What to Expect

neck_measure_A400We realize that no one is happy and excited about their first visit to a Chiropractor.  Chances are that you are in pain; or at least not feeling your best, not to mention a little nervous or anxious.  Our goal is to eliminate every shred of apprehension you have and make you feel at home.

Since chiropractic care involves a series of visits, with each one building on the ones before, it’s important that our relationship can go the distance. We’ve found that one of the best ways to have successful patient relationships is to explain everything in advance. No surprises!

The more you understand who we are, what we do and why we do it, the better results you’ll enjoy.

We’ve provided this outline so that you’ll understand what to expect on your visits to our clinic.  Below is a brief synopsis of the purpose for each distinct visit to our clinic.  Following that is a more detailed explanation of what each visit entails:

  • First Visit – To find out if we can help you, we listen, ask questions and provide an examination.
  • Second Visit – We’ll report what we found and answer all your questions.
  • Regular Visit – A typical visit will be much shorter, but just as important!
  • Progress Exam – an examination to re-assess your progress to treatment.

Your First Visit

Chiropractic care is different.  It is the difference that offers new ways to get well and stay well.  We’ve helped a wide variety of people.  Maybe we can help you.

New patients are requested to complete some paperwork describing you, your personal health history, and your health goals.

back_A700Testing

We begin by taking your blood pressure to help measure your overall health status.  Next, we test your structural symmetry using bilateral weight scales to measure how balanced your normal standing posture is.  Then, we perform an in-depth, technologically-advanced assessment of your nerve and muscle systems.  Surface electromyography (sEMG) studies muscle function, and dermothermography illustrates potential areas of inflammation and autonomic nervous system function.   The mobility of your spine will be assessed using a computer-assisted, digital inclinometer that will compare your mobility to that of normal.  Many problems are related to a loss of normal motion.

After these preliminary tests and evaluations are done, you will have your first consultation with the doctor to discuss your health problems. 

Examination

The doctor will perform an examination to determine if chiropractic care is appropriate for your condition.  If necessary, x-rays will be taken at the office to visualize the location of spinal problems.  If you’ve had previous x-rays, or other imaging done like a CT scan or MRI, we will ask you for permission to contact those hospitals and get copies of the test results faxed to our office.  It’s usually quick and easy for us to get those reports.

If we are able to, and your case requires immediate attention, chiropractic treatment may be administered on your first visit.  Many times, information and test results are studied and compared before treatment is actually started.  We don’t like to guess as to what is causing your problem – We like to know!

At the end of your first visit, you will pick a time that is convenient for you to return to our office for your complete report of your examination findings.

The entire initial visit can last up to 90 minutes in most cases.

xray_B700Your Second Visit

On your second visit we explain in detail what we found and how we may be able to help you.  Patients appreciate that we explain everything in advance, before starting any significant treatment.

After studying your test results, we will give you a complete report of our findings.  We’ll show you what we found and the conclusions we’ve reached.  If we find that you’d benefit from consulting a different practitioner, we’ll make the proper referral.  If you need additional investigations or tests done, we’ll contact your family doctor and explain what test is needed.

If you are a chiropractic case, your recommended treatment program will be explained to you.

In most cases, there will be options for you.  There are different approaches to correcting many problems.  The options will be explained to you, and you will be able to take your time to think the options over.  We won’t ask you to decide on that day.

You will also be advised concerning financial arrangements and insurance coverage as appropriate.

If treatment did not begin on your fist visit, it will begin on this visit.  Your second visit to our office is approximately 45 minutes.

Regular Visits

With a detailed treatment plan in place to fulfill your health goals, future visits will take just minutes.  The purpose of these frequent visits will be to reduce the pain that you are in, and return you back to normal function.

Because the diagnosis has already been established and the correcting procedures explained, it doesn’t take long at all.  Patients love the short visit times.

You can expect most subsequent visits to take no longer than 10-15 minutes.

Progress Exam

We found a problem that chiropractic care can help you with.  We begin fixing your problem at regular visits and your pain starts to go away.  But how many visits will it take to start to feel better? How does the Chiropractor know that I am functioning better?  The Chiropractor will perform a Progress Exam.

A Progress Exam is a series of tests to re-evaluate your progress.  It will indicate how much a patient has improved in both pain and function.  The Chiropractor will ask you to fill out a quick questionnaire to rate your pain and progress and most likely do some of the relevant tests that you did on your first visit.  The tests will re-measure your overall progress.  This takes a lot of the guess work out of how long you should be treated.

At a Progress Exam, we can determine if you are: on track with your improvements; ahead of progress; behind on your improvements; ready to be discharged; the method of treatment needs to be changed; or you need to be referred to another type of practitioner.

Progress exams are scheduled periodically throughout a treatment program, depending upon the chronicty of the complaint, the age of the patient, the severity of the complaint, and the type of complaint.  Often, a progress exam is scheduled for halfway through a treatment program, and near the end of the treatment program.