21 Ways to be a Savvy Chiropractic Patient

Know the questions to ask your chiropractor Is it time to call a chiropractor? The right chiropractor can help you cope with back and neck pain, but don’t assume that just any chiropractor is the right one for you. These suggestions will help you find the right doctor and get the most out of your chiropractic visits. Once you've decided on a chiropractor, consider your first appointment to be like a job interview, to make sure the partnership will be a good fit. Plan to ask your chiropractor these questions at the first visit or consultation:
  1. Do you offer free consultations?
    Ask the person who is making your appointment if the chiropractor offers a free consultation so you will know if the rest of your questions will be answered at no expense to you. If your chiropractor does not offer a free initial consultation, it is not necessarily a reason to cross him or her off your list, but it never hurts to ask.
  2. Do you treat conditions other than neuromusculoskeletal problems that have a mechanical origin?
    Be on guard for any chiropractor who claims he or she can cure ear infections, colic, asthma, and any other systemic problems. An editor of the New England Journal of Medicine put it best: "That spinal manipulation is somewhat effective symptomatic therapy for some patients with acute low back pain is, I believe, no longer in dispute, but there appears to be little evidence to support the value of spinal manipulation for non-musculoskeletal conditions. For this reason, I think it is currently inappropriate to consider chiropractic as a broad-based alternative to traditional medical care."
  3. Did you acquire any post-graduate degrees?
    If your chiropractor has a post-graduate degree or special training in treating your condition, it's a good sign that he or she may be well-qualified to treat your specific problem.
  4. How much experience do you have treating my particular condition?
    Don't take it for granted that your chiropractor is great at what he or she does. No matter how much the chiropractor has studied your specific condition, the amount of real, hands-on experience is what matters the most.
  5. What is your technique?
    Some chiropractors prefer a more forceful manipulation which may offer immediate relief, while others prefer to use a more gentle and gradual approach. Neither technique is necessarily better, but you may be more comfortable with one or the other.
  6. Will you respect my preferences for a treatment plan?
    For example, if you prefer mobilization to spinal manipulation (with the crack) will you get any pushback from him or her?
  7. How much experience do you have using the technique you are recommending?
    If your chiropractor is recommending a specific technique, e.g. cold laser therapy, Graston Technique, or Activator Technique, ask for training that they have received (and go online to see if this is the recommended amount of training).
  8. How long will my treatment last?
    Be wary of chiropractors who put you on a strict treatment plan including an exact time line of how long they think your treatment will take. This may be a sign that they are more interested in making appointments than helping you heal.Also, be aware of any chiropractor who asks for an up-front lump-sum payment.
  9. Do you take X-rays in the office when necessary?
    Be wary of chiropractors who take X-rays in the office regardless of the problem.
  10. What services do you provide?
    Ideally, the chiropractor can provide adjunctive therapy such as massage therapy, physical therapy, and nutritional counseling under one roof. If these services are not available in the actual clinic, ask the chiropractor if he or she works with other professionals in these areas, and if you will have help coordinating your care.
  11. What are the top 3 things I can do to get the best results?
    A good chiropractor will have an effective, personal treatment plan designed just for you. Make sure your chiropractor has your best interest in mind by asking him or her to outline a specific and detailed plan of action. Read more here