It’s always a guessing game whenever you have a medical or dental appointment. The schedule could be backed up in flu season, an emergency appointment came in that takes precedence over your regular appointment or things may just be taking longer that day. However, those are appointments we are used to dealing with and, based on what they are for, we can usually guess how much time to budget. What should you expect with a chiropractic appointment? How long does an adjustment take? Those answers depend on many factors from whether this is your first appointment to whether there is an injury involved or it’s simply a preventive adjustment.
New Patient Appointments
Much like visiting your medical doctor for the first time, an initial chiropractic appointment will begin with the reason for the visit and medical history. It is important for the practitioner to understand any previous injuries, illnesses or physical conditions that could affect or influence the course of treatment. The symptoms, or reason for the visit, will involve many questions to help narrow down the source of the problem. They will want to know the location of the pain or injury, a description of the sensation (burning, pinching, aching, etc.), when it began, if there are other impacts when it occurs and what makes it feel better. Once the chiropractor in Baltimore, MD has the information necessary to begin the assessment, they will start to assess the range of motion, nerve response and muscle tone and strength. Finally, the practitioner may want to order x-rays or other diagnostic tests. This could take anywhere from 1-2 hours, based on the need for other tests, to get from the review of the patient’s medical history through the assessment.
Once you have completed the history, assessment and any diagnostic tests, the Chiropractor will determine a diagnosis and course of treatment. Your first subsequent appointment will involve a review of their findings and the recommended treatment plan. After that, an adjustment can take as little as from 5-15 minutes. Based on your diagnosis, you may need to go more frequently at first. It is not unusual to start with 2-3 treatments per week. Those should normally take only about 1/2 hour, as there will be a brief assessment of your condition since the last treatment in addition to your adjustment.
It is recommended that a patient continue periodic maintenance adjustments to keep the spine in good, healthy alignment once the injury or problem has been resolved. This can head off future injury or reoccurrence of the original injury. Consult with a licensed chiropractic professional to see what the correct course of treatment is for you.
Thanks to Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic for insight into chiropractic care.