So you’ve scheduled your first chiropractic visit and aren’t sure what to expect. Maybe you’re feeling a bit nervous? That’s normal; the unknown can be scary. In this article, we hope to ease your nerves by going through what to expect during your first visit to the chiropractor.

When You Arrive

A chiropractic office will feel much like a normal doctor’s office, but it will have some distinctive differences. For instance, you might spot a treatment table or two. Once you arrive, a staff member will greet you, have you fill out a patient intake form and ask you questions about your health history as well as what the area(s) of complaint and symptoms are.

The Physical Exam

During the physical exam, your doctor will assess your spine, range of motion, reflexes and muscle strength, among other things, and discuss the areas of concern. If needed, x-rays may be performed to confirm a diagnosis. At the end of the exam, your chiropractor will go over your results, recommend a treatment plan and explain any risks or benefits of the procedures.

Your Treatment Plan

Every patient is unique, and some patients require more treatments than others. Your doctor will take into account your health history, your injury and your goals of the treatment to determine the right plan for you. A standard chiropractic treatment usually includes “adjustments.” Adjustments, also known as spinal manipulations, are when chiropractors use their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled force to a spinal joint to improve motion and your body’s physical function. You may experience some light soreness after your first few adjustments. Your chiropractor may also use other forms of therapy, such as electrical stimulation and ultrasound.

A patient’s response to treatments will depend on how active they are with following the doctor’s recommendations on lifestyle, exercise and/or nutrition modifications. Going to your chiropractic visits and doing the work at home can produce a better outcome than visits alone. After the initial treatment has ended, you may choose to come in for maintenance care once a month.


While every patient is different, we always work for the same outcome — reducing pain and improving function. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, please contact us today. We hope to see you at Kiley Chiropractic soon!