What Does a Chiropractor Visit Consist Of?

A patient undergoes a physical assessment from a chiropractor.

If you’ve ever dealt with pain, mainly back pain, you’ve probably heard someone tell you you should consider visiting a chiropractor. It’s not hard to see why, as due to being musculoskeletal experts, chiropractors have a reputation for being able to relieve pain, especially back pain.

But what if you do decide to visit your local chiropractor? You may wonder, “What does a chiropractor visit consist of?”. Overall, you should expect a pleasant experience and a first step to pain relief, but ultimately, the answer will depend on a few factors, which we will discuss in this article.

What Does a Chiropractor Visit Consist Of?

So, what does a chiropractor visit consist of, and what should you expect? While what you can expect–just like how frequently you will need to visit them–will depend on some factors, such as the reason for your visit and the specialization of the chiropractor, you can broadly expect the following:

  1. Initial Assessment: When you come in for your first visit, you can expect a comprehensive assessment where the chiropractor will inquire about your medical history, current health concerns, and past injuries or conditions. This information is necessary to help them understand your health profile. 
  2. Physical Examination: Once you’ve discussed your medical history and gone through the initial assessment, the chiropractor will usually begin a physical examination that consists of evaluating your posture, range of motion, and muscle strength and identifying any areas of pain and discomfort. They typically do this with the hands to palpate and assess your spinal alignment. 
  3. Diagnostic Tests: In some cases, the chiropractor may decide that some diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, may need to be performed to get a more detailed view of your musculoskeletal system. Doing so can help identify any structural abnormalities that may require attention.
  4. Personalized Treatment Plan: Once the previous information has been gathered and digested, the chiropractor will begin formulating a treatment plan designed to address your specific needs and utilize chiropractic techniques and therapies to address them.
  5. Chiropractic Adjustment: The cornerstone of chiropractic care is chiropractic adjustment –sometimes called spinal manipulation–when the chiropractor begins to put the information gathered thus far into practice. You can expect gentle, controlled force applied to the misaligned joints or vertebrae. This is done to release pressure and inflammation while resorting to mobility and reducing joint pain, speeding up the body’s natural healing processes. 
  6. Complementary Therapies: Chiropractors will often utilize additional therapies in tandem with chiropractic adjustments to enhance the results. Incorporating complementary therapies such as muscle therapy, traction, postural correction, and other modalities can increase chiropractic treatment’s efficacy and correct underlying conditions to ensure your pain doesn’t return.
  7. Education and Lifestyle Guidance: Chiropractors, like any healthcare professional, will often make recommendations for you to practice in your everyday life to increase the effectiveness of your treatment and enhance your well-being. Expect to gain advice on posture, ergonomics, and nutrition to benefit from improved overall health. 
  8. Follow-Up Visits: Depending on your condition, chiropractors will usually recommend a regimen that necessitates follow-up visits that allow them to monitor your progress, make adjustments to your treatment plan, and ensure that you continue to receive the care you need to stay pain-free. 
What to Expect When Visiting a Chiropractor
Reason for Visit What to Expect
Back Pain
  • Comprehensive medical assessment
  • Thorough evaluation of the spine and surrounding regions
  • Possible diagnostic tests such as X-rays and MRIs
  • Development of a personalized treatment plan
  • Emphasis on improving spinal alignment and reducing pain through chiropractic adjustments
  • Education on proper posture and ergonomic adjustments
Neck Pain
  • Comprehensive medical assessment 
  • Thorough evaluation of neck and upper back region
  • Development of a personalized treatment plan
  • Chiropractic adjustments to improve neck mobility and spinal alignment
  • Manual therapy or gentle stretching of neck muscles 
  • Education on proper posture and ergonomic adjustments
  • Comprehensive medical assessment
  • Investigation into potential spinal misalignments and muscle tension
  • Development of a personalized treatment plan
  • Chiropractic adjustments that target the cervical spine
  • Soft tissue therapies to alleviate any muscle tension
  • Advice on lifestyle factors, including diet and stress management 
  • Education on proper posture and ergonomic adjustments
Joint Paint (e.g., Shoulders)
  • Comprehensive medical assessment
  • Examination of joint function and mobility
  • Development of a personalized treatment plan
  • Chiropractic adjustments to address any potential joint misalignments
  • Manual therapies such as joint mobilization or myofascial release 
  • Prescribed exercises to improve and maintain joint mobility and range of motion
  • Education on proper posture and ergonomic adjustments
  • Comprehensive medical assessment 
  • Examination to identify the source of sciatic nerve compression
  • Development of a personalized treatment plan
  • Chiropractic adjustments to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve 
  • Education on proper posture and ergonomic adjustments
Sports Injuries
  • Comprehensive medical assessment 
  • Detailed assessment of the injury and impact on musculoskeletal function
  • Development of a personalized treatment plan
  • Chiropractic adjustments to address the specific structural concerns 
  • Rehabilitation exercises to facilitate proper and suitable recovery and also to prevent re-injury
  • Performance optimization strategies for athletes 
  • Advice on injury prevention techniques 
  • Education on proper posture and ergonomic adjustments to improve mechanics and prevent re-injury

