Hello and welcome back to Function First, your favorite chiropractor in Carmel, IN! Some of you may be quite familiar with the chiropractor and chiropractic treatment, which is fantastic, but we also understand that many of you out there have never gone to a chiropractor before. Today’s post is for you!

At Function First, Dr. Patricia Grabinski strongly believe that patient communication is one of the most important aspects of our job in order to provide you the absolute finest chiropractic care we can, so in that effort, we want to ensure you know what to expect when visiting a chiropractor here in Carmel.

We’ll first begin by reviewing just exactly what a chiropractor is and what we do before then diving into further detail on what you should expect before and after visiting a chiropractor, as well as explaining the actual chiropractic adjustment. So, let’s get started!

What is a Chiropractor?
As we mentioned just a moment ago, let’s first establish what a chiropractor is and what we do. A doctor of chiropractic (commonly referred to as chiropractors) are trained to provide hands-on and drug-free health care, including patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors are trained to recommend diagnostics, therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises in addition to providing dietary, nutritional and lifestyle counseling.

Primarily, chiropractors supply treatment to issues surrounding the spine, extremities and accessory joints.Patients are assessed through clinical examination, testing and diagnostic imaging to determine if chiropractic adjustments are necessary and what treatment is best. A chiropractic adjustment may also complement and support other medical treatment, relieving many musculoskeletal aspects surrounding back pain. Like any medical profession, chiropractors follow the guidelines set forth by state practices and licensing boards and obtain a four-year doctoral graduate degree nationally accredited through an agency operating under the U.S Department of Education. Chiropractors must then pass national exams in order to obtain a license to practice chiropractic care, which must be renewed annually with continuing education.

During Your Visit
Now that we have a firmer understanding of what a chiropractor is, what they do and what is required of them in order to practice, let’s go over what you should expect from your first visit to a chiropractic clinic from beginning to end!

Patient Intake
Just like any medical appointment, it’s important for both you and your chiropractor to establish some baseline understanding of your health and medical history. You’ll complete a questionnaire at the start of your appointment in order to help your chiropractor assess your current health condition as well and any previous medical history and injuries or chronic issues that you’ve experienced. Learning more about you and what you do for work can also assist us in understanding your daily needs and we may supplement those needs through a chiropractic adjustment. Identifying the problem, or potential problems, causing you pain is a critical step in forming a solution. Your first visit should take around an hour and should tell your chiropractor about:

Why you want help
Past injuries
All your medical conditions
Any medications you take
Any use of drugs or alcohol
Your lifestyle habits including exercise, diet, stress and sleep

Physical Exam
After the patient intake process is complete, your chiropractor performs a physical exam, testing your reflexes, muscle strength, pulse, blood pressure and range of motion. All of this information can be helpful in addressing the issue you’re in for as well as checking your overall health. We’ll then take a closer look at the area causing you pain or discomfort. This often includes a spinal analysis which includes a range of motion exam and gait analysis. An x-ray is necessary to better understand the integrity of your bone anatomy and structure. All of this aids your chiropractor in diagnosing your problem and tailoring a treatment plan for your condition.

Treatment Plan
Unfortunately, a visit to the chiropractor can’t just jump into treatment. A chiropractic adjustment is unique to each individual and situation, so the intake and exam are critical steps in adequate and effective chiropractic care. Using the information gathered in those steps, your chiropractor designs a treatment plan to alleviate your pain and discomfort or to supplement and support additional medical care you may require. A treatment plan is developed for your specific problem.

Chiropractic Adjustment
After locating misaligned vertebrae in your spine your chiropractor will apply gentle pressure to realign the vertebra. The chiropractic adjustment improves alignment and mobility to alleviate pain and stiffness. You might lay on your stomach, back or sides depending on the kind of chiropractic adjustment, which is determined by your pain or injury. Your chiropractor should clearly communicate what to expect from your adjustment, answer any questions and ensure your comfort — keeping in mind that chiropractic adjustments are treating potentially sensitive areas. But there is no pain and you may need to walk around or sit tight for several minutes to see how you feel. You can expect to lie on a special treatment table for an adjustment.

The entire goal of your chiropractor is to alleviate the pain or discomfort you’re feeling and to do so in as few visits as possible without needing medication or surgery.An individualized treatment plan will be established for your chiropractic care. Your chiropractor can help you understand the importance of proper posture, movement and strengthening exercises following your chiropractic adjustment. Your chiropractor will schedule a timeframe best suited for the treatment plan. You may even receive exercises and instruction for things to do at home between visits as part of your treatment plan such as diet and nutrition. Always let your chiropractor know if the pain increases or remains unchanged. Honesty and communication is the best path to feeling better.

Schedule Your Appointment!
We firmly believe our chiropractic clinic and Dr. Grabinski is the best choice for anybody seeking chiropractic adjustment in Carmel or the greater Indianapolis area, so contact us today for an appointment or reach out to learn more and see why we’re more than just talk!