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What to Expect When Going to the Chiropractor for the First Time
Sep 1, 2020

What to Expect When Going to the Chiropractor for the First TimeWhen you have been injured in a car accident, you may have met with medics at the scene, followed up with a doctor afterward, or were even treated in the emergency room. However, you might be wondering what other options are out there for treating your accident injury and wondered if chiropractic treatment would be an option.

The good news is, chiropractors treat people with pain and car accident injuries all the time! In fact, visiting a chiropractor can be a great option if you are interested in finding a non-invasive, natural yet effective treatment for a variety of injuries, not just related to the spine.

If you have never been to a chiropractor before, here is what you can expect for your first visit:


chiropractor consultationBefore beginning any type of chiropractic treatment, a chiropractor will sit down with you and discuss the reason for your visit and learn a bit more about you and your medical history. A chiropractor will take the time to have a conversation and get to know you so they can help you identify goals for treatment. It is also important for your chiropractor and you to discuss any questions or concerns you have about chiropractic care, as well as determine what results you can expect.

A consultation will also involve a review of your specific symptoms related to the injury, including a detailed discussion of how the injury occurred, what level of pain you experience throughout your day, what types of treatment you have tried, and what has or has not been successful. Your chiropractor may also want to examine your spinal and nervous system with a non-invasive physical exam and may even want to follow up with X-rays if necessary.

Diagnostic Imaging

diagnostic imagingDiagnostic imaging refers to the tools chiropractors use to supplement their diagnosis and development of a treatment plan that is unique to you. Often times, this includes an X-ray of your neck and back, sometimes referred to as postural X-rays, in order to learn more about your spine and visualize areas that have been injured or affected by an injury. X-rays can also help a chiropractor further identify misalignments in the spine requiring future adjustments.

Digital X-rays provide your chiropractor with a clear picture of your bones and help identify any vertebrae in your spine that are out of place. Getting an X-ray is a painless experience and the results show up right away on a computer for your chiropractor to see. You can expect your chiropractor to review X-rays with you to help you better understand and visualize the sources of your pain and discomfort. This will help further inform the chiropractic treatment plan.


chiropractic adjustmentYour first visit to the chiropractor may also include your first chiropractic adjustment. After consultation and a physical exam with your chiropractor, they may recommend an adjustment right away or may want to wait for the first adjustment until after you have completed X-rays. Either way, your first adjustment is just step one on your way to experiencing relief through chiropractic treatment.

A chiropractic adjustment is generally quick and painless, as the chiropractor uses gentle adjustment techniques on any misaligned vertebrae and realigns them into their proper positioning. You may hear a popping or cracking sound during the process, but this is an expected response and your chiropractor will explain how your body is reacting to the chiropractic treatment. Depending on your injury or pain, an adjustment may be focused on a specific area like your neck, or may be a more holistic approach to the entire body.

Common Misconceptions

Some people experience anxiety about chiropractic adjustments because they aren’t sure what to expect or worry that it will be painful. A chiropractic adjustment is generally not a painful experience, though your body may be sore afterward. Soreness after chiropractic treatments is generally normal and should be discussed with your chiropractor.

When you first begin receiving chiropractic treatment, your spine may be misaligned in multiple places and the muscles surrounding your spine have learned to support that less than proper posture. Adjustments are a way of realigning the spine to its proper posture and encouraging muscles to strengthen and support this proper alignment. Thus, you may experience soreness as your muscles readjust to these new expectations. You may also experience general discomfort because your body is not used to being adjusted through chiropractic care, which is also a normal response.

Your first trip to the chiropractor should be an informative process and one where you identify clear health goals and learn about natural and effective chiropractic treatments for your injury and pain. Contact AICA Orthopedics to schedule an appointment with an Atlanta chiropractor and begin your chiropractic experience today!