Your First Visit

Discussion, Diagnosis & Treatment

Discussion and Diagnosis:

On your first visit Dr. Smalling will consult with you about your health, explain how chiropractic works, and examine your spine.

First you will fill out forms regarding personal information and health history. Next, Dr. Smalling will most commonly palpate, or feel, your entire spinal region to detect nerve interference. Sometimes other methods or instruments may be used to verify the findings. All chiropractic examination techniques are safe, painless, and noninvasive.

Indications of nerve interference will show up on an xray. Soft tissue damage to nerves, muscles, or discs — called nerve impingement — cannot be seen. If further diagnosis is needed, Dr. Smalling may use imaging tools such as MRI's, or Paraspinal EMGs and CT (CAT) scans. If necessary, we will explain the procedures in greater detail. We believe the benefit must always justify the risk of any procedure and will explain any risk and answer questions in non-technical terms.


After diagnosis, Dr. Smalling will discuss your spine's health with you and outline a course of action to correct nerve interference. This may include spinal adjustments, exercise, and lifestyle changes.

Degenerated spine

Chiropractors do not treat symptoms, they locate the cause of the dis-ease and correct it. In the beginning frequent adjustments may be required. Over time the number of adjustments will decrease. Do not expect nerve interference to be corrected in a few visits. It takes continued adjusting to be sure the vertebrae have returned to their proper positions and your muscles and ligaments can continue to hold them in place. Once your vertebrae are in place, Dr. Smalling will periodically check your spine to be sure it remains free of nerve interference.

There are three levels of care:

Level I is the Intensive Care Phase. The objective during this phase is to reduce stress damage to the spine and nervous system. The adjustments help you immediately, but healing takes time. At Level I you may see the doctor every day or perhaps three times a week, depending on your specific needs.

Level II is the Reconstructive Phase in which the now aligned, or nearly aligned, spine is monitored while it gets stronger and holds the adjustment for longer periods of time. It is critical to have your spine checked regularly to be sure there is not a reoccurrence of nerve interference. During this time your visits may be once or twice a week.

Level III is the Wellness Phase that can be compared to other preventative healthcare such as dental visits and eye exams. At this point your spine is holding the adjustment but you should visit our office regularly to detect and correct any nerve interference early and to enhance your health potential.