The first visit to our office is the most involved and takes approximately an hour. Here is an explanation of what to expect during your first visit:
In preparation for the chiropractic consultation, the patient will be asked to fill out forms that provide background information about his or her symptoms and condition. Examples of the type of questions asked in these forms include:
When and how did the pain start, where is it located, what activities make it worse/better?
Family medical history
Pre-exisiting medical conditions or injuries, previous and current health providers and treatments
Health insurance information
New patient forms are available to print and fill out before arriving at the office in our New Patients section. By having these forms completed ahead of time, you are able to save about 20 minutes on your first visit.
After filling out the paperwork, one of the doctors will sit down with the patient to go over the patient history. Many times, we will as the patient to elaborate on answers written on the paper forms so we have a better understanding of his or her chief complaint. At this point, we will be able to tell the patient if the condition is one that can be helped through chiropractic care. If so, we will continue on with the examination process to find areas of nerve interference. If chiropractic care is not the best option, we will then find the doctor that can help the most. We do our best to explain everything thoroughly and encourage patients to ask any questions they may have.
A thorough chiropractic exam includes general tests such as blood pressure, pulse, and reflexes, as well as specific orthopedic and neurological tests to assess:
Further chiropractic exam tests are necessary to assess the affected area, such as:
Ranges of motion
Palpation to assess for subluxations/misalignments
Based upon the results of the history and chiropractic exam, diagnostic studies may be helpful in revealing pathologies and identifying structural abnormalities that can be used by the doctors to more accurately diagnose a condition. Diagnostic studies are not always necessary during the chiropractic exam.
The most common diagnostic studies during chiropractic exams include:
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan
Other laboratory tests.
In our office a patient would be referred to an outside center for x-rays, an MRI scan, or more extensive imaging studies and laboratory tests.
History, physical examination and any diagnostic studies lead to a specific diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is established, the doctor will determine if the condition will respond to chiropractic care. In our office, the doctors do a complete report of findings on the patient's second visit to go over the results of the exam/diagnostic studies, diagnosis, individualized chiropractic treatment plan, and anticipated length of care.
A patient's treatment will begin on the second visit. At the time of treatment, we will explain the adjustments that are being made and the instruments that we use.
Chiropractic treatment recommendations may include some or all of the following:
- Adjustments to areas of nerve interference
- Modalities to improve soft tissue healing and pain control, such as trigger point therapy, laser therapy, and traction
- Exercises to improve muscles balance, strength, and coordination
- Patient education to improve posture and motor control
- Other treatments such as massage, heat/cold application, and education on nutrition.