What to Expect Your First Time at the Chiropractor (First Chiropractic Appointment)

What to Expect Your First Time at the Chiropractor (First Chiropractic Appointment)

Chiropractic Towson MD What Happens at a Chiropractic Appointment

If you’ve never visited a chiropractor before, you might be wondering what to expect during your first time at the chiropractor. How will you feel afterwards? What exactly goes on during the chiropractic appointment? And the big question for a lot of people: Will it hurt?

In this article, we talk to Ted, a firefighter in Maryland who came to visit us with some trigger point pain in his left shoulder blade as well as neck pain. He was hoping the pain would get better on its own but it wasn’t getting any better so he thought it would be smart to visit us and get checked out. Follow along with Ted's first chiropractic appointment so you know what to expect when you visit a chiropractor in Cockeysville for the first time.

What To Expect At Your First Chiropractic Appointment

Ted found us via Youtube and gave us a call where he was able to make an appointment easily and he was happy to learn we accept his insurance. We accept most insurance plans but you can click here to find out if we accept your insurance

When he arrived for his first chiropractor visit he wasn’t sure what to expect. He was greeted by our friendly and professional staff and filled out his paperwork. If you want to speed up that process for yourself at your first chiropractic appointment you can download our new patient paperwork from our website and fill it out at home to save time. Once he completed those forms he was immediately taken in to see the doctor.

The doctor discussed the symptoms that Ted was having and asked him some questions. We do that because every part of your chiropractic appointment is tailored specifically to what you’re experiencing and what you need. Then, we did his physical exam to determine exactly what issues Ted was dealing with.

The physical exam focuses on the spine or joints with special attention given to the areas of complaint. We knew that Ted was having pain in his neck and left shoulder blade so we carefully examined his range of motion and posture. We also did an orthopedic test as well as a muscle strength test. As with many of our patients, we found issues that he didn’t know existed in the physical exam.

Ted was not aware that he had significant weakness in his left arm. When we did the muscle strength test on his left arm he was surprised by how little strength he really had in that arm. We found knots on the back of the shoulder blade and top of the trapezius muscle. We also found that Ted could only turn his head about 50 degrees to the left and 60 degrees to the right.

Once the physical exam is complete, your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan that considers:

  • The extent and severity of your injury or irritation
  • Your overall health
  • The condition of your spine (taking  age and previous injuries into consideration)
  • What your goals are

Considering your goals is an important part of your treatment plan because some patients are just looking for pain relief while others are looking to drastically improve their function after an injury so they can return to being a high-performance athlete. Ted didn’t sustain an injury so we were focused on pain relief and restoring his range of motion during his first chiropractic appointment.

Your First Chiropractic Treatment

We asked Ted if he was particularly afraid of needles and because he said no, we did some dry needling on the area where he was feeling pain. This isn’t a procedure we use with every single client during every single chiropractic appointment, it entirely depends on what you come to us for and what we think will do the best job of relieving your pain. 

We use dry needling, also known as myofascial trigger point dry needling, on some of our patients to release pressure and stiffness while relieving pain. During dry needling, a practitioner inserts several filiform needles into your skin and muscles. 

As Ted says, he hardly felt this and it didn’t hurt. He didn’t even realize how many needles had been used because they are such fine, short needles! As a result of the dry needling, Ted felt relief and had a noticeable decrease in his pain level.

After doing dry needling, we utilized some ultrasound therapy to heat up the tissue and bring fresh blood to the area. This can speed up the healing process. Chiropractors may choose to use ultrasound, moist heat, or a class 4 laser for heat therapy. We make the decision on which treatment to use based on the symptoms the patient is feeling and where the pain is located on the body as some types of therapy perform better on certain areas of the body than others.

Ultrasound is a therapy that can be utilized at your chiropractic appointment to handle injuries related to joints, muscle spasms, as well as most soft tissues. While it shares the same name, this ultrasound is not the same as the type of ultrasound utilized diagnostically to screen internally in the body. This ultrasound creates small sound waves that in effect vibrate and massage soft tissues and muscle. These sound waves do an excellent job of facilitating the body's healing process in addition to decreasing scar tissue formation.

Certain ultrasounds also create a heating effect to help relax the muscles or tightness in the body. This heat combined with the overall features of the ultrasound help to start the healing process at the most basic cellular level speeding up your road to recovery. Ted said the ultrasound therapy felt really good and helped even more with the pressure and pain.

Finally, it’s time for the adjustment. When you visit a chiropractor, we treat the most restricted joint to provide maximum relief in our adjustment. If you try to crack your own neck or your own spine you’ll just crack the joint that’s easiest to crack, not the one that’s most in need of adjustment.

A chiropractic adjustment is quick and painless. Most of our patients, like Ted, feel great immediately and have immediate pain relief. In Ted’s case, the range of motion in his neck improved by 50% and the strength in his left arm was 95% better. He was no longer experiencing any pressure or pain, just a bit of weakness. A chiropractic adjustment is not a scary process and it can provide immediate pain relief as you saw with Ted.

After the adjustment, the doctor discusses the future treatment plan with the patient. Each treatment plan is different because our doctors develop custom treatment plans based on the patient's specific problems and their goals for care in our office. Finally, we ask the patient if they have any questions about the care in our office or the plan going forward. We then escort the patient to the front desk where they can schedule their follow up visits.

So what can you expect during your first chiropractic appointment?

When you visit Kalkstein Chiropractic for your chiropractic appointment you’ll be greeted by our friendly staff while you fill out your quick & easy paperwork. You’ll be seen right away and as you can see, the treatment on your first visit is effective and provides immediate relief with visible results.

So now that you know what to expect during your first time at the chiropractor, what are you waiting for? Click here to schedule your first chiropractic appointment!


7:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

7:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

7:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

7:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

7:30am - 12:00pm


Kalkstein Chiropractic
200 East Joppa Road #300
Towson, MD 21286
(410) 296-7700