You probably already heard or knew that chiropractors provide a primary approach for the prevention, diagnosis, and conservative management of back pain and spinal disorders. However, did you also know:
Chiropractors are the highest-rated healthcare practitioners for low-back pain.
However, scheduling your first appointment can be intimidating if you don’t know what to expect. Don’t let this prevent you from getting the relief you need.
In this article, I will walk you through the steps to set up your first chiropractic appointment. Then, I will walk you through your visit step-by-step. Continue reading to head to your first chiropractic appointment with confidence.
Before Your First Chiropractic Visit
Prior to your first appointment, you will request your preferred appointment time and submit your initial paperwork which will provide the doctor with your health background and what specific complaint led to your visit.
Fill out the "New Patient Intake Form" to give us your basic information and preferences for your appointment.
Next, click "Submit & Continue". There will be 2 pictures. Select the one that describes your circumstance.
(IMPORTANT: Don't close the next window.) You will now provide your email and code to go to your encrypted health history form. Fill out your health history and hit "submit".
Once we receive your completed paperwork, Emily or Tony will reach out to schedule your appointment.
Why do we need all this information? As an example, let's say you have lower back pain that is traveling into your left leg. Areas of interest will include previous incidents of this pain, recent or past injuries, what kind of pain you experiencing, the timing of the pain, what makes the pain better or worse, contributing circumstances, or health history. These answers will guide the determination of the nature and severity of your condition. It will also help us to determine if chiropractic is right for you.
What will it cost?
Some insurance plans pay for chiropractic care. We will check your benefits too, but it's always nice to know ahead of time. For answers to all your financial questions, please see our page: Insurance & Financial Policies
First Chiropractic Visit
When you arrive to your appointment, you will be greeted by Emily. She will show you how to check yourself in at our check-in kiosk. She will collect any necessary documents (MRI reports, insurance cards, etc). Next, she will show you to the new patient room and take your picture for your file...smile!
Any necessary x-rays will be taken by our experienced office manager/LRT, Tony. An exam gown will be provided or, if you prefer, you may wear comfortable clothing with no buttons, zippers, or metal (watch for hidden metal grommets on drawstrings!) Once your x-rays are taken, you will get dressed (if you had to change). Your x-rays will be assessed for trauma, degenerative changes (i.e. arthritis), congenital anomalies (those you were born with), and pathological changes.
After the doctor has examined your x-rays and paperwork, she or he will come back to meet you for a consultation. The doctor will discuss your condition, your x-rays, and any other health-related concerns.
We will return to the front of the office to perform your examination. This will tell us how you are moving, what causes or relieves the pain, and which joints, discs, muscles, or nerves may be involved.
At this point, provided we have determined that you are a good candidate for chiropractic care, your treatment will begin. We start our visits with spinal warmup exercises to prepare the spine for your adjustment.
Your chiropractic adjustment comes next. There are hundreds of chiropractic techniques out there. Some techniques are performed manually (by hand) while others utilize an instrument. The biggest takeaway here is that there is a chiropractic technique for everyone. So, if you are someone that is frightened of the hands-on adjusting approach, just discuss this with your doctor. Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Hoffman are both trained in a number of manual techniques and a number of instrument techniques.
After your adjustment, the doctor may recommend using one of our many modalities to support your healing such as electrical muscle stimulation or our cold laser. Dr. Ferguson also offers dry needling when appropriate.
The doctor will recommend a trial period of care, usually 2-3 weeks. After your trial period, we will determine what changes, if any, need to be made to your future treatment.
When can I schedule an appointment?
We typically schedule new patients between 9-11 or 3-4. Occasionally, we can accommodate other options. Dr. Ferguson sees new patients on Mon/Tue/Thu. Dr. Hoffman sees new patients on Mon/Wed/Thu. New patients can typically be scheduled by the next business day, if not the same day. (Remember nothing can be scheduled without your completed paperwork. So, even if you are not sure when you can schedule, complete the paperwork.)