As you can see, your visit will be different depending on the actual reason for visiting. However, you can expect many commonalities, such as the medical and physical assessments and chiropractic adjustments.  The main thing to consider is that the chiropractor performs a comprehensive evaluation.  Laying down on the table and feeling your back is not generally enough for an accurate diagnosis.

The Importance of a Multimodal Approach

When you visit a chiropractor specializing beyond broad chiropractic adjustments, you can expect to receive more in-depth care that tends to yield better and longer-lasting results. This is because while chiropractic adjustments are effective, they can be enhanced by treating the actual cause of your pain, which, more often than not, will stem from some form of spinal misalignment or postural abnormality that is compromising the spine’s natural curvature and placing excess strain on different parts of the body.

For the most effective chiropractic care, you’ll want to be sure you’re visiting a chiropractor specializing in a multimodal approach.

A chiropractor walks a patient through a postural exercise.

How Chiropractic Care Works

Chiropractic care is a healthcare practice that focuses on diagnosing, treating, and preventing mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine, at the heart of many medical conditions and sources of chronic pain.

It is a holistic, non-invasive approach to health and well-being that seeks to improve the body’s functionality to boost its natural healing abilities and prevent pain from occuring in the future. 

For instance, if you have poor forward posture, you may be exposing your lower extremities to excess weight that could create the conditions for developing sciatica. Chiropractors will correct your posture and any spinal misalignments to improve your body’s natural weight distribution, which will, in turn, alleviate pressure on the sciatic nerve, resulting in a long-term solution to sciatica. 

The most effective chiropractic care treatments will go beyond mere pain relief and address underlying conditions, so it’s essential to partner with a chiropractor equipped for this level of chiropractic care. 

PostureWorks Provides Effective and Long-Lasting Relief From Pain

What does a chiropractor visit consist of? Now that you know what to expect, it’s time to consider seeking care from a chiropractor if you’re experiencing pain. The team at PostureWorks is dedicated to providing that relief to residents of Lakewood, CO, and San Francisco, CA.

Our treatment plans go above traditional chiropractic care and utilize specialized approaches like Chiropractic BioPhysics® (CBP) that focus on structural and postural correction of the spine and spinal alignment. With CBP as the foundation for our chiropractic treatment strategies, we develop individualized treatment plans designed to provide immediate pain relief while improving your posture to prevent recurring pain, all without invasive surgery. 

Our dedication and advanced, multimodal approach to chiropractic care set us apart from traditional chiropractors and make us the best chiropractor in Lakewood and San Francisco.

Contact us today if you’re still wondering, “What does a chiropractor visit consist of?” or to schedule your appointment with PostureWorks in Lakewood or San Francisco.

Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is a deeply researched and results-oriented corrective care technique. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health and optimal function. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is conservative, painless, and non-invasive as with all chiropractic care.

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