What to expect from your first visit to the chiropractor

If you’ve been to other medical office visits before, some of this might sound very common sense, BUT many of our patients come into our office wondering what to expect.  So, we wanted to share a little bit about what happens during your visit so you have a better understanding of what will happen before you get to the Nightlight Chiropractic office in downtown Orlando.

The first thing you should expect is to know the cost. This is actually very different than many doctor’s office visits but we feel it’s very important to understand the financial impact of your care before we begin anything. Most often the front office staff will verify your insurance before you come in or occasionally use our web portals with many insurance providers to look up the cost for your care while you are filling out paperwork.

Ah yes, paperwork. Unfortunately, there is no way around having you fill out information so we can get a better picture of who you are and what we can do for you. We have gone out of our way to streamline this process and now have limited it to one sheet of questions to answer along with two different acknowledgments that you’ll sign after reading. It rarely takes a patient more than 10 minutes to complete everything. However, you can be sure that we will never rush you,  and the more information you can give us about your health history the better.

We maintain a very busy office and I’m sure once you meet with us, you’ll see why. Our team includes two chiropractors, three massage therapists, and three office staffers, and we all work very hard to keep your wait time as short as possible. In fact, many times, there will be no wait or only a very short wait for you to be seen on your first visit to our downtown Orlando chiropractic office.

So, what is actually going to happen? Well, you’ll be called from the waiting room to the back office by one of the doctors and believe it or not you’re already being assessed before you even sit down in the exam room. Your gait, posture, even how you hold your head are very telling hints to what may be the cause of your condition. The doctor will sit down with you and take a full history to figure out how your pain came about in the first place. We will typically move directly into the physical examination phase of your first visit by going over your range of motion, reflex testing, and orthopedic testing all designed to figure out which tissues in your body are causing the pain. We aren’t very quick to send a patient out for x-rays or MRI’s on the first visit but depending on your situation we may need to rule out fractures, degenerative conditions, or potential spinal disc issues. We are proud of the fact that not every patient who walks through the door gets an x-ray and the research supports our position.

The next part of your first visit is one of the most important parts. We cover the 4 questions you really came in to have answered. 1. What is it? 2. Can it be fixed? 3. How long will it take? 4. How much will it cost? Realistically this is a simpler way of saying, “here’s the diagnosis and here’s the prognosis” (prognosis means the likely course of a disease or injury). Also, it is very common for you to have lots of questions at this point. We expect you to have questions and furthermore, we expect to answer them. We want you to also know that very, very, rarely we may not know what is causing your condition. In those rare cases, we will tell you we’re not sure what’s wrong, but we will do everything possible to find out.  

Now, for some chiropractors, this would be where your first visit ends. But you didn’t come to the office just for a conversation I assume?!?! So whenever possible we will provide an adjustment and/or treatment of the first visit. This may include an adjustment by hand or using an instrument to deliver a smaller amount of force. It may also include electrical stimulation, heat, ice, massage therapy, decompression, or therapeutic ultrasound. Remember, no two patients are alike even if their symptoms are similar, so we don’t use a “cookie-cutter” approach. Using different combinations of our different therapies gives the best outcome for each individual patient.

Our aim is to fix your symptoms in the least number of visits possible. You didn’t come to our  office to be a lifetime patient; you came in so we could help you feel better NOW!  Very often, we will give our patients homework. Usually, it’s simple home things that we want you to start (or stop) doing that will give you better and quicker results.              

Now, here’s the part that is the most important part in our opinion. We have built a team of professionals over 10 years who are not only happy to be helping get you well, they also take pride in their work. We stand behind the care and attention to detail we provide no matter who you are or what kind of medical condition you’re dealing with.

If you’re looking for a late appointment with your new downtown Orlando chiropractor don’t hesitate to visit our website www.nightlightchiropractic.com to schedule your first appointment. We’ll get you on your way to feeling like yourself again.

About Dr. Merrill

headshot of Dr merrill
Dr. Andrew Merrill is a passionate active clinician and owner of Nightlight Chiropractic Orlando where him and his team treat hundreds of patients each month. With a strong background in exercise science from Stetson University, clinical skills from Palmer College of Chiropractic, and continued postdoctoral training in spinal disc injuries and clinical nutrition, Dr. Merrill is very well versed in the healthcare landscape. With topics ranging from "what to do for common ailments" to "why the medical system is failing you" Dr. Merrill and this blog in particular aim to keep readers up to date on what the research shows and how you can put it into practice NOW to keep yourself healthy for a lifetime.