14 Questions To Ask a Chiropractor During Your First Appointment

If you have never visited a chiropractor, you probably don’t know what to expect during your first visit or subsequent treatment appointments. Although chiropractic treatments may seem like the best option for your injury, the myths and rumors surrounding such techniques might put you off scheduling an initial consultation. Should you know anything before speaking to a chiropractor? What should you say to them?

At Sunrise Chiropractic, we understand how daunting doctor’s appointments can seem, especially when venturing into a new treatment method. We help new and current patients thoroughly prepare for all treatments. Based on our many years of experience, our team has drawn up the following questions to ask a chiropractor during your first appointment. 

#1 What Are Your Payment Options?

Information about expenses and payment plans are among the first things new patients want to know. If you can’t find any answers on the website, ask the chiropractor the following questions in person or over the phone:

· Do you accept my insurance provider?

· Do you offer a sliding scale?

· Do you provide discounts for upfront payments? 

· Do you offer payment plans?

Your chiropractor should provide solid information regarding what to expect when paying for their services. If they don’t, you might want to look elsewhere.

#2 What Credentials and Experience Do You Have?

Chiropractors must receive extensive schooling and training like other medical practitioners before achieving their licenses. A reputable chiropractor should have the following credentials:

· A doctoral degree in chiropractic treatment

· A general chiropractic license

· Any licenses required by your state or municipality

They should display their degree and licenses at their practice.   

#3 Will You Offer Treatment During My First Appointment?

Some chiropractors may begin chiropractic adjustments as early as your first visit. Others prefer to wait until the second appointment. What they do often depends on the nature of your injury, symptoms, and needs. 

A good chiropractor will carefully review your medical history and might order some diagnostic tests before designing a treatment plan. However, you might receive initial treatments if you need immediate pain relief. 

#4 What Types of Treatments Do You Provide?

Some people arrive at their first appointment believing chiropractic care is the same across the board. However, many chiropractors specialize in treating certain body parts. Request information about their treatment methods and what their treatments might target during your first visit. 

Some techniques you may learn about include:

·      Myofascial release: A technique that targets skeletal stiffness by improving surrounding muscle mobility 

·      Activator technique: A treatment method that requires a special tool to perform precise manipulations and adjustments

·      Decompressions: Treatments that relieve intense pressure on stressed vertebrae and other joints

·      Adjustments: Techniques that target common spinal injuries such as whiplash or slipped discs 

·      Manipulations: Massage-like therapies that target disabled joints or muscles preventing full range of motion

Remember that chiropractors specializing in specific injuries or conditions may only perform certain treatments at their practice. Ensure your practitioner intimately understands the nature and cause of your injury to get the best prognosis. 

#5 How Quickly Do Patients With Similar Issues See Improvement?

Every patient’s healing journey looks different. Factors like diet, exercise routine, occupation, age, and overall health will affect their progress. However, many chiropractors use experiences with other patients to inform your prognosis. Include inquiries about former patients’ improvements in your list of things to ask a chiropractor. 

Your chiropractor should provide a rough recovery estimate for your injury. They may also offer some markers to help you identify your progress.  

#6 Do You Specialize in Specific Injury Types?

Some practitioners only treat one type of injury. Ask your chiropractor whether they specialize in any of the following injuries:

· Back and neck injuries

· Sports injuries

· Traumatic injuries

· Work injuries

· Conditions like sciatica or scoliosis 

If you already have a diagnosis or know the source of your injury, you might benefit from a practitioner with more concentrated expertise. A chiropractor who provides more general treatment options can assist with pain and mobility issues associated with aging or unspecified problems.

#7 Do You Suggest Other Treatments Alongside Yours?

Many chiropractors have extended networks that include other providers offering complementary services. Some practices even include chiropractic care alongside other professional treatments. Ask whether your provider offers or recommends supplementary treatments such as:

· Physical therapy

· Fitness coaching

· Nutritional counseling

Professional assistance could improve your prognosis and reduce your recovery time.  

#8 What Can I Do at Home To Improve My Prognosis?

In addition to supplementary care, many patients can change their routines and habits at home. Inquire about stretches, dietary changes, and sleep routines you can manage alone. Most chiropractors will gladly offer guidance about simple alterations to make on your own time. 

For example, some foods naturally reduce inflammation while others exacerbate it. Inflammatory foods will slow your recovery and cause more pain. Changes in how you exercise or sleep could also pave the way for a successful recovery.  

#9 How Do You Diagnose Injuries?

Chiropractors use various tools to diagnose injuries. X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans are among the most common. Some practices lack the equipment needed to diagnose you and may send you to another provider who has it. 

However, certain injuries don’t require medical equipment to diagnose. Your chiropractor may perform a hands-on examination to identify the issue, using palpitation or reflex tests to learn more about your concerns. 

#10 Do You Have Any References I Can Contact?

Speaking to a chiropractor’s references offers an excellent opportunity to learn how other patients have fared under a practitioner’s care. It also gives you an idea of:

· How long the chiropractor has been in business

· The relationships they develop with other patients

· What you should expect from the treatment process

· What other patients would change about their experience

You could also request references who overcame similar injuries or conditions as you. Contacting them can help you plan your recovery more fully. 

#11 Do You Recommend Any Precautions Following Treatment Sessions?

After any chiropractic adjustment, a chiropractor will generally advise that the patient avoid strenuous activities and relax. However, certain treatments are more rigorous than others. Therefore, the downtime following your procedures may differ from others. 

Does your chiropractor already have some ideas for a treatment plan? If so, ask about any downtime preparations you should make with your support system. You may need assistance for heavy lifting or activities that require spurts of activity. Your body needs a day or two to accommodate certain adjustments.

#12 How Can I Prepare for Treatment Sessions?

You can support your treatment routine by preparing for each session. Ask what your chiropractor recommends before a routine session begins. Many providers suggest:

· Drinking plenty of water

· Eating a nourishing meal

· Stretching or light exercise to increase blood flow 

· Gauging current symptoms 

· Recording progress since the last visit

Taking care of your body before treatment sessions can improve each adjustment’s effectiveness. Reflecting on your improvements, relapses, or declines can also inform your chiropractor of any other steps to take. 

#13 What Other Treatments Do You Offer? 

Some clinics offer supplemental assistance in addition to traditional chiropractic services. The scope of treatment services may surprise you as it often goes beyond the average spinal or joint injury:

·      PMS: A network of pertinent nerves ends in the lower back. Under pressure, these nerves can cause excessive lower back pain and cramps during PMS. Chiropractic treatment could relieve some of this excess pressure. 

·      Stress: A part of your body’s stress response includes muscle stiffness, heart rate increases, and blood pressure spikes. This response affects your mental state and physical health. Chiropractic treatments may relieve stiffness contributing to a constant state of stress. 

·      Asthma: Asthma and other allergic reactions may be related to spinal and brain functions. A simple misalignment could influence your respiratory difficulties. 

·      Ear infections: Some chiropractors assist with an unregulated lymphatic system, which can cause chronic ear infections. 

They may also work with any other injury specialists you visit to create a comprehensive approach to protecting your overall well-being.  

#14 What Should I Expect During and After Treatment Sessions?

Understanding your chiropractor’s treatment routine helps you feel at ease with each appointment. Do they begin with a conversation about your progress or experiences since the last appointment? Do they dive right into an adjustment? Knowing the answers can help you feel relaxed. 

You also need to know what to expect when the appointment ends. Should you avoid lifting heavy objects? Should you plan an aftercare routine to increase the treatment’s effectiveness? Request as many details as possible to ensure your treatment achieves the expected results.  

Find Optimal Treatment and Patient Care With Sunrise Chiropractic

Whether you’re new to chiropractic treatment or seeking a change of practice, make a list of these and other questions to ask a chiropractor. Then, call 916-727-6400 to set up your first appointment with Sunrise Chiropractic in Citrus Heights, CA. Our friendly staff will answer any questions you have about our many services.

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