If you’re heading to the chiropractor, chances are you’re in pain. The last thing you want is to feel embarrassed by turning up in the wrong gear. Or wasting your money because you can’t be properly treated in what you wore.
If you’d like to know more about how chiropractic works, and what to wear to the chiropractor, read on!
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What Exactly Is Chiropractic Treatment?
Chiropractic treatment is the term for non-invasive therapy done by a chiropractor. It is a series of maneuvers and movements to realign the muscles and joints. This gives better functioning to the muscular-skeletal system.
Some sessions focus on manual adjustment. That’s where the chiropractor physically realigns your spine and joints. Other sessions focus more on stretches to strengthen muscles as part of the realignment process.
While it is still commonly seen as a fringe treatment option, it is commonly covered by insurance. When many of us think of chiropractic we think of ‘cracking’ of joints. So it is safe?
Is Chiropractic Treatment Safe?
Around 22 million Americans see a chiropractor each year. It is an effective and safe treatment, so long as you are going to a properly trained professional. A trained chiropractor with have the initials “DC” after their name.
Chiropractors usually study an undergraduate degree followed by four years of specialization through chiropractic college. To make sure your chiropractor is trained and registered, check the database at the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). All ACA-listed chiropractors pledge to abide by a code of ethics.
If you have osteoporosis, arthritis, take blood-thinning medication, or have spinal cord compression, this treatment is not for you. Anyone who has had cancer needs their doctor’s okay before trying it. As long as you don’t fit in any of those categories, chiropractic is a safe and effective treatment to try.
What Can It Help With?
Chiropractic treatment is used to get mobility back in joints that are suffering from a tissue injury. It might be the result of a fall, repetitive stress, or sitting without adequate spine support. Perhaps you got tackled playing a sport or didn’t lift furniture correctly.
Chiropractic can give pain relief caused by tension, giving relief to bones, joints, muscles and connective tissue. In many cases, it’s used alongside a traditional medical treatment. It’s very effective for treating neck pain and headaches.
Does the Timing of the Visit Matter?
The point of your appointment is the treatment of pain. The earlier you can get in for treatment, the better. It’s often a good idea to go in the afternoon since muscle pain can be at its worst right after waking up since you’ve not had the chance to warm up yet.
If you’re going to a chiropractor because of injury from a car accident, the timing matters greatly. You should go within the first 72-hours after the accident to ensure you prevent further injury and to ensure your claim gets paid. If that sounds like your situation. you can learn more about that here.
The treatment is much more effective if you feel relaxed. So make sure you take a good stretch of the day off work and have someone else pick the kids up from school. That way you can relax and enjoy the appointment, instead of looking at the clock and worrying about the time.
What to Wear to the Chiropractor?
Going to your first appointment can be a bit nerve-wracking. Especially if you’re in a lot of pain and feel frightened at someone touching you or moving painful joints. Take a breath: chiropractors are experts at dealing with joint and muscle pain.
So what to wear to the first appointment? We suggest wearing shorts or leggings that allow for movement. Up top, try a loose-fitting, comfortable t-shirt.
Women may need to remove their bra for massage or manipulation of the back, so you might consider wearing one with an easy front-clip. It’s not a bad idea to ask the clinic if they have their own recommendations on what to wear.
Some chiropractors focus more on guiding you through stretches, in which case you’ll want to wear activewear and tennis shoes. If their sessions are more focussed on manipulation of the joints, you may even change into a gown as you arrive.
Jewelry is never a good idea. So take it off as you arrive – or better yet, leave it at home. The same goes for high-heels unless you want the chiropractor to tell you off for wearing inappropriate footwear while you’re injured!
What to Expect on a First Visit
A chiropractor will ask you about your medical history at the first appointment. This is to make sure they have the full context before beginning any spine manipulation. They will then do a physical examination.
In some cases, they’ll use diagnostic imaging to support their decision on the best treatment for your injury or pain. If they decide you are a good candidate for manipulation, you’ll lay on the treatment table. They’ll use controlled, quick movements to get a better range of movement from your joints.
During this process, they may have you change sides, and move from belly-up to belly-down. Some treatments will take place while you sit up straight. This is a common position for treatments for neck or spinal pain.
Chiropractors can treat frequent headaches this way since tension from the spine and neck can be the cause of them. Increasingly, chiropractors advice their patients on how to improve exercise, diet, and sleep. They might advise you to buy yourself a new mattress.
This is because these activities all contribute to wellbeing, reducing tension and pain in the body. They are likely to give you some ‘homework’ in the form of stretches you should do a few times a day, ensuring maximum benefit from your chiropractic treatment.
Don’t Delay: Time to Book That First Appointment!
Delaying a chiropractic appointment won’t make the pain and muscle tension go away. It could get a lot worse. Now you know how chiropractic works, and what to wear to the chiropractor, there’s no longer any excuse to put it off.
Keep in mind there’s a reason so many people go regularly to the chiropractor, it can be a very effective treatment. So, go ahead and get some treatment so you can finally have some relief.
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