Congratulations on taking charge of your health and making the decision to see a chiropractor! Now that you’ve made your appointment, you’re probably wondering what to expect at the first Indianapolis chiropractic appointment.
Every chiropractor does things a little differently, but I can tell you what to expect at the first chiropractic appointment at Bravo Women’s Chiropractic.
Before your appointment, you’ll get an email with a link to the intake form. I know you’re thinking, “Do I really need to fill this thing out?” But the information on the form is really important.
The information gives me important clues to help me decide what tests to perform in the examination and even whether x-ray or MRI is necessary before we can start treatment. (Coming soon…a blog post about whether x-rays are needed before you see a chiropractor) Also, in rare cases, pain can be caused by serious conditions. The more detailed information you give, the better! The form also contains information on our practice policies and procedures.
You won’t need to undress for the exam or treatment. I do recommend wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothing so that you can move easily during the exam.
At your appointment, we’ll sit down together to talk in detail about your answers to the questions on the form. I may ask for more information on some of your answers. Then you’ll be able to ask any questions that you have before the examination.
During the exam, I’ll have you move your head, neck, and back to see how well your spine moves. Depending on your symptoms and answers on the intake form, I’ll perform tests called orthopedic tests. Orthopedic tests help me decide what joint(s) in your spine, muscles, discs, or nerves are causing your pain. The purpose of each test is to recreate the pain you’re feeling, so this part of the exam can be a little uncomfortable. I will always explain what I’m going to do before I do it and will stop what I’m doing if it’s too painful.
If you’re having any shooting pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms or legs, the next step will be a neurologic examination. The neurologic examination checks the feeling, reflexes, and strength in your arms and legs.
Last, you’ll lie down on a special table, and I’ll feel for areas in your spine that aren’t moving well and will examine the muscles in your neck and back.
Once the exam is done, I will be able to tell you whether any imaging (x-rays or a MRI) is necessary and whether joints, discs, nerves, or muscles are responsible for your pain. If you’ve thought of any questions, we can talk about them. Then, as long as no imaging is necessary and chiropractic care is a good option for your condition, we’ll get to the fun part—the treatment!
For the adjustment, you’ll lie on your back and/or stomach on a special table. Just like the exam, I’ll explain everything I’m going to do before I do it so that there are no surprises.
You might hear and feel popping during the adjustment. The popping sound is made by a release of gas that accumulates in joints in the spine—not the bones cracking. The adjustment should not be painful.
Some patients are afraid of the popping noise or having their neck adjusted. Don’t worry! There are ways to do the adjustment that don’t require popping if that’s what you prefer.
One last thing about the popping noise… Sometimes you don’t hear or feel any popping noise. That’s ok! The adjustment’s main purpose is to get the joint moving again, and that doesn’t require the noise.
After the adjustment, I’ll spend some time working on tight and painful areas in your muscles and may stretch your muscles.
When we’ve finished your first treatment, we’ll schedule your next appointment. Your future chiropractic appointments will be about 20 minutes long.
Last, I’ll give you a folder to take home. The folder contains information on how to get the most out of your care and tips for the day of your first adjustment, so be sure to take a look!
Now you know what to expect at the first Indianapolis chiropractic appointment! In the meantime, take a few minutes to download my free guide, “5 Easy Steps To Reduce Back Pain” at the top of this page.