If you’re reading this blog post, you’ve at some point decided that you could benefit from chiropractic. Maybe you’re currently experiencing pain, maybe you’ve heard a glowing review from a friend, or maybe you’re just health conscious and want to be proactive about your body’s well-being. It’s great that you’ve chosen to go down this route, but you may be asking yourself, “How do I choose a good chiropractic office?” Unlike dentists, you don’t exactly have an 800-number that you can call to get recommendations. You have to rely on your own research to establish whether a practice will be a good fit for you.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in deciding which chiropractor to go to is choosing an office simply for its location. While we all love convenience, we can’t let our health be on the back burner while travel time takes precedence. This is not to say that there are not great chiropractors in your local area. There certainly may be! Before you choose the closest chiropractor, use these 6 tips below to make sure you’re choosing properly.
- Ask Your Friends – As we mentioned before, getting a peer review from your own friend can be a huge factor in your decision-making process. The old adage, “you are who you associate with” tends to hold true. If that’s the case with your circle of friends, and they enjoy their chiropractor, odds are good that you’ll like the office as well. This is especially true if your friend holds the same health and wellness values that you do. The great thing about asking friends for their review is that you can be as candid as you like. Inquire about the office’s bedside manner, prices, wait times, etc.
- Meet and Greet – Most chiropractors offer free consultations. Take advantage of this offer to see if you feel the office is compatible with your health outlook. A few areas you want to pay attention to are:
- Does the doctor look healthy? If not, they obviously don’t practice what they preach, and are not truly committed to a healthy lifestyle. Are they overweight? Do they smoke? Though it may seem that you shouldn’t make any judgement based on someone’s appearance or lifestyle, in the case of health, it’s important to consider. Someone who can truly help you with your overall wellness will be dedicated to health, be up to date on current theories and techniques, and this will generally be reflected in their person.
- Is there chemistry? Do you guys hit it off? Is this someone you feel you can speak to openly about your health? If not, move on. You’ll want someone who makes you feel comfortable, who has the same wellness outlook as you, and who doesn’t make you feel rushed.
- Does the office focus on wellness and subluxation? Some chiropractors are simply about the mechanics of the neck and back rather than looking at the overall spectrum of what’s occurring in your body. Various types of stress can cause subluxations, directly effecting your nervous system and making it difficult for you to function on a day-to-day basis. Be sure that the office’s philosophy isn’t just to fix the pain in your neck, but to understand how the pain occurred in the first place, what techniques are optimal for the type of pain you are experiencing, and what techniques can be used in the future to prevent additional pain and get your body in a “healing” mode.
- What Is Their Evaluation Process – How will they determine what your body needs? A baseline will be needed to determine what techniques are working. Like other health issues (i.e. cavities and clogged arteries), spinal issues can be asymptomatic but still present. An objective evaluation will need to be done to truly assess what your treatment plan will be like.
- What Techniques Do They Use – If you’ve never been to a chiropractor before, you won’t have a preference. On the other hand, if you have been and you do have a preference, you’ll want to know if that technique is available. There are numerous types of techniques that chiropractors use, including hand, low-force techniques, and adjustments using instruments.
- Training – Does the practice promote ongoing education? Do they keep up-to-date with the latest studies and techniques? Are they trained in wellness? Though there is no official “degree” for wellness training, there are seminars and authority figures that they can follow to keep current.
- Cost – Your health insurance may not cover chiropractic. Health insurance doesn’t really cover “health”. It is reactive. Your chiropractic visits may be covered if there is a “medical reason” for why you need the treatments. Check with your provider to see what type of chiropractic coverage you have, if any. Just in case, be sure to ask the practice what their fees are, an estimate of the number of treatments you’ll need, and what their payment options are.