20 Min.

A chiropractic follow-up is an appointment with a chiropractor scheduled after a previous visit. Its purpose depends mostly on how the previous visit went.

If a follow-up is scheduled after an initial consultation and after the results of diagnostic tests are released, the purpose is to explain the results of the tests as well as the patient’s possible treatment options. The appointment ends with the doctor providing his treatment recommendations based on his findings or diagnosis.

However, if a follow-up is scheduled after treatment, its purpose is to assess the results of the treatment and check if more treatment is needed.



A chiropractic follow-up visit is a safe, routine appointment that poses little to no risk to the patient. Chiropractic itself has a high safety rating compared to other branches of medicine because it does not involve invasive surgery or medications. Thus, there is no risk of negative side effects, infection and bleeding.

A herniated disk or a worsening of an existing disk herniation

Compression of nerves in the lower spinal column (cauda equina syndrome)

A certain type of stroke (vertebral artery dissection) after neck manipulation
Don't seek chiropractic adjustment if you have:
Severe osteoporosis

Numbness, tingling or loss of strength in an arm or leg

An increased risk of stroke

A known bone abnormality in the upper neck

What you can expect

A chiropractic follow-up is recommended for all patients who either need treatment or has undergone treatment. In some cases, follow-up does not just refer to a single visit, but to a series of visits done on a regular basis at certain intervals. These visits aim to continue improving the patient’s condition and are necessary for serious chiropractic conditions that require long-term therapy and regular adjustments. While some people may require just a few visits, some may need several months of continuous care. On average, patients are scheduled for 6 to 12 follow-up regular visits.


Spinal manipulation
Soft tissue therapy
Muscle stretching
Joints mobilization

During the procedure

During a typical chiropractic adjustment, your chiropractor places you in specific positions to treat affected areas. Often, you're positioned lying face down on a specially designed, padded chiropractic table. The chiropractor uses his or her hands to apply a controlled, sudden force to a joint, pushing it beyond its usual range of motion. You may hear popping or cracking sounds as your chiropractor moves your joints during the treatment session.


Although patients are provided with a follow-up care schedule, they are welcome to visit their chiropractor anytime if they feel the need to. Most follow-up visits take just around 15 to 30 minutes, but may take longer if chiropractic adjustments and new diagnostic tests are necessary.

The exact manner in which follow-ups are performed is based on the patient’s current condition and symptoms. If the patient does not have any new symptoms or does not feel his old symptoms, the chiropractor may just ask a few questions before sending him home. However, if some of the old symptoms seem to be coming back, the visit may involve a chiropractic adjustment. If new symptoms are detected, the chiropractor may want to look into them and may thus request for some imaging scans, such as x-rays, musculoskeletal sonography, or MRI scans.

Not everyone responds to chiropractic adjustments. A lot depends on your particular situation. If your symptoms don't begin to improve after several weeks of treatments, chiropractic adjustment might not be the best option for you.