncope, and there was nothing the medical profession could do. So guess who I asked to explain my condition: Dr. Fallwell. She not only relayed to me her knowledge of how the vagus nerve was involved but also applied that knowledge through her hands to restore my health. After a few treatments, my cough syncope stopped and so did the blackouts and seizures. Thanks, Dr. Fallwell!"
    Barry K.
  • "If you want to find a chiropractor who understands the mind, body, and spirit connection than look no further than Dr. Christine Fallwell. It is truly amazing to see your physical symptoms fade away after treatments by Dr. Chris. She encourages looking at all aspects of your life that, in time, ease your stress and inflammation in your body, thus promoting healing. She is one of a kind and I enthusiastically recommend Dr. Chris for the best in chiropractic care."
    Ann G.
  • "I thought I would have a second surgery on my foot. I kept the toe bandaged and as immobilized as possible. I couldn't wear regular flats to work, only over-sized athletic shoes. I couldn't face the pain of extended recovery time after the first "simple procedure." So I limped around for a few weeks then my knees and back started aching and nagging. I continued to drag myself to work due to pain and lack of energy for a few more weeks. Then a trusted long-time friend insisted I see Dr. Fallwell.
    By the end of the first week of treatment, walking wasn't painful for my foot. My knees and back were working again much more comfortably than before! With a month of so of treatments three times a week, I was walking like normal with NO pain in my foot or knees!"
    Andrea E.