What to Expect At Your First Chiropractic Visit

As we so often receive calls from new patients setting up their first chiropractic appointment, we thought a breakdown of what you can expect during your initial consultation and treatment would be helpful.

History and Symptoms

In preparation for the chiropractic consultation, an individual will be asked to fill out forms that provide background information about their symptoms and condition. Once your forms are completed, the chiropractor will go through them with you, asking specific questions in order to gain a thorough understanding of your background and the specifics of your complaints.  The types of questions your chiropractor is like to ask you are:

  • When and how did the pain start?
  • Where is it located?
  • Is it a result of an injury?
  • What provides relief?
  • What aggravates the discomfort?
  • Description of the discomfort
  • Have you experiences other sensations- numbness, tingling, or weakness?
  • General activity levels
  • Sleeping position

Patients are also asked to provide information on family medical history, any pre-existing medical conditions or prior injuries, and previous and current health providers and treatments.

The Chiropractic Exam

A complete chiropractic exam will then be performed.  In this examination, you will undergo a postural evaluation, global and specific range of motion tests, segmental joint evaluation, orthopaedic tests specific to the area in question, and a complete neurological examination.

The goal of these tests is to establish:

  • Range of motion of the affected part
  • Muscle tone
  • Muscle strength
  • Neurological integrity
  • Diagnostic Studies to Supplement the Chiropractic Exam

Based upon the results of the history and chiropractic exam, diagnostic studies may be helpful in revealing pathologies and identifying structural abnormalities that can be used by the chiropractor to more accurately diagnose a condition. Diagnostic studies are not always necessary during the chiropractic exam, and the practitioner will discuss if they are clinically warranted prior to administering.

The most common diagnostic studies during chiropractic exams include:

  • SEMG (surface electromyography)
  • X-ray exam
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan
  • Other laboratory tests
  • Our clinic performs muscle scans, but x-Rays, MRI scans, and more extensive imaging studies will be referred to an outside centre.

Patient Diagnosis after the Chiropractic Exam

History, physical examination, and any diagnostic studies lead to a specific diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is established, the chiropractor will determine if the condition will respond to chiropractic care.

Our Chiropractors will explain a patient’s:

Diagnosed condition

Individualized chiropractic treatment plan (or other treatments)

Anticipated length of chiropractic care

For more on chiropractic treatment plans following diagnosis, see the next section of this article.

Chiropractic Treatment Plan

Most often, our Chiropractors begin treatment during the patient’s first visit.

Chiropractic treatment recommendations may include some, or all, of the following:

  • Adjustments to key joint dysfunctions
  • Modalities to improve soft tissue healing and pain control, such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and traction
  • Exercises to improve muscles balance, strength, and coordination
  • Patient education to improve posture and motor control
  • Other treatments such as ART, massage, heat/cold application, and nutraceutical recommendations.
  • Goals of the Chiropractic Treatment Plan

The chiropractor will establish specific goals for a patient’s individual plan for treatment:

Short-term goals include reducing pain and restoring normal joint function and muscle balance

Long-term goals include restoring functional independence and tolerance to normal activities of daily living.

To reach these goals, a specific number of chiropractic visits, such as 1 to 3 chiropractic visits/week for 2 to 4 weeks, may be prescribed and followed by a re-examination by the Chiropractor.


Massage 101

As a health care professional my patients often come to me with many questions regarding their health related to their treatments. Here are the top 5 questions asked by you – the patients!

1) Does massage therapy flush out toxins?

This is actually a myth, massage does not “flush out” toxins but rather increases circulation and venous return.

2) How much water should I drink after a massage treatment?

I advise my patients to drink water BEFORE and AFTER a massage therapy session.  Hydrated muscles will recover quicker and are often easier for the therapist to manipulate. Most of us are walking around dehydrated and don’t even realize it until we’re thirsty.  I would recommend 3 glasses of water before and after a treatment.

3) Can massage therapy fix me?

It’s not my job to “fix” my patients but rather to facilitate the body’s own natural healing process. I have found that educating patients on proper posture, stretching, and healthy lifestyle choices have proven to be effective in returning to a pain free life. Ultimately, the process is in your hands and I’m just here to guide you through it.

4) How long should I hold my stretches?

For a basic static stretch – I recommend holding the position for 30-45 seconds. Any time less than that will not make a significant change to the muscle fibers or connective tissue. Postural exercises should be held for a longer period of time and done more frequently.

5) What conditions are massage therapy effective at treating?

Massage is a great modality for treating a wide range of conditions, some of which include: whiplash, headaches/migraines, lower back pain, sciatica, thoracic outlet syndrome, general muscle pain/stiffness, sports injuries, and many more.

Is Chiropractic Safe?

Yes! Chiropractic care is safer than the alternatives of taking drugs or having surgery. In fact, a recent research review study found that the spinal adjustments are even safer than taking aspirin. Drs. Serné and Clemenhagen perform an extensive examination and history prior to any treatment to assess potential risks. Further, Drs. Serné and Clemenhagen will then discuss treatment options to ensure your comfort level is established before ever initiating a plan. There are many different types of Chiropractic treatments available and this will be discussed on the initial visit. Chiropractors are also well-equipped to diagnose conditions that do require medical care, and regularly refer their patients to other specialists as needed.

What You Can Expect on Your Visit with a Naturopath?

The initial consultation is a thorough intake which covers your chief concern(s), medical and family history, general lifestyle and diet, exposure to environmental hazards, stress levels, personal goals etc. In order to have a complete assessment, a complaint-oriented physical may also be included. This visit takes approximately one hour and will require that some forms be filled out beforehand. These can be downloaded from the website, emailed or faxed ahead of time to shorten the time you are in the office.

Generally treatment does not start on this visit, unless it is an acute situation. Subsequent visits will be determined according to the best treatment options for you.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Acupuncture is very safe when performed by well-trained, qualified professional using recognized standards of clean needle technique. The needles are very thin sterile needles and upon insertion, have little or no discomfort to the client. In fact, most clients report feeling very relaxed and calm during treatment. Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical issues.

What Does it Cost to be Treated by One of the Practitioners?

We don’t post our pricing as there is such a diverse array of services offered.  Further, your pricing changes if you are eligible for MSP assistance, involved in a motor vehicle accident (ICBC), or paying private fees.

All of our Practitioners are registered with their discipline so if you have extended health coverage, you may be eligible for reimbursement depending on your individual plan.

We also offer direct billing if you have Pacific Blue Cross as your health care provider.

Please call the clinic and we will be happy to discuss our fees with you.

When Does My Practitioner Work?

Please click here for your Practitioners’ schedule 2018



What Is Your Cancellation Policy?

Your health is paramount to us and during your initial visit a treatment plan was discussed to optimize your recovery.  We hope you do not have to alter these plans but should you have to, we require two business days notice to cancel or move an appointment.

If you cancel one day prior to your scheduled appointment, you are subject to a 60% finance charge.  If you cancel the day of your appointment or miss your appointment outright, you will be charged the full treatment cost.

Your credit card will be processed at the end of the day.  Should extenuating circumstances have caused you to cancel or miss your appointment, you will be credited at your next visit.

Achieve Optimal Wellness

By taking full advantage of the medical services plan and/or your own extended health benefits, you have the possibility of enjoying life to its fullest.

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