We are well aware that the better you are at retaining patients, the less chiropractic marketing you need to do.

This especially holds true in the Chiropractic Wellness Practice where our entire goal is to help patients understand the need for and follow through with lifetime spine checks.

Sometimes an adjustment, or even the entire visit, just doesn’t go as well as you had hoped. This can make a visit with an existing, but especially a new patient, very awkward.

So beyond explaining how you are reducing subluxations and reduction of pain is a side effect of this and Not Your Goal with care, use these additional tips to not only reduce the chances of a bad first visit but also how to restore and clean it up should it begin to head that way.


1. Build a bond with all NPs by meeting them in the lobby first. You should always have an ear out for new patients entering the office. If at all possible walk up to greet them while they are onboarding. A simple “Hi, I’m Dr. _______ great to meet you. We will get you back there as soon as we can” will suffice.

When you build a bond in the lobby then when they come back for the visit they are meeting you for the second time already and have lowered their guard a little and are more comfortable. Familiarity Breeds Comfort.

2. When exploring any past chiropractic care, find out ‘did he adjust you more by hand where you felt pops and clicks or with instruments (pointing to instruments) or both?’ Make sure they understand what you are saying so you understand fully what worked well in the past and what did not. There should be NO surprises in the adjustment.

3. Remind them we can not/should not force the spine joints to move. They didn’t get this way overnight and will not realign overnight so “let’s be smart and tip toe in to ensure you respond OK.” Regardless of the reality, a patient that thinks you hurt them, is hurt.


OK… so it went bad for whatever reason. Now clean it up while maintaining and in some instances needing to regain your authority.

1. If the person, or just their spine, is not cooperative, make sure you keep the ‘lack of responsiveness’ to the adj geared towards the condition of THEIR spine, NOT your adjustment. Make sure they understand it is their spine that didn’t adjust well… (that leads to #2).

2. Educate them as to why it didn’t move well or why it hurt more than anticipated, such as adhesion build up in the joint or scar tissue from past injuries or possible degenerative changes. Connect the dots as to ‘why’ perhaps it didn’t adjust well. You should have gathered this info during the consultation script/protocol. Educate their Mind MORE than you Stimulate their Spine.

3. Catch them on way out to tie up loose ends that might have emerged as result of a tough visit/adjustment. Ask them how the other services or rest of the visit went (if you have additional services) and remind them it will take time and to stay patient with THEIR SPINE! There is no process that does not require time (If that is not a familiar principle to you then google The 33 Chiropractic Principles)

In short…We are moving people from a place of pain relief = health to prevention & wellness. It’s hard for people to understand it so don’t get caught up in pain relief. Go slow, educate, explain, serve with love and stack it with compassion.