When most people have aches and pains in their body, their doctors usually prescribe either medication or in the worst cases, surgery. However, chiropractic care is an alternative option that doesn’t require invasive procedures or pills.
If you’re new to the scene, picking chiropractors probably has you scratching your head. What local practitioners are worth the money, and does your insurance cover it?
Here are seven factors to consider when you’re booking your first appointment.
Get a Referral When Picking Chiropractors
One of the first steps before making any kind of commitment is to get some references and reviews on your local chiropractors. These can be found online, from your current doctor, or by talking to friends and family.
Often, there will be opposing views, which will be important when making a decision.
For example, the chiropractor nearest to your home might not have much experience in treating the specific symptoms you have. Or there might be another option that specializes in your specific needs.
Additionally, you shouldn’t only go by the reviews on their personal website, because of course, they aren’t always going to want to showcase any negative reviews.
Check the Qualifications
One benefit of the internet is the ability to search for your chiropractor’s specific qualifications online to verify what they claim on their personal website.
Strictly speaking, practitioners are required to have four years of professional study and four years of college prerequisites in most states in order to practice as chiropractors. There is also a required internship and optional post-graduate requirements in certain states, such as Wisconsin.
As such, the quality and qualifications of your local chiropractor can vary significantly.
You should be aware of your options for chiropractors as well as your specific needs. When in doubt, opt for the best possible practitioner in your area, provided you can afford it.
Your Medical History and Needs
The chiropractor you choose should be trained and have experience treating your specific symptoms and ailments. Your spine is one of the most important parts of your body, and your practitioner needs to do their due diligence before putting a single hand on your back.
Before performing your first adjustment, your chiropractor should do a detailed history of your current health condition, including past traumas, injuries, and your goals. At the same time, you should ask plenty of questions about their services so you know exactly what to expect and know what might be out of their capabilities.
Both you and your chiropractor will benefit from coming to a mutual understanding.
Knowing what chiropractors are covered by your insurance is key for choosing who to visit. Without insurance, you’ll end up paying out-of-pocket, and treatment isn’t cheap.
On average, a chiropractor visit can cost anywhere between $100 and $250, with costs varying based on the type of appointment and copay.
You also have to take into account how often you’ll be needing their services, the cost of x-rays, and any other tests.
In some cases, treatment is covered for active-duty members of the armed forces, as well as veterans. Some chiropractors also take Medicare.
Chiropractors utilize a variety of techniques and tools when treating spine health issues. However, not all techniques are a perfect match for all spinal issues.
A couple of examples of chiropractic methods include the Gonstead and Activator techniques.
In the Gonstead technique, the practitioner adjusts the lower back or pelvis in order to realign joints, reduce pain and stiffness, and increase mobility.
As for the Activator technique, a handheld adjusting instrument sends a gentle impulse into the spine. It’s a comfortable experience for the patient and helps with everything from lower back pain to migraines.
Offices also utilize a chiropractor x ray to get a view at what exactly is affecting their patients. The digital capabilities of modern x-ray machines allow chiropractors to adjust the image easily and see tiny fractures and small signs of natural deterioration.
Chiropractors receive general knowledge in school that allows them to treat a wide range of ailments. However, they can also extend their education in order to specialize in specific areas.
For example, specializing in neurology gives a chiropractor an advantage over his peers at treating brain disorders. This is especially relevant since all the spinal pathways lead directly to the brain.
Another practitioner might focus on sports medicine as a way of improving their treatment of sports-based injuries, which can affect the entire body.
If your first visit with a chiropractor is for your child, you should consider looking for one that specializes in pediatric care. After an accident, a rehabilitation specialist would be your best bet.
Always remember you can reach out to their offices in advance to learn more about their experience and qualifications.
Telehealth and Communication
Modern-day healthcare providers can diagnose and treat patients at a distance using webcameras, smartphones, and email. When you talk to your chiropractor, consider inquiring about their telehealth services.
Picking chiropractors to visit likely won’t hinge on whether or not they offer telehealth services, but it’s helpful to have a stable line of communication with them. You can perform routine follow-ups over the internet, display your mobility on camera, and receive visual demonstrations in turn.
In today’s climate, maintaining distance when you can is key for staying healthy and safe.
Make Your First Visit a Good One
Finding a good fit for your health provider is always important, especially when it comes to a damaged back. The major benefit of visiting a chiropractor is receiving non-invasive treatment that hopefully won’t result in surgery.
You should feel much more secure now knowing some of the different factors to consider when picking chiropractors to visit. Don’t let your spine health issues get the best of you.
For more tips on health and fitness, check out our other articles.