How to Prepare for your Chiropractic Appointment
Are you turning to a chiropractor to treat recurring pain and discomfort or would you just like to lead a healthy and natural life? If so, what do you need to do to prepare for your first appointment?
- Make it. You should call as soon as you start experiencing pan. Some chiropractors, especially those with limited competition in the area, have a long wait. 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 sure to call. You can be charged for a no-show if you do not provide adequate notice. Doctors also have the right to refuse patients. If you constantly don't show up without canceling ahead of time, treatment can be refused.
- Write down your symptoms. 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 can get a onetime neck adjustment. Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can get ongoing therapeutic massages and regular joint adjustments. Most chiropractors will explain the treatment for you in detail. This may already answer some of your questions, but ask the others.
- Review your medical history. Each medical history form varies, but you will be asked many common questions. For example, 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 usually answer these questions on the spot, but think about them ahead of time and prepare. If taking medications for diabetes or another condition, write down the names.
Ask to pickup forms ahead of time. For the first appointment, you will 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. This way you do not need to arrive too early. Some forms you need for your first visit are already available online here.
- 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. 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 for a payment plan, but they are rarely given to first-time patents. As for accepted methods of payment, ask. Some chiropractors accept cash, checks, money orders, and credit cards, while others prefer cash only.