What To Expect When You Go To The Chiropractor

If you've experienced back pain or discomfort, it's likely that someone has encouraged you to see a chiropractor to treat it. Healthline describes chiropractors as licensed professionals who help the body self-heal through neuromusculoskeletal care. Chiropractors are not medical doctors, but instead hold a doctor of chiropractic degree. Many people assume chiropractors only tend to the joints and bones. However, they actually help correct dysfunctions in the nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and bones throughout the skeletal system. 

When should you go see a chiropractor? Sudden, unexplained pain, chronic pain, and numbness or tingling in your extremities are conditions that may benefit from chiropractic care (per Wooster Community Hospital). Less apparent symptoms include fatigue, frequent migraines or headaches, or digestive issues. People with fractures, arthritis, slipped discs, or other abnormalities or concerns should check with their doctor before going to a chiropractor. 

If you have decided that going to a chiropractor may be right for you, you're probably wondering what to expect at your first chiropractic consultation. Receiving treatment for the first time can be unnerving, but chiropractic care, in general, is considered safe and should be painless (via Healthline). After all, chiropractors work to relieve pain, not cause it. Here's what happens when you go to the chiropractor. 

Before, during, and after chiropractic treatment

During the first part of your initial visit, the chiropractor will ask you to fill out a questionnaire about any current medical conditions, health history, diet, activity levels, and sleep habits (via WebMD). Next, they will physically examine your mobility, strength, and posture and pinpoint any displacements. In some situations, the chiropractor may ask for an x-ray. You will be asked to keep your clothes on at all times, so Healthline recommends wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing like T-shirts, tank tops, yoga pants, leggings, or sweatpants.

After the initial consultation, the chiropractor will likely perform an adjustment. You will lie down on a padded bench or table, and the doctor will verbally instruct you to position various body parts as they gently help you move into the correct place. Once you are in a proper position, AICA Orthopedics explains, the doctor will push, pull, stretch, or bend your legs, hips, arms, shoulders, neck, head, or other body parts to bring your entire spine into proper alignment. After the adjustment, Healthline suggests you may feel tired, feel a headache, or experience some mild soreness at the adjustment locations. However, the symptoms should be temporary.

Not all insurance covers chiropractic visits, and not all chiropractors accept all insurance carriers. Check with your chiropractor and your health insurance plan before your visit, or be prepared to pay with cash or credit.