What to expect on your first visit to our office

Our patients’ comfort is very important to us. We know that many people feel uncertain, or even nervous, when preparing to walk into a chiropractor’s office for the first time. By explaining what that first visit will look like, we hope that we can ease some of those first-time jitters and help you to feel calm and confident during your first appointment.

There will be four parts to your initial visit. Altogether, you can expect that this visit will take an hour, or possibly longer.

01. History

First, Dr. Barnes will conduct a complete history. This will include your complete current and past medical history, as well as the history of any accident. For this part of the visit, you will fill out some forms, and then Dr. Barnes may ask you questions to clarify or to get additional information. In addition, Dr. Barnes will ask you to describe your current situation, including the characteristics of any pain or discomfort, how any injury occurred, and any current physical limitations. She will also spend some time getting to know you as a person, because she truly cares about each of her patients.

02. Examination

Next, Dr. Barnes will perform a thorough examination. This will include examining joint functionality and range of motion, as well as muscular tension, throughout the body. She will examine the entire spine, as well as the joints of your arms and legs. Although she will focus on the areas where you’re having symptoms (such as pain or stiffness), the exam is not limited to these areas. This is because each part of the body affects the other parts, and so it’s important to understand the entire system in order to create a treatment plan that will best serve you.

03. Imaging

A set of Xrays may be taken during the initial visit. This is done here in our office, so you won’t need to go anywhere else to get your Xrays. Taking these images has a few purposes. It ensures that there aren’t any underlying conditions that would make chiropractic treatment unsafe. (If any such condition is found, we will refer you for appropriate medical follow-up to ensure that you get the treatment you need.) In addition, the Xrays help Dr. Barnes to more thoroughly understand what’s going on in your joints, so that she can form an individualized treatment plan for you.

04. Treatment

After all of the necessary information has been collected, Dr. Barnes will create your personalized treatment plan. She will discuss her recommendations with you, and you’ll have a chance to ask any questions you may have. Finally, you’ll get your first treatment! This will generally involve an adjustment, whether performed with the traditional diversified method, the activator method, or a combination of both. She may also recommend additional treatment modalities, such as therapeutic ultrasound or muscle stimulation. In rare cases, Dr. Barnes may recommend delaying treatment until an underlying condition is addressed. However, in most cases, you will receive your first treatment at your initial appointment.


How long will the initial visit take?

We schedule an hour for each initial visit. Depending on the patient’s condition, the initial visit may take somewhat longer than this. We recommend that you don’t schedule anything important right after your appointment, so that you won’t be worried about the clock and can relax during your appointment.

Why does the initial visit take that long?

Dr. Barnes takes the time to completely understand each patient’s condition, including reviewing the history and performing a thorough exam. She doesn’t believe in “cookie cutter” treatment, but formulates an individual treatment plan that will be effective for each patient. All of this requires time. To get the greatest benefit from your chiropractic treatment, it’s important to invest the time in the first visit.

Will every visit take an hour?

The initial visit will be the longest. This is because of the history, exam, and imaging involved in the first visit. Subsequent visits will take less time, as they will  involve a check-in with Dr. Barnes and your treatment session. At certain appointments, repeat imaging studies may be done to check on your progress.

Will I receive treatment on the same day?

Yes, our patients are usually treated on the same day as their initial consultation. In addition to an adjustment, your treatment may include other modalities, such as muscle stimulation or therapeutic ultrasound. In rare cases, Dr. Barnes might recommend delaying treatment until a  medical issue has been resolved, but nearly all of our patients will receive their first adjustment at their first visit.

How often will I need to come back?

It depends on your condition. In general, patients come in once a week to three times a week for the first few weeks of treatment. This helps to restore proper functioning of the spine and any other affected joints. Once the discomfort has abated and function has been restored, the frequency of adjustments can usually be decreased. However, many of our patients continue to visit us regularly for preventive adjustments, to help prevent their problem from returning.

The frequency of adjustments and the length of treatment can vary considerably, depending on your particular condition. Dr. Barnes will discuss her recommendations with you at your initial consultation.

Are the treatment rooms private?

Yes, all of our treatment rooms are private. It’s common for chiropractors to have an open adjusting room, but we don’t believe that this is optimal. Private treatment rooms provide a calmer, more peaceful atmosphere, along with increased patient comfort.

What will my adjustment feel like?

For some patients, a sense of relief will immediately follow a chiropractic adjustment. For others, it will take a few days to feel the benefit of the treatment. A small percentage of patients feel a bit of soreness for a day or two after an adjustment, as the tissues get used to the new functionality of the body. This doesn’t happen for every patient, or with every adjustment.

Patients may or may not hear a “popping” sound during an adjustment. For some patients, this always happens, while for others, it never does. Whether or not you hear a pop has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the adjustment.

Chester Chiropractic Center

Are you ready to experience more ease and less discomfort in your body?
How would your life improve without joint pain and stiffness?
Have you been searching for a drug-free method of pain relief?

Millions of people have benefited from the drug-free, holistic method of chiropractic.

Dr. Robin Barnes and the team at Chester Chiropractic are here to serve you. We offer:

  • private treatment rooms for every patient
  • a commitment to scientifically validated treatment methods
  • years of experience in helping people through chiropractic
  • a personal, caring touch

Schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Barnes to learn how chiropractic can help you.

Questions? Ready to schedule an appointment?
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