Preparing for Your First Trip to a Chiropractor - Chiropractic Care Growing Worldwide

Chiropractors treat more than 35 million Americans annually. Their hands-on techniques help treat problems in your joints and nearby soft tissues. Treatment usually involves manual therapy, often including spinal manipulation.

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Preparing for Your First Trip to a Chiropractor - Chiropractic Care Growing Worldwide
4 Min Read July 27th, 2022

Are you going to the chiropractor soon? Many people in the United States and worldwide seek chiropractic treatment for back and neck pain, improving range and quality of motion. Chiropractors can also help with sports injuries, accidents, headaches, and muscle tightness. 

Harvard University Health says many chiropractors will work in conjunction with a patient's primary care doctors, pain experts, and surgeons to treat patients with pain. Harvard says the most positive research on chiropractic therapy has focused on spinal manipulation for low back pain.

If you seek chiropractic treatment, you should be prepared for your first trip to a chiropractor. Becoming familiar with a new medical facility is challenging, especially when undergoing new treatment. Fortunately, you can prepare for your first trip to a chiropractor by following a few best practices.

Gather Necessary Items

Gather all the necessary items for the session a day or two before your appointment. This may include current medical records, insurance cards, a personal ID, and a written medical history list. Please remember that while many insurance companies cover chiropractic care. It's still best to call your company beforehand to ensure they will cover this medical appointment.

Wear Comfortable Clothes

Wearing comfortable clothes is a beneficial way to prepare for your first trip to a chiropractor. During the visit, you'll likely undergo an adjustment that requires you to lie on a table in various positions. Restrictive clothing can add discomfort, making the visit unpleasant.

Therefore, it's best to wear comfortable attire like loose-fitting pants and a t-shirt. You can consider your appointment a workout session and wear yoga clothes. For example, stretch pants and breathable tank tops are great options for this type of appointment!

Arrive Early to the Appointment

You can expect paperwork and other pre-visit procedures like all medical visits during your first chiropractor visit. Plan on arriving at least 15 minutes early to complete the paperwork before your appointment; since this is your first visit to the facility, you'll likely complete patient and insurance forms.  

Be Prepared to Talk About Issues

One thing to expect during a chiropractic adjustment is a discussion with your chiropractor. They will ask you questions about pain and discomfort and your reason for visiting the clinic. This will allow them to create a personalized treatment plan for your issues. During the discussion, you can also ask questions that will allow you to understand the adjustment process better.

Expect a Chiropractic Exam

Chiropractors perform physical exams before undergoing any treatment. Additionally, they may order X-ray and MRI tests during a patient's first visit. This is essential to the evaluation process, as these tests help the professional understand your specific needs. The first appointment may be longer than subsequent appointments, but it will help influence your care plan.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says the manual treatment methods used by chiropractors range from stretching and sustained pressure to specific joint manipulations. These procedures are usually delivered by hand and involve a quick and gentle thrust. The purpose of the manipulations is to improve joint motion and function. Manipulations are most commonly done on the spine, but other body parts may also be treated this way.

Older Adults and Chiropractic Care

Older people are finding benefits with chiropractic care. It has been shown that seniors can improve their quality of life through regular visits to a chiropractor depending on their health problems. 

According to evidence-based recommendations published in the May 2019 Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, chiropractic care represents a safe and effective treatment alternative for older adults.

The lead author of the research, Cheryl Hawk, DC, Ph.D., Professor at Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena, Texas, says that chiropractic care is a very attractive alternative for the older population.

The most important recent update is the new American College of Physicians clinical practice guideline, in which spinal manipulative therapy is included as a first-line treatment for low back pain,

Dr. Cheryl Hawk

Writing in McKnight's Long-Term Care, Lisa Z. Killinger, D.C., says studies of Medicare patients report that chiropractic care may provide a protective effect against the declines in activities of daily living (ADLs). These ADL declines are often seen in musculoskeletal pain patients and offer improvements in functional outcomes similar to medical care. 

Aging Can Result in Declining Health and Body

As people get older, they see a decline in their health. These declines include mobility problems, pain and discomfort, and the inability to perform routine daily living activities with the help of another person. Many others will require supervision due to dementia.  

Chiropractic care can undoubtedly improve the quality of life. Combined with quality long-term care services, older adults or those suffering from chronic health issues will benefit by receiving quality long-term care services sooner than later.

Too many people wait too long and rely on untrained and unprepared family caregivers, often accelerating the decline. The cost of quality long-term services is expensive, and these costs are increasing rapidly nationwide. Since traditional health insurance, including Medicare and supplements, pay little or nothing toward long-term health care, many people must spend their savings. 

Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for these services, protecting income and assets while giving care recipients access to their choice of quality care, including in-home care. However, these insurance policies cannot be purchased 'when someone needs care' but should be obtained when an individual is younger and has overall good health. Most people get their coverage in their 50s.

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About the Author

Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.

LTC News Contributor Mallory Knee

Mallory Knee

Contributor since September 25th, 2020

Editor's Note

If you are older than 40, you had noticed more aches and pains than you did when you were 20. Imagine what your body might be like when you are 70 or older.

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Long-Term Care Insurance is custom designed, but premiums do vary between insurance companies, sometimes as much as 100% or more. Specialists can help match you with the right company. See how affordable at multiple ages - How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost? | LTC News

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If your loved one is lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea. 

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Learn more by asking questions to an expert. Mike Banner, LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

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