Many new patients are not sure what to expect during their first appointment with a doctor of chiropractic (DC). Chiropractors start by asking patients questions to gather information about their present condition and health history and then performing a physical examination to develop a working diagnosis. Imaging or lab tests (such as MRI, CT scan or X-ray) may be used to confirm a diagnosis.
The combination of the history, exam and diagnostic studies will enable your doctor of chiropractic to reach a diagnosis, which will in turn help him or her to determine whether chiropractic services are appropriate for your condition. If your doctor determines you would be more appropriately managed or co-managed by another health care professional, he or she will make the proper referral.
Through a process of shared decision-making, you and your doctor will determine if chiropractic services are right for you. As part of this process, the doctor will explain your condition, recommend a treatment plan and review the risks and benefits of all procedures.
Based on the extent, timing or severity of a patient’s condition, chiropractic interventions may require several visits. Patients may also receive advice on home care, lifestyle modifications, exercise instruction and nutrition.
Watch the video below to learn more about what to expect on your first chiropractic visit.
Boston University School of Medicine: Patients who first saw a physical therapist or chiropractor for low back pain, rather than a primary care physician, were much less likely to be prescribed opioids.
Reuters Health: Chiropractic care for back pain tied to lower odds of opioid use.
University of Minnesota: What Happens at the Chiropractor?