Understanding Chiropractic Adjustments – What to Expect During Your Visit

Chiropractic adjusting approaches or techniques vary, but all aim to restore movement in stuck spinal joints (and, in some cases, extremity joints), return proper alignment, and enhance normal function. A “popping” sound often accompanies these adjustments, simply nitrogen gas released from joint capsule pressure change.

Filling out patient forms ahead of time will save you valuable time during your visit, prevent duplicative testing, and help ensure continuity of care.

What You Can Expect

It’s normal to feel curious or even apprehensive walking into your first visit to the chiropractor. Whether you’re experiencing neck pain or lower back discomfort, a chiropractic adjustment can help alleviate symptoms and improve your quality of life.

A chiropractor like Wirth Chiropractic will ask about your medical history and current condition during your first appointment. This includes a review of past injuries and illnesses and your physical activity, lifestyle, and diet.

Your chiropractor will then perform a thorough physical exam of your musculoskeletal system. This involves evaluating posture and range of motion, palpation, muscle strength tests, and diagnostic imaging (such as X-rays or MRI) as needed.

During the adjustment, the chiropractor will place their hands on the affected areas and use their specialized skill to apply rapid, controlled force to open up or move a joint in a precise direction. This often creates a cracking sound, but it should not be painful.

Preparing for Your Visit

If you have a first visit, get all the relevant information together ahead of time. This can include a list of medications you are taking, medical records from previous doctor visits or X-rays, and any other documents that may help your chiropractor understand your unique health history.

Also, take some time to write down or physically note your pain points. This can help your chiropractor better understand your condition and make a more targeted treatment plan.

During the appointment, you will lie down on an adjustment table, and your chiropractor will start to check the alignment of your spine. They will apply quick pressure and manually push the joints back into place. You will probably hear some cracking noises, which is nothing to worry about – these are simply air bubbles being released as the bones move back into place. This is a quick and painless process for most people.

During Your Visit

During your first visit, your chiropractor will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history to understand your condition fully. Many chiropractic offices allow you to fill out a new patient form beforehand so you don’t have to recall details in person or feel rushed.

Depending on your symptoms, the chiropractor may have you indicate where you are experiencing pain or discomfort on a diaphragm. They will also ask you to describe what makes the pain better or worse and if it changes location.

You will lie on a cushioned table during your adjustment, and the chiropractor will move the affected joints. You may hear cracking or popping sounds, but these are completely normal and come from pressure being released. Some people report feeling a little sore in the area that was adjusted for a day or two, but this is also normal and is caused by the bones realigning themselves.

Post-Adjustment Care

When your car needs a new tire, or you need to repair your house plumbing, you take it to the right professionals – and the same goes for your body. By taking a proactive approach to your health and visiting your chiropractor for regular adjustments, you can avoid injury and discomfort and maintain your overall wellness.

Some people may experience the infamous “cracking sound” and feel a detoxification effect as the body releases toxins. This is a good thing! This release of toxins helps the body’s systems function more efficiently.

Your chiropractor will recommend specific exercises and stretches to reinforce the adjustment and strengthen the affected muscles. They will also give you tips to support your chiropractic treatment at home, including nutritional supplementation, healthy sleep habits, avoiding inflammatory foods, and stress management. This will help you achieve and maintain your desired results. You will also want to avoid strenuous physical activities immediately after your adjustment.

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