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Did you recently hurt your shoulder or wake up with a painful crick in your neck? Maybe you have a backache, but you don’t know the cause. You realize after a few painful days that you need a chiropractic adjustment.

If you’ve never been to a chiropractor before, you might be unsure of what to expect or how to prepare for your appointment. This guide will help you feel confident when you walk in the door at your first chiropractic visit.

Before You Leave Home

The most important preparation you can make is to dress comfortably for your adjustment. Wear shorts or loose-fitting pants. Workout clothing is usually a good option. Be aware that you may be asked to remove your shoes, so wear sneakers, sandals or other footwear that’s easy to take on and off.

When You Arrive at the Chiropractor’s Office

Plan to arrive a little early to your appointment. You may need time to fill out paperwork, and having a few minutes to clear your head and relax before your adjustment can be beneficial.

When the chiropractor calls your name, follow him or her to a private room. Before the adjustment begins, the chiropractor will ask you questions about why you’re here. What trouble areas are bothering you? When did you first notice the pain? Did a traumatic event result in your injury, or has the pain come on slowly with no apparent cause?

You may also be asked about your lifestyle. Do you play sports? Are you physically active, or do you work a desk job? Since no two patients are exactly alike, getting the answers to these questions helps your chiropractor understand your needs and goals. This makes it possible to tailor your treatment plan to achieve optimal health.

During the Adjustment

The care you receive depends on why you’ve come to the chiropractor. You may be asked to lie down, fully clothed, on a special padded table where the chiropractor can perform spinal manipulation. He or she may use handheld tools to aid in the adjustment.

If you hear any popping or cracking, rest assured that this is the harmless sound of gases being released from your joints. However, if you feel any pain during your adjustment, tell your chiropractor immediately.

After the Adjustment

Be prepared to jot down instructions from your chiropractor so you can easily follow them once you get home. For instance, you may be instructed to perform certain stretches, drink more water or try a specific type of pillow.

Once you leave the office, you may find the adjusted area feels more limber and relaxed. You might also detect warmth or tingling. If you’re concerned about anything after your session, don’t hesitate to call your chiropractor. Be aware that you may need multiple adjustments over the course of several weeks or months to feel the full benefits of chiropractic care.

When you’re ready to relieve your backache, neck pain or other ailment, please contact our chiropractor for a free consultation.