We hope this page will give you all the information you need about your visit. If you have any questions about visiting a chiropractor or whether chiropractic could help you, please get in touch with the clinic for an informal and no obligation conversation.
What happens when I visit a chiropractor for the first time?
Your first visit can last anything between one and two hours. During this time, the chiropractor will take a full case history. They may ask you to remove some of your clothes. Tell your chiropractor if you feel uncomfortable about this. If you are asked to undress, you will be offered a gown and given privacy to change. Your chiropractor will ask for your permission to give you a thorough physical examination (this will include neurological and orthopaedic tests) and may take or send you for x-rays if they are needed.
A chiropractor’s first concern is to find out what is wrong. They will also check for signs of any serious conditions for which you would need to go to your GP or to hospital.
Will the treatment hurt?
Chiropractic treatment is usually painless unless an area is inflamed (swollen). If this is the case your chiropractor will alter the treatment. Don’t worry if you hear a clicking or popping noise when one of your joints is being manipulated – this is perfectly normal with this form of treatment. Some patients have mild reactions such as temporary aches and pains after their spine or joints have been manipulated or after exercising. It is important that you talk to your chiropractor if you feel worried about anything either during or after treatment.
What do I need to know before my treatment starts?
Treatment is very much a partnership between you and your chiropractor.
Before your treatment starts, your chiropractor should explain to you clearly:
- what they found
- the treatment plan they propose
- the benefits and any significant risks associated with your condition
- the proposed treatment.
Ask your chiropractor as many questions as you need to, to be sure that you understand what they have told you. Your chiropractor will then ask you to give your permission for treatment (they call this ‘consent’).
Can someone accompany me during my appointment?
To help you feel more at ease during a consultation, you or your chiropractor may want another person to be there. This might be, for example, a clinic assistant or you could choose to bring a relative or friend. These arrangements should be made before your appointment, so please let your chiropractor know in good time. Your chiropractor will not do anything without your consent, and will respect your privacy and dignity at all times.
How many visits will I need?
This will depend on your condition, how severe it is, how long you have had the condition, how you respond to treatment and how much of your chiropractor’s advice you follow. Your chiropractor will review your progress regularly and you will be asked to give your consent to any changes to your treatment plan. They will discuss carrying out further investigations or referring you to your GP if your condition does not improve.
Do I need to tell my GP?
You do not need to let your GP know unless you want to. With your permission, your chiropractor may send a report to your GP, with details of your condition and the treatment you are receiving. This is because your GP holds all your medical records, and it is in your interests for them to be complete and up to date.
Do I have to pay for my treatment?
Yes, chiropractic is classed as private healthcare and payment is due at the end of each appointment.
Find out more
- Download a leaflet from the General Chiropractic Council on what you can expect when you see a chiropractor