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If you are visiting the chiropractor for the first time, there are a few things to keep in mind before you walk through the doors. While an appointment with your chiropractor will be similar to visiting any other healthcare provider, there are some unique elements you should be aware of. One of the first things new patients notice is the chiropractic treatment table. Depending on the practitioner, these tables are often quite elaborate and can be intimidating to those who are unfamiliar. However, the complex nature of the chiropractic table is what allows the doctor to perform specific spinal adjustments and tailor the treatment to each patient.

When you first come into one of our clinics, your chiropractor will begin by discussing how joint dysfunction happens and how chiropractic adjustment is used to correct these problems. If you’ve never had an adjustment before, this is an excellent opportunity to have all of your questions answered so you feel comfortable with future adjustments. Our chiropractors are very knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your treatment. In most cases, a visit to the chiropractor will include the initial intake, a physical exam, treatment, and a follow-up plan that you and your doctor will agree on. Here’s a more detailed look at what you should expect during a chiropractic adjustment:

What is the intake all about?

During the intake or initial chiropractic consultation, you will complete a health questionnaire and answer a series of questions about your health history, much like you would for any other healthcare provider. In most cases, your chiropractor will ask you to indicate where you are experiencing pain or discomfort by marking the areas on the body.

What should I expect during the physical exam?

Once the intake has been completed, the physical portion of the appointment will begin. Your chiropractor will start by performing a routine physical exam that focuses on the spine and the areas where you are experiencing pain or discomfort. This exam usually includes several different assessments, including reflex testing, muscle strength comparisons, a range of motion tests, and neurological and orthopedic tests, depending on what your main areas of concern are.

What happens during the adjustments?

The main part of any chiropractic treatment is the adjustment, which is a type of therapeutic manipulation that relies on controlled force, leverage, direction, amplitude, and velocity that is directed at specific joints. You may hear a “cracking” or “popping” sound during the adjustment, which is simply the joints releasing tiny pockets of gas. Contrary to popular belief, a chiropractic adjustment does not affect the bones surrounding the joint, but rather the tissue that holds the joint in place. While the majority of chiropractic adjustments focus on the spinal region, your chiropractor may want to adjust the ankle, knee, wrist, elbow, or shoulder, depending on the patient.

If you are suffering from back or neck pain, you will most likely need to come into one of our accident and injury clinics for several adjustments. Following the initial adjustment, you may experience soreness similar to that of starting a new workout routine. It is important to drink plenty of water and ice any areas of tenderness. To learn more about what to expect during your first chiropractic adjustment, please give one of our DFW clinics a call today and schedule an appointment.

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