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Many new patients are not sure what to expect during their first appointment with a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC). Chiropractors start by taking a patient’s history and then performing a physical examination to develop a working diagnosis. Imaging or lab tests (such as MRI, CT scan or X-ray) may be used to confirm a diagnosis.

The combination of the history, exam, and diagnostic studies will enable your doctor of chiropractic to reach a diagnosis, which will help him or her to determine whether chiropractic services are appropriate for your condition. If your doctor determines you would be more appropriately managed or co-managed by another health care professional, he or she will make the proper referral.

Through a process of shared decision-making, you and your doctor will determine if chiropractic services are right for you. As part of this process, the doctor will explain your condition, recommend a treatment plan and review the risks and benefits of all procedures.

Based on the extent, timing or severity of the patient’s condition, chiropractic interventions may require several visits. Patients may also receive advice on home care, lifestyle modifications, exercise instruction and nutritional advice.

Video: What to Expect on Your First Visit

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