What to Expect During a Chiropractic Visit

For many people, chiropractic care is the treatment of last resort. They have most likely exhausted all conventional medical therapies, specialties, and medications in an effort to find that elusive cure to their medical problems. Perhaps they saw a program on television detailing the risks of spinal adjustments, or they had a friend or a relative who had a bad experience with a chiropractor.

Because of this, they may be very apprehensive, or even downright mistrustful, about chiropractic adjustments. Dr. Nathen Horst believes it is important to help allay any patient fears or misconceptions before the first treatment even begins. Patients who are reassured that chiropractic care is safe, natural, and may help alleviate their medical problems, will be much more relaxed during their first spinal adjustment.

What Will Happen at the First Visit?

Report of findings: Dr. Horst will first ask the patient to describe the problem that brought them into the office. He will then take a detailed medical history, including current prescription or over the counter medications, tobacco or alcohol use, family medical history, and any previous treatments or procedures that have been done to treat the problem. Dr. Horst will then do a physical exam, which may include a set of x-rays and tests for range of motion, resistance, or pain tolerance. All of this information will be compiled into what is known as the report of findings (ROF), which he will discuss with the patient.

Treatment plan: Based on the ROF, Dr. Horst will recommend a customized treatment plan. This may include chiropractic adjustments, treatment duration, and any home care exercises or lifestyle changes.

First Chiropractic Adjustment

Dr. Horst may do a first chiropractic adjustment during the same visit as the ROF, or he may wait until the patient comes in for a second visit. Before each adjustment, Dr. Horst will test for range of motion, resistance, and pain tolerance, if necessary. The patient will then be asked to either sit or lay on the adjusting table, in order to give Dr. Horst the best possible position from which to do the adjustment.

The adjustment itself will consist of manipulating joints around the affected area. This may be done with just the hands (manual adjustment) or a special instrument that allows for a better adjustment with less effort (instrument adjustment). Patients may hear a loud cracking or popping sound as the joints are being manipulated. This is the body releasing natural gasses as the joints, tendons, and ligaments are shifted back into their proper position.

Once the adjustment is done, Dr. Horst will retest for range of motion, pain, and resistance. The patient should feel a noticeable improvement from the tests done prior to the adjustment.

After the Adjustment

Patients may feel sore, dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseous in the 48 hours following an adjustment. This is perfectly normal. The muscles, ligaments, and tendons surrounding the joints have just released the tension and toxins they have been holding in the improper position. Dr. Horst recommends keeping hydrated with plenty of water and resting as needed. The adjustment will hold in place for a certain amount of time, depending on where the adjustment was done. Eventually, the joints will slip back into their improper position. This is why it is very important to keep up the regular chiropractic visits that Dr. Horst recommends.

Chiropractic care should not just be a “fix it” treatment. It should be considered an ongoing part of an active, healthy, wellness lifestyle.

Contact Dr. Nathen Horst to schedule a consultation.

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