“I didn’t know how much I could improve until I started seeing a chiropractor.”
Gerald Wilkins, NBA Player
Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit their doctors, even more than common colds, miss their jobs, and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. While many steps can be done at home to reduce back pain like sleeping positions, proper posture, exercise, and a healthy diet, this may not be enough for some people. Sometimes, a good chiropractor is what our back needs to end all the pain and discomfort.
While chiropractors can help manage back and neck pain through adjustments in the spine to bring it back and maintain it to its natural position or alignment, not all chiropractors are the ones that are good for you. Some claim to be one but are not. On the other hand, different people have different skills, knowledge, quality of work, and competence, therefore, choosing the right chiropractor for you requires effort, time, and research. It can be challenging, but these steps will help you find the most suitable chiropractor for you so you can get the most out of your visits:
Ask your friends and family for a recommendation. Asking people who already have an experience with a certain chiropractor is a good step since these people can give you advice on whether or not the specific practitioner is a good one. Asking for recommendations about chiropractors is just like asking other people which restaurant offers good food. It is always the best starting point.
Get insider information. When you’re visiting a physician, it is the best time to ask them because they can give the best insider information. Ask them for chiropractor recommendations and what they heard about a particular chiropractor.
Research the chiropractor—look for reviews about their service. Researching the chiropractor is also a great way to know if that specific practitioner offers great service. If you liked the reviews given to them, it might be a sign that it is the one for you. If you see something in the reviews that bothers you, it might be a good sign that you should look for another one. Looking for the right chiropractor is just like looking for reviews online before buying a product.
Check if the chiropractor is licensed to practice. Some “chiropractors” claim to be licensed practitioners in chiropractic when they are not—scammers. Check if the chiropractor is licensed to practice, therefore, they should have passed rigorous state and national exams.
Questions to Ask Your Chiropractors
Once you have already picked your prospective chiropractors with the help of the steps given above, try to ask them the following questions that will help you identify more if they are the right ones for you:
Do you offer free consultations? It is important to know if your prospective chiropractor offers free consultation through the one who is setting your appointment. This way, you will have the chance to talk to the practitioner and ask questions that will help you decide and determine if that individual is the best for you. If the chiropractor does not offer free consultations, it is a sign to cross them out of your list and move on to another one.
Do you treat other conditions like ear infections and asthma? If the chiropractor claims that he can treat conditions other than neuromusculoskeletal problems then it should be a red flag and a sign to guard yourself since there is no current evidence to support spinal manipulation in treating conditions other than neuromusculoskeletal problems.
How much experience do you have in treating conditions like mine? Just like asking if they are licensed to practice as chiropractors, it is important to ask if they have experience in treating a condition like you are experiencing, and how long it is to see if they know what they are doing. You also have to realize that each chiropractor is unique and they may vary depending on the length of their experience. If you are going to analyze it based on the knowledge you’ve learned about their experience and you are not satisfied, it is a sign to move on to another one.
Do you have references? Don’t be shy to ask your chiropractor for references and feedback from their previous patients. If the practitioner is legit and proud of her experiences, they will be happy to share with you improvements of their past patients. This will also assure you that they are good and can help you with your condition.
What techniques do you use? Chiropractors have different modes and styles of manipulation. Others prefer to utilize more forceful manipulation while others prefer a gentle approach, although, neither is better than the other. It is important to talk to your chiropractors about their style for you to be able to communicate with them your preference and what you’re comfortable with.
Will you respect my treatment preferences? When communicating to your chiropractor your preferred style for treatment, they must respect it or suggest a better treatment plan without trying to be pushy and forceful. Negotiating the treatment with your chiropractor is okay. The treatment should be mutually agreed upon by the preferences of each side—the chiropractor and the patient.
How long will the treatment last? Be cautious of chiropractors that put you in a very strict, long treatment that includes an extended timeline to when they think your treatment is going to end to achieve desirable results. That is a huge red flag. Oftentimes, practitioners like this are only just focused on having multiple appointments with you rather than helping you attain the best results in the shortest amount of time possible. Nobody wants the hassle and your chiropractor should know that.
How much is the estimated cost? Before you deal with the chiropractor and the treatments that they are going to do with you, it is better to ask the estimated cost for you to be able to prepare. It can be hard to decide and know if the costs are competitive so try asking your other prospective chiropractors, too, and compare them. Most clinics will call your insurance for you to determine helpful insurance coverage.
Choosing the right chiropractor for you may be a lot of work, however, it is important to secure a good, friendly, and strong relationship with your chiropractor. These practical guidelines can help you to set your standards in picking the best chiropractic practitioner for you. Be Chiro-Practical!