A chiropractor is a healthcare professional that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders. A chiropractor uses hands-on spinal manipulation, in addition to other alternative methods, to treat spinal and muscular issues. The theory behind chiropractic is that the manipulation of the spine in order to properly align the body’s musculoskeletal structure, will allow the body itself to heal without the use of medication or need for surgery. The methods of treatment that a chiropractor uses in manipulation are in an effort to restore mobility to joints that are restricted by tissue.
Chiropractors use a wide variety of techniques, methods and philosophies when practicing, which can sometimes make it difficult to select the best chiropractor for you. Because chiropractors use a range of physical treatment procedures, it is therefore important that much thought is given to the compatibility with the doctor, as well as joint manipulation style practiced.
Read on, as we review tips to help you select the best chiropractor. We will briefly touch on interview questions to ask potential chiropractor candidates, guidelines for what you can expect in terms of care from your chiropractor, and also some potential red flags that may indicate a questionable practicing chiropractor.
When in search for the area’s best practicing chiropractor accepting recommendations is a great place to start. Perhaps first consult your primary care physician, physical therapist or spinal specialist for their practice recommendations or affiliations. This is an excellent way to begin building your list of candidates with trustworthy and competent chiropractors.
Also, it may prove helpful to reach out to family members, friends and even neighbors about their personal opinion of the best chiropractor in the area. Beware though, chiropractic can vary widely and should be personalized. Therefore, what is a superb adjustment to one may be a nightmare to another. So, just be sure and dig a little deeper. Taking the time to find out why this person recommends the chiropractor they do.
A good rule of thumb here is that if you receive the same recommendation from multiple people, the odds are this is a good chiropractor.
Prior to beginning treatment it is recommended that you hold an informal phone interview or request a consultation with your chiropractic candidate. This will give you the opportunity to learn more about the clinic itself, the chiropractor and the techniques that he/she uses for treatment.
It is important that you feel comfortable with not only the chiropractor, but with the entire practice. For most, a chiropractic visit is a personal experience and therefore many personal preferences may be involved in whether or not you feel comfortable with a practice or the practicing chiropractor. Figure out what it is that is important to you, or rather what makes you feel most comfortable. For instance, maybe it is something as particular as the average wait time in the lobby, or more serious such as the years that the chiropractor has been practicing, or maybe even something so seemingly meaningless such as the background music played. Whatever it is, just make sure that you are comfortable with the package as a whole when selecting the best chiropractor for you.
Ask yourself simple questions after your interview to establish if maximum comfort is present. Think to yourself: was the chiropractor kind, friendly and courteous? Did the chiropractor answer all of your questions or were they dodged? Does the chiropractor have a specific post-graduate or undergraduate specialty?
Many different techniques, methods and even tools are used in chiropractic’s, therefore it is important to establish a rapport with your chiropractor prior to seeking treatment to be sure that you are comfortable with the techniques. Some patients prefer lower-force manipulation techniques, while some prefer the immediate relief of “joint popping.” Different chiropractors have different methods, some firm some gentle – make sure that you mesh well with the method your chiropractor uses.
Simple questions such as something so straightforward as, “What chiropractic techniques do you use,” will offer immediate answers about what you can expect in terms of treatment. Consider asking the chiropractor whether they prefer hand or tool use; deeper/firm adjustments or more gentle/low-force manipulation; and whether or not he/she has much experience treating issues similar to your own.
There are a few things, in terms of techniques and practices that if you notice with your interviewing chiropractor should send you running the other way. For example, if during your interview the chiropractor claims that he has a “special new technique,” or if he/she recommends nearly the same treatment plan for virtually every patient – the practice might be bogus. Also, beware for chiropractors that claim to be able to heal certain chronic illnesses or those who recommend excessive long-term treatment plans. If during the interview the chiropractor mentions substantial prepayment requirements for long-term care kindly thank them for their time, run out the door and continue your search.