What Should You Expect As A Newbie To Chiropractic Care

Updated on February 1, 2022
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Whether you’ve had an accident or injury or even developed back or neck pain over some time, eventually, someone will recommend seeking chiropractic care. 

The unfamiliar can bring many questions like what will happen during the appointment, whether it is painful, how long you should expect to wait for results, what you should wear for treatments, and many more.

The suggestion is the initial visit is diagnostic, where the chiropractor gains perspective on the pain and how it would be the best to approach treatment. When going for the diagnostic visit, it’s wise to write down any of your questions so these can be answered to your satisfaction.

Typically, imaging will occur in a baseline effort along with a physical exam and review of the medical history so a plan of care can be developed. That will be discussed with the potential patient with options and advice on moving forward with treatment. 

Let’s look over some of the common questions many first-time patients have when reaching out to a chiropractic facility such as Arrowhead Clinic, a well-established option. Some answers are provided, but you should bring any other concerns to the diagnostic visit.

What Should You Expect As A Newbie To Chiropractic Care

It’s typical when a new sort of treatment that’s unfamiliar to you is suggested that you’ll have many questions and be somewhat apprehensive. Much information is available online but separating the facts from the fiction is not something you can do when you know nothing about the treatments. 

The ideal resource to help guide you is your primary physician. The provider can explain the work of a chiropractor, plus you can schedule a consultation before the diagnostic visit if you’re unsure.

Learn a few tips chiropractors share themselves concerning care for back and neck pain at https://www.today.com/health/sitting-all-day-chiropractors-share-tips-avoid-back-neck-pain-t185751/. Some more common questions that people have when visiting with the chiropractor and the answers that typically come with them include:

  • What should you wear

Once you have the diagnostic visit, the treatment sessions will start if that is your decision. Many people are unsure of what should be worn to these sessions. The chiropractor won’t ask that you disrobe but will have you remove your shoes to better assess the spine’s alignment. 

The suggestion is to wear a comfortable outfit that isn’t too restrictive. It doesn’t have to be sweats if that’s not comfortable for you and nothing too loose. There won’t be a requirement for exercise that is too strenuous or any contortionist activities, but you want clothing that will allow you to move easily. 

Usually, you’ll find yourself stretching and perhaps bending, which would be difficult with clothing limiting these movements. Jeans, skirts, tighter blouses might make the exercises more challenging.

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  • What is involved in an adjustment

Many people have the understanding that chiropractic adjustments come with pain or discomfort. The indication from the community is that these are seldom painful and will, in fact, instead bring a sense of relief and positivity to your symptoms. 

The spasms and inflammation from the injury usually cause many of the uncomfortable sensations that may result during treatments. That’s when an adjustment might create a feeling of pressure or potential subtle discomfort, but once the chiropractor does the therapy, this goes away. 

These procedures are fast and brief movements, so they will be short-lived if you do experience uncomfortable sensations. A description of an adjustment is (quote) “a high-velocity, brief arm thrust to a vertebra that results in a popping sensation from a joint.” (end quote)

The “popping” is due to the joint releasing carbon dioxide and oxygen-nitrogen, which (according to patients) brings a sense of relief. It’s essential to try to relax. Tensing up can result in more discomfort. See here specific treatment for injuries like “spinal compression fractures.”

  •  Is there resultant soreness or stiffness

For someone new to chiropractic care, the indication is there can be mild muscle soreness and possibly stiffness for as long as 24 hours following treatment, for which the chiropractor will advise of the adverse reaction before the treatment. 

The effect will be the same as if you had just worked out at the gym. It is common for those having the first treatment and should be no reason for concern over the reaction. Gentle stretching and brief periods of ice will help relieve the symptoms.

As care progresses and the musculoskeletal system heals, the symptoms should lessen until there are none. There could be more significant periods of stiffness or inflammation aftercare in sporadic cases. 

If you believe you’re experiencing greater than standard episodes of pain or feel something is unusual, you should seek medical care.

  • When will you see results

In many cases, clients will indicate alleviation of some sort of pain following a first session. In order to get the most favorable results and consistent healing, it’s better to follow the course of care as outlined by the chiropractor. 

The professional will base the course of care on the type of injury. Many take as long as four weeks to heal with at-home plans to help with consistent healing and to retain a “healthy alignment” necessary to maintain continued relief of discomfort. 

The suggestion is genuine healing and continuous relief can be achieved, but it’s vital to be patient, understand that it takes time, and participate in the course of care. 

You can’t slack off even when it comes to the at-home activities the chiropractor will likely have you perform. These are just as essential as what you do at the clinic, if not more so.

Final Thought

As a new person looking at the idea of beginning a course of chiropractic care, it can be intimidating being unfamiliar with what to expect. The potential patients’ questions are many, and these need addressing, so there’s little concern and apprehension when going into the initial session. 

If you’re tense or stressed, it can create discomfort and stiffness, making the experience more unpleasant for you. Make sure you ask everything you need to ask, so the session relieves the pain and soreness, showing you what chiropractics is indeed supposed to be about. 

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.