In my last post, I covered two of the activities you can expect to take place on your first visit to a chiropractor—Completing a Patient Health History form and having a Physical Exam. (While there are always variations depending on the doctor, these are normal for your first visit. Visit What to Expect at your First Visit to a Chiropractor, Part I)
As a chiropracter in Ashburn, VA, I’ve always believed that if my new patients have knowledge ahead of time, they feel much more at ease during their first visit. When you are more relaxed and at ease, not only is the visit easier on you, but we can begin the healing process that much faster.
After you are examined, the next step in the process really lies squarely on your chiropractor’s shoulders. This is where our years of training, expertise and continued study come in to play.
Step 3: Study & Diagnosis
One of the reasons that we ask for so much information in your Health History form, and then take so long in the physical exam, is so that we can give you an accurate and detailed picture of your pain – what causes it, how it is affecting your entire body, and what we can do to alleviate that pain. We will evaluate carefully the information you have provided as well as the information we have gathered. At this point, we might require further testing, such as an MRI scan or further x-rays.
Can a chiropractor really help you? It is important for you to understand that you need to find a chiropractor who takes special care at this very important step in the process. If, after careful study and diagnosis, a chiropractor doesn’t feel that they can be of value to you in relieving your pain, he or she should be willing to suggest alternative treatments to you. Not all chiropractors are this open and honest.
As a chiropracter in Ashburn, VA, I let my patients know upfront that I may not be able to help them. And if I can’t, I’ll refer them to a different specialist from our network of trusted healthcare professionals. I believe that any chiropractor who truly cares about your health will be willing to recommend another course of action for you if they feel it is in your best interest.
In reality, a chiropractor can help you return to an active pain-free life most of the time. That being said, your chiropractor will formulate a treatment plan with you—and move on to the next step.
Step 4: Your Treatment
On certain occasions, when a patient’s symptoms allow, treatment can begin on the very first visit. There are occasions when a patient’s symptoms are such that the chiropractor chooses to further review their information and begin treatment at a follow-up visit. In any case, treatment should always begin within a very short time after the initial visit.
Chiropractic Care Is Different from Traditional Medical Care
Most patients are used to visiting their family doctor, beginning a treatment (or filling a prescription), feeling some relief and calling that the end of their experience with the doctor. But more often than not, this type of treatment does not deal with the root of the pain – it simply masks it.
With chiropractic care, you will be dealing with the actual source of your pain. Pinpointing it, dealing with it and eliminating it. This takes time – and more than one visit to your chiropractor. In my chiropratic practice in Ashburn, we outline your treatment in detail before treatment begins. You should have a very clear picture of how long it will take, how many visits are required, and if you will be asked to do strengthening exercises on your own.
Usually, your first visit to a chiropractor will take about an hour. It is extremely important that this first visit not be rushed – after all, your health is what is at stake! Take your time, give the doctor as many details as possible regarding your pain or injury, and above all, stay relaxed.
This is your first step on the road to complete health and freedom from pain!