What to expect during a Chiropractic Examination – First Visit Expectations
Dr. Chris or Sara will first review your medical history. Next, they will conduct appropriate physical, neurological, and orthopedic examinations. Following that, they will discuss face-to-face your individual needs and wellness goals. Next, Dr. Chris or Sara will take the time to address any underlying problems that may present themselves as pain or discomfort in your body and work with you to determine the best mode of treatment. If necessary, X-rays or MRIs may be ordered to help ensure there is no more serious underlying source of your pain such as tumors or fractures that require attention of other healthcare professionals. Dr. Chris or Sara will then, with your consent, perform any necessary soft tissue treatments as well as chiropractic adjustment. Realigning the misaligned vertebra restores spinal joint mobility as well as the proper flow of nerve impulses. This realignment releases the power of your self-healing process. Afterwards, your body is then capable to function the way it is meant to.
Goals for Your Care
During or after the examination phase, your chiropractor will explain your findings and teach you what may be contributing to and aggravating your pain and dysfunction. The first step will be focused on the reduction and elimination of your pain, and the expected course of treatment to resolve your symptoms. This step often involves education on postural corrections, movement modifications, habit changes, nutritional modifications, and other first line treatment protocols aimed at eliminating your pain. Your doctor will also discuss the realistic short-term and long-term goals and expectations for your tailored treatment plan. Research indicates, to begin identification of cellular changes within soft tissue structures, it takes approximately 4-6 weeks. Due to this fact, Phase 1 often lasts 2-4 weeks, depending on the severity, complexity, and duration of symptoms.
Functional restoration starts immediately when the tissue damage causing pain is eliminated or reduced. Exercises prescribed during Phase 1 may need to be continued during the initial portion of Phase 2. New in-office and take-home exercises will be incorporated into care. These exercises will focus on restoration of function, activities of daily living, occupational requirements, recreational goals, sports performance, and any other goals you are seeking that were established during the initial visit. If function is not improved, then the previously damaged tissue will flare-up, once again creating pain. This step is vital and if ignored during the rehabilitation phase, a relapse in pain, increased money invested, and extended time spent in treatment will occur.
We like to refer to this as the oil change/tune up schedule which focuses on keeping the body moving properly. During this phase of care, frequency of visits is entirely decided by YOU, the patient. We highly recommend at least 1x per 3 months, however, if the demand of activity is high in daily life more frequent visits might be necessary.