How Long Should a Chiropractic Visit Take

Yesterday, I had one of my staff talk to me about the amount of time we’re spending with different patients, and we discussed how long a chiropractic adjustment should take.
A good chiropractor can do each adjustment in about 2 or 3 seconds. If you put them all together, there’s a bit of prepping in between each adjustment and re-placing a patient, and re-placing of a chiropractor’s hands. But the actually adjustment, itself, is simply a push in the correct direction, with the correct amount of force at the correct moment. That adjustment itself, should take no more than a second to 3 seconds.
What often takes a lot of time in a chiropractor’s office is not the patient’s bones getting moved but it’s getting the patient prepared for and understanding the adjustment, and getting the doctor prepared for and understanding the patient.
In our office, the first few visits the patient spends will take well over an hour on many of the visits. Sometimes, the visits can be a bit shorter, but for new patients, it’s rarely less than 20 minutes, and often takes over an hour the first 3 or 4 visits. The reason for this is that we’re going through and practically listening to the patient’s entire life story of their health. We want to know everything that’s happened to them that might have some effect on their chiropractic treatment. We’re also looking for things that might make chiropractic not the right answer for that patient. That does happen and we do refer people out for other things.
If a chiropractic office runs well, the individual patients have been so well-educated on chiropractic that they understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. When this takes place and the patient is feeling safe, we’re able to accomplish the adjustment in a more efficient manner. If a patient has some fears, or isn’t comfortable with the adjustment, then we need to take more time with that person on a separate visit to make sure that they’re completely in the right mental state in order to receive the adjustment.
Surfing this morning, I had an unbelievably perfect wave on a very small surfing day. The wave itself was 2 or 3 feet high, and went really, really fast and took me a very long way – I’m guessing a few hundred feet. The entire ride lasted no more than 3 or 4 seconds, but took a couple of hours to get ready, paddle out, and get organized and cleaned up afterwards. Same thing with a chiropractic adjustment. I’ve done a chiropractic adjustment that’s taken me 2-3 seconds or less that has changed somebody’s life forever and has allowed them to heal from some of the worst problems known to mankind. But it took hours of time to prepare that patient for those few seconds.

17 Replies to “How Long Should a Chiropractic Visit Take”

  1. Greetings. My Activator instrument was stolen a little while back, and it is tough on me replacing it, as I’m now on disability. Any idea where I can get a deal on one, Doc? : )

  2. “Our limitations and success will be based, most often, on our own expectations for ourselves. What the mind dwells upon, the body acts upon.”
    Chiropractic and understanding how it works in the body does amazing things when grouped together! When you understand how chiropractic works and keep up with adjustments, you simply get better!
    Great things often take time, and trust me, investing a little time and effort in your health provides for a great future. (Healthy and Happy!)

  3. I think It is up to the condition of you back bone or what part of your back bone do felt the pain. Only the chiropractic practitioner can tell if it is going to be fast or it will going take long time.

  4. An adjustment is quick but life changing. Wow! I just found your blog today and I’m putting on my favorites. Keep it up.

    Camarillo Chiropractor

  5. “If a chiropractic office runs well, the individual patients have been so well-educated on chiropractic that they understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. When this takes place and the patient is feeling safe, we’re able to accomplish the adjustment in a more efficient manner.” This is ABSOLUTELY TRUE: as a 2- or 3-times-a-week patient, I can say that learning more and more about the body and about how chiropractic works on the body has had a big effect on how I feel during and after my adjustments. Just a few times, when I’ve come in feeling uncomfortable in a new place, or upset about something so that it’s hard to relax, I can tell it’s harder for Dr. Klein to do the adjustment; and I can also tell that I don’t feel as relaxed and relieved as usual afterwards. I really appreciate the emphasis on patient education at Seaside Chiropractic!

  6. At my busy office in downtown Seattle, I see around 325 patients a week. Some patients prefer a quick adjustment, because they are on a tight schedule. Other patients like me to spend more time with them. I do a lot of patient education but also enjoy getting to know my patients on a personal level.

  7. I never knew the behind the scenes of chiropractice and at least now I know that it’s not that simple. AT least when it’s my time to visit a chiropractor, I would not wonder why it would take so long for a certain visit. Now, at least I would say with comfort, to take your time so you can achieve the best results.

  8. It all depends on the patient’s needs. I have a busy office in downtown Seattle. Some patients want me to spend more time with them, but others, particularly busy professionals, need to get in and out as fast as possible. Whether I see 20 patients in a hour or five patients in an hour, I give every patient my full attention and the best care possible.

  9. It depends on the person. Someone that has a lot of trauma, like a car wreck, may need gentle adjusting but more time. The worse case would take 30 minutes. You don’t want to over stimulate the brain. Chiropractors, after all, are really brain doctors.

  10. Neurologically Based Chiropractors spend a lot more time with their patients as we understand that the adjustment is sending powerful signals to the brain. That is why chiropractic works so well.

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