What Can You Expect from the Chiropractor?

More and more people are discovering the benefits of chiropractic manipulation. However, many people are wary of making an appointment. If you are still unsure, check out what you can expect from your visit to the chiropractor.

Range-of-Motion Examination

Your chiropractor will likely start with a range-of-motion examination. Basically, you'll need to turn your head, bend your back in various directions, raise your arms, and perform other movements as requested. This gives the chiropractor an idea of what may be wrong. For example, if you are unable to lift one arm as high as the other, a chiropractor will use that information to identify a problem. This examination also gives the chiropractor a good ruler by which to measure your progress.


In some cases, your chiropractor may take or order x-rays or other traditional imaging tests. If your pain is caused by poor posture or lying in the wrong position, you may not need x-rays. X-rays are used mainly to identify possible broken bones or bulging or slipped discs. Therefore, if you were in an accident or your pain came on suddenly and is severe, x-rays may be necessary.

Joint Manipulation

Joint manipulation is what most people associate with chiropractors. They imagine the chiropractor bending the patient's spine until it pops. The bones aren't bending, though. Instead, the popping sensation is from gas being released. This allows you to move your joint better and with less pain. While joint manipulation is common in the spine and neck, a chiropractor can manipulate any joint in your body, even your jaw. In some cases, the chiropractor may use a small tool to adjust the neck vertebrae.


Modalities are other treatments that may be performed with joint manipulation. One common modality is electrical muscle stimulation. The chiropractor attaches sticky nodes to your body. These nodes release light electrical pulses that stimulate muscles, causing them to relax, making manipulation easier. In some cases, a short massage is provided instead. Another common modality is traction or decompression therapy, which relieves pressure from the spinal discs. Other modalities include ultrasound, heat, and ice.

Suggestions for Home Care

Last, you can expect to be given homework. Typically, the chiropractor will give you exercises or stretches to do at home to relieve or prevent pain. If your pain was caused by poor posture or incorrect body movements, the chiropractor will also suggest what you need to do to improve. It's important to follow these instructions, especially if your problem is degenerative.

Chiropractic care is a great way to relieve and prevent many joint problems without the side effects of pain medications or surgery. If you would like more information about chiropractic care, or if you want to make an appointment, contract a chiropractor in your area today.