Chiropractic is a profession with a wide range of practice philosophies and techniques which can make it difficult to select the top chiropractor.
Because the treatment process involved in chiropractic is a physical process, you should seek a doctor you feel is competent and trustworthy.
A good chiropractor will recommend only the best treatment for you to achieve the fastest optimal health.
There are a multitude of things to consider before choosing your chiropractor. We'll t talk about a few of them now.
What to Look For Before Choosing Your Chiropractor
There are a variety of techniques and joint manipulation styles in chiropractic practice, with no two being exactly alike.
Understanding the chiropractor’s spinal manipulation technique, education, and overall style, is vital to your treatment.
Some doctors of chiropractic may perform joint manipulation with their hands only while others use various instruments.
Also, some doctors treat with a quick but firm manipulation while others may have a lighter touch. If you prefer one over the other, just ask them which they prefer.
Some patients lean towards the immediate feeling of relief offered by a “joint popping” type of spinal manipulation while others cower at the idea and prefer a low-force chiropractic technique.
The kind of corrective chiropractic administered is highly driven by the patient’s preference and what they are comfortable with.
Here you can learn more about Chiropractic Adjustments.
Steps You Should Take To Find Your Chiropractor
There are a few things everyone should do when looking for a chiropractor.
First, try to get a referral. Friends, neighbors, family, and especially your primary medical doctor may recommend a chiropractor.
You should also check if any of the recommended chiropractors are covered by your insurance plan.
If you receive a strong recommendation for someone not on that list, you may consider out of network benefits or even private payment.
Before choosing a chiropractor, do a quality check for credentials by accessing your state licensing board's website to confirm qualifications and any possible disciplinary action.
Research the condition for which you are seeking treatment.
There several credible websites and library resources offering information on conditions like back pain, sciatica, herniated discs, and other musculoskeletal conditions commonly treated by chiropractors.
I would suggest avoiding individual practice websites for this. Instead, focus on credible, independent sources of information.
When you're done your research, jot down a list of questions for your chiropractor to answer about your condition.
Visiting the practice website is also important when choosing a chiropractor.
Many chiropractors have websites, and these can be informative. Are they patient-oriented? Are they consistent with the scientific evidence you have learned about your condition?
Read your doctor's resume. Don't pay a lot of attention to marketing tools, such as testimonials. Look instead to confirm that the doctor:
- Treats musculoskeletal conditions
- Has the ability to perform x-rays
- Does not emphasize proprietary supplement sales
- Does not encourage long treatment regimens or excessive visits
- Does not make scientifically unsupported claims about the value of wellness adjustments or preventive care
A quick google search may provide additional screening information.
But remember: not having a website or much of an online presence is no reflection of a chiropractor's qualifications, nor does the size of such an ad reflect qualifications.
Finally, you may want to make a few phone calls, perhaps starting with the chiropractic office closest to you.
Ask about appointment availability, insurance coverage, hours, etc. This is to see if you are treated with patience, courtesy, and respect by the doctor's office.
Your chiropractor and their office should make you feel comfortable, both in-person and on the phone.
Potential Red Flags and Chiropractic Techniques
While on your search for your ideal doctor, it’s also important to look out for unsafe or risky techniques that you may come across while seeking potential candidates.
There are a few chiropractor techniques that most chiropractors agree doubtful.
If a patient does experience, any of these, it is reasonable to consider finding another chiropractor for your chiropractic care.
Examples of techniques you should steer clear from:
- The chiropractor claims to be the only one with a “special new technique” that no other chiropractor can use.
- The chiropractor claims to be able to cure multiple conditions such as asthma, heartburn, infections, diabetes, or some other chronic condition. While using corrective chiropractic treatments to help "better," these conditions is normal and commonly practiced; however, for a chiropractor to claim he can cure these conditions is not likely.
- The chiropractor recommends a long-term treatment plan, for example, 4 times per week for 6 to 12 months, then 3 times per week for another 6 to 12 months, then 2 times a week for 6 more months and so on.
- The chiropractor requires a significant prepayment for unlimited treatment for 6 months to a year.
- The chiropractor recommends the same type of therapy for almost every patient, regardless of the patient’s condition.
- The chiropractor continually recommends ongoing, “never-ending” care. There should ultimately be an end point to your treatment when goals are achieved or a change in treatment if improvement remains stationary.
Seeking Medical Treatment at the Chiropractor's Office
Now that you have criteria to evaluate potential chiropractors and the best corrective chiropractic care, the best thing to do is narrow down your choices.
For example, pick around three chiropractic clinics you would like to try or feel you would like to try.
Set up the right time to meet each of the chiropractors (most clinics offer a free consultation,) and ask them questions about your problem areas, will they help with pain treatment, can they help with a slipped disc, and what treatment methods they offer.
Never be afraid to ask questions.
It’s only after your first appointment that you should decide if you would like to proceed with care from this chiropractor.
Now that you have a solid basic understanding of what to look for and not to look for in a chiropractor; picking out a practice of your preference should be a breeze.
If your goal right now is to find a chiropractor, look no further.
At Arrowhead Clinic, our chiropractic doctors are entirely dedicated to our patients and their journey to recovery.
At our clinics, our goal is to make you feel comfortable from the moment you walk through our doors and to provide the best care available to you.
Each patient gets a treatment plan tailored to their needs, so we are sure to treat your exact condition, whether it's lower back pain, neck pain, or anything else.
If you are experiencing pain and are in need of chiropractic care, call our Arrowhead Chiropractic Office.
We offer free consultations so you can get to know our chiropractors and make sure you are completely comfortable with the care we provide!
Read our next blog: Chiropractic Care for Dislocated Ribs