If you are suffering from lower back or other chronic pain and your physician has suggested you try chiropractic manipulation for pain relief, then you are likely wondering what to expect at your first appointment. If so, you are not alone. When people are first referred to a chiropractor they often know very little about the manipulation process and fear it will be painful. Thankfully, chiropractic care isn't uncomfortable nor painful!

When you attend your first appointment, you can expect each of these four things to happen:

1. Typical Medical Office Paperwork

As with any other medical office, chiropractors are legally required to have you fill out a pile of paperwork during your first visit. You can expect the paperwork to include:

  • HIPAA privacy disclosures
  • medical history forms
  • family medical history forms 

In addition, you will be asked to describe as much as you can about your current pain condition and any past medical conditions you've had.

2. A Thorough Clinical Examination

Just like when you visit any other doctor for the first time, your chiropractor will perform a thorough clinical exam to help them diagnose your problem and create a customized treatment plan for healing. During the exam, the chiropractor will ask you to move various parts of your body and will evaluate both your range of motion and pain levels.

3. A Conversation About Your Future Treatment Plan

Once your new chiropractor has gone over your paperwork and examined you, then they will create a custom treatment plan to realign your body and reduce your pain. Once the plan is formulated, then the two of you will sit down and discuss it together. 

During this discussion portion of the initial appointment, you will have plenty of time to ask any questions you may have. It is very important you take the time to ask your new practitioner questions and address any concerns or issues you have about future treatment.  

4. Your First Chiropractic Manipulation 

Finally, if you are comfortable with the chiropractor and agree with the treatment plan, then you can expect your first chiropractic manipulation before you leave the office. While you may be scared about the manipulation hurting because you have heard the associated cracking and popping noises on television or in the movies, then there is no reason to worry. Chiropractic care should never be painful and your practitioner will ensure this is the case.