Deciding to see a chiropractor is a great first step towards wellness. Now that you’re on your way to a healthy lifestyle, here are the next steps to prepare for your first chiropractic appointment.

Schedule your appointment as soon as possible, but be sure to choose a time when you’re not rushed and will be able to spend some extra minutes filling out first visit paperwork. Also, keep in mind that your first visit will probably run longer than later visits because of the need to bring your chiropractor up to date on your symptoms and medical history.

The most important thing you can do to prepare is to record any symptoms you’ve been experiencing. Detail the symptom type – pain, numbness, stiffness, etc. Also, make notes on severity and if the symptom is associated with any certain activity or position, like sitting or lying down. Furthermore, note the times of day when your symptoms seem to be the most severe and at their mildest. Be certain to bring all your notes along to your appointment.

It’s also vital to jot down any questions you may have for your chiropractor. This is crucial since it’s easy to forget things in a new situation. Examples of good things to ask are questions about your chiropractor’s training and experience, if your chiropractor has encountered your symptoms before among other patients, payment arrangements, and details of your treatment plan. Also, don’t ever hesitate to ask questions if you’re not clear about a problem or instruction. Your continued health is the result of a partnership between you and your chiropractor. Open communication and clarity are vital for this collaboration to work well.

Furthermore, honesty is critical. Don’t ever downplay your symptoms or any bad habits you might have. Accurate information is necessary for your chiropractor to devise an appropriate treatment plan. Being less than forthcoming will only hinder your chiropractor’s ability to help you. Chiropractors are concerned with promoting good health, not judging or ridiculing you.

Finally, you should make sure that you have an accurate idea of your treatment plan and that both you and your chiropractor agree on the course of treatment. Keep in mind that, like other medical therapies, there is often no “magic bullet” with chiropractic care. Some problems will take several visits before you see improvement and spinal adjustments are an ongoing necessity for good health. Be certain that you have spoken with your chiropractor about this and have a realistic understanding of the length of your therapy. While there are no guarantees in medicine, your chiropractor should be able to give you at least an estimate of your treatment duration.

It is always wise to be prepared. The simple steps above will have you ready for your first chiropractic appointment and well on your way to reaping the full benefits of professional chiropractic care. It’s your time and your health, so be sure to make the most of it.