During your first visit to your chiropractor, they will ask questions and perform tests to better understand your current health, as well as your spine, muscles, joints or nervous system issues.

Set aside approximately 30 to 60 minutes for your first visit to your chiropractor. Each subsequent visit may be as short as 15 minutes. The length of your appointments may also vary depending on where you live and the size of the clinic. So it’s a good idea to ask about timing when you book the appointment.

Wear comfortable clothes and if you have an X-ray or other test results, please bring them with you.

Chiropractor with patient
Photos on this page were taken prior to March 2020 and before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chiropractor asking patient questions during first visit to your chiropractor

During your first visit to your chiropractor, they may ask:

  • What’s the main issue that brings you here and how is it affecting your life?
  • What do you hope to achieve by seeing a chiropractor?
  • What major illnesses and surgeries have you had?
  • Do you have any chronic conditions?
  • What medications are you taking?
  • Do other family members have similar medical issues?
  • What steps have you taken to manage or improve your condition?
  • What’s your diet and exercise like?
  • How do you sleep at night?
  • What is your work routine, schedule and daily stress like?
Chiropractor running test on patient during first visit to your chiropractor

Your chiropractor may perform some of the following tests:

  • Blood pressure, pulse and breathing checks
  • Reflex, strength and sensation tests
  • Orthopedic tests
  • Analyze your posture
  • Analyze your movement, including how you walk, turn, bend or lift things, as well as how your body moves in the affected area
  • Hands-on evaluation of how well your spine moves to identify restrictions and areas that are not moving well

Working with You Care Team

Sometimes, during your first visit to your chiropractor, they may order X-rays or refer you to your family doctor or a nurse practitioner for diagnostic tests, such as lab work or advanced imaging, as part of their assessment process.

Using the best available evidence and their clinical expertise your chiropractor will then be able to assess and diagnose issues affecting your body’s movement. Once they have made a diagnosis, they can develop a treatment plan to specifically meet your needs and preferences.

For many conditions, such as low back pain, chiropractic care is the primary method of treatment. For others, such as pain associated with arthritis, diabetes or osteoporosis, an interprofessional approach is advisable.

If they suspect you have a condition that’s more appropriate for another health care professional to treat, your chiropractor will make a referral.  They will also coordinate with other health care professionals and support your overall treatment with chiropractic care, as needed.

Chiropractor with patient

How Chiropractic Care Can Help You

This pamphlet is a quick reference guide on:

  • What chiropractic care is
  • How chiropractic care can help you
  • What to expect on your first visit to a chiropractor
  • Types of treatment chiropractors use to help you

Select the button below to open, download and print this letter size (8.5″ x 11″), six-panel pamphlet.