5 Tips for Choosing the Best Chiropractor
Choosing a good chiropractor can sometimes be a daunting task. This is especially true if you are new to chiropractic. Chiropractors routinely treat thousands of patients in Spokane but often practice quite differently from one another. Knowing what to look for when selecting a chiropractor can help you find a healthcare partner who can fix your problems quickly, affordably and safely. Doing your