What to Expect From Your First Chiropractic Appointment for Pain Management

June 20, 2023

You will normally undergo an intake procedure resembling a patient questionnaire when you come for your first chiropractic visit. A physical examination, x-rays, and blood pressure measurements might be a part of this.

You'll also receive spinal manipulation, a fundamental chiropractic procedure. This is done while you're lying on a table, and it could seem like it's breaking, which is typical.

Your Medical History

You'll likely start with an intake process when you arrive at your first chiropractic appointment. This is much like a standard medical questionnaire, and the chiropractor will ask you questions about your symptoms, pain location, and when they started. They will also want to know if you take any medications or have other health conditions.

After this, the chiropractor will conduct a physical exam. This will include feeling your spine, examining the flexibility of your joints and soft tissues such as ligaments and tendons, and checking your reflexes.

They will likely perform manual or activator-led manipulations of your muscles, bones, and other soft tissue for pain management and to restore range of motion. You can get a little headache or pain as a result. Typically, this is natural and will go away after drinking water and getting rest. After that, they will provide you with a treatment plan and schedule a follow-up appointment.

Physical Exam

The chiropractor will conduct a physical exam once you have provided your health history. This will typically include general medical tests, such as examining your reflexes and taking your blood pressure and pulse, alongside more specific chiropractic and orthopedic tests on the body part.

Your pain will be discussed at this session, including where it is on your body, whether it is throbbing or burning, a sudden searing pain or a slow ache, and what situations or activities make it better or worse. Often, it's crucial to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing because the physical exam will need you to move about while lying on an adjustment table.

Additionally, it is a good idea to bring any X-rays that have been taken as well as any other diagnostic data you may have, such as MRI findings. Additionally, make an effort to be on time for your appointment to have adequate time for the physical examination.

Treatment Plan

Your chiropractor will inquire about the nature of your discomfort after learning much about your medical background. If the pain is searing, dull, or intense, they will want to know what activities make it better or worse. They could also inquire as to whether the discomfort is ongoing or intermittent.

Your chiropractor will probably want you to lie down on a treatment table so they can examine you physically. For this portion of the visit, it is advisable to dress comfortably and loosely in sweatpants and workout shorts. Avoid wearing layers of clothes, ties, and outfits that might make you uncomfortable throughout the exam.

Once your chiropractor has a clear picture of your health, they can create a customized treatment plan. This includes short- and long-term goals for restoring muscle balance, normal joint function, and reducing symptoms. They might suggest exercises, stretches, or nutritional changes for overall wellness.


You will likely need to schedule follow-up sessions when you have a long-term or chronic pain problem. Your chiropractor will create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. This may include manual or activator-led spinal manipulations, traction, exercises, stretching, application of heat or cold, and more.

Your chiropractor will ask you various questions regarding your pain, such as when it started and what activities make it better or worse. They will also perform tests on your body to assess how the spine, bones, joints, and muscles function.

Some patients will feel much better immediately following a chiropractic adjustment, especially if the spine has been misaligned for a long time. Several patients experience tingling sensations in the affected area, which is good because the healing process works. Other people may experience a runny nose or flu-like symptoms, which means healing works well.

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