How to Prepare for a Chiropractic Care Appointment

Are you turning to a chiropractor to treat recurring pain and discomfort or would you just like to lead a healthy and holistic life?  If so, what do you need to do to get ready for your first appointment?

First you need to make it.  Too often people say I can “fight through” this pain or discomfort, or it isn’t “that bad”.  In reality, you should call as soon as you start experiencing pan.  Some chiropractors, especially those with limited competition in the area, have a long wait.  You should also, make it known that you are available for last minute appointments.  If someone cancels at the last minute, his or her appointment may go to you.  Speaking of cancellations, if you must cancel your first appointment, be courteous and be sure to call.  Just like at your medical doctor’s office you may be charged for a no-show if you do not provide adequate notice.  Your chiropractor also has the right to refuse patients.  While it is an extreme measure if you constantly don’t show up without canceling ahead of time, treatment may be refused.

Write down your symptoms.  This simple step can help a lot when you sit down with the chiropractor.  Having your thoughts collected and clear can make a big difference in communicating your health concerns.  You suffer from pain, that is a given.  Do you know exactly where it hurts, when it hurts, or what you are usually doing at the time?  You should before scheduling a first appointment.  Although you know, write it down.  Seeing a chiropractor for the first time can be overwhelming.  It is easy to forget certain things, even though you really do know them.  So, write down anything related to your pain and discomfort including when it hurts, where it hurts, and how bad.  Bring your notes with you to your appointment and refer to them.

Write down questions to ask.  Your chiropractor should answer all of your questions by the second appointment.  After a quick physical exam and the gathering of your medical history, they will diagnose the problem and decide on a course of treatment.  For example, those suffering from spinal distortions due to muscle contractions may get a one-time neck adjustment.  Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may need ongoing therapeutic massages and regular joint adjustments.  Most chiropractors will explain the plan of treatment for you in detail.  This may already answer some of your questions, but ask the others.

Know your medical history.  While, each medical history form varies, you will often be asked many common questions.  For instance, you will be asked about family history.  Does anyone in your immediate family suffer from spinal problems?  Do you see a primary care physician?  Are you taking any medications?  You can frequently answer these questions on the spot, but think about them ahead of time and prepare.  If using medications for diabetes or another condition, write down the names and the dosages.

Ask to pickup forms ahead of time or ask if they have forms available online.  For the first appointment, you will often be asked to arrive early.  This is so that you can fill out payment forms, insurance forms, and medical history forms.  If leaving work early to attend your appointment, time is vital.  Inquire about picking up the forms and completing them at home or having them printed out beforehand.  This way you do not need to arrive too early.

Gather your insurance cards.  If you are covered by medical insurance, do not leave home without your insurance cards.  Your chiropractor will need the numbers and they may request a copy of your insurance card and driver’s license.  Now is also the time to ask about filing.  Most chiropractors will have their secretaries file all insurance claims, but some leave this up to you.

Determine how you will pay.  If you are not covered by medical insurance, you must pay for the costs out-of-pocket.  Some offices have a Know how you can pay ahead of time and develop a plan.  Do you need to save money or borrow from a relative?  Have a plan in place.  Try asking about a payment plan, while they are rarely given to first-time patents it never hurts to ask.  As for accepted methods of payment, ask them what will work best.  Some chiropractors accept cash, checks, money orders, and credit cards, while others prefer cash only.