Having a chiropractic adjustment can do wonders for your back or neck pain, but a lot of patients feel a bit nervous or concerned before their first chiropractic appointment because they're not quite sure what to expect. Here's a look at some of the most common concerns, along with some information to help dispel them.
Concern: Your chiropractor will have you remove your clothes, and you'll be uncomfortable.
In most cases, your chiropractic adjustment can be performed with your clothing on. If you're wearing a thick sweater or sweatshirt, you will need to take it off, but as long as you are careful to wear a thin t-shirt or simple button-down to your appointment, you don't need to be worried about taking off your clothing. Your chiropractor may briefly have you lift the back of your shirt if he or she needs to better visualize your spine or posture, but for the most part, he or she should be able to feel for misaligned vertebrae – and also adjust them – through your clothing.
Concern: The adjustment will be painful.
Having your back adjusted won't feel much different from cracking your knuckles. You may hear a pop, and you may feel a slight "popping" sensation in your back, but there won't be any pain. Even after the appointment, the worst you can expect to experience is some mild soreness. This should dissipate in a day or two. If it really is noticeable, you should be able to calm it with a dose of over-the-counter pain relievers or a soak in the hot tub.
Concern: Your chiropractor will push you into treatments you're not comfortable with.
When you're in your normal physician's office, it's not uncommon to feel rushed or pressured to make decisions quickly. The high patient load most physicians carry, along with their obligation to satisfy insurance and pharmaceutical companies' demands, often contributes to this situation. Chiropractors in general take a more personalized approach to care. Though every chiropractor is different, most are very concerned with ensuring that their patients fully understand what is going on with their own bodies and what a treatment entails before they begin. If you have any questions or concerns, your chiropractor should take the time to address them fully. If for some reason this is not your experience, then you need to seek out a new chiropractor.
You don't need to feel worried or concerned in the days leading up to your first chiropractor appointment. These treatments are safe, comfortable, and delivered with the greatest respect for patients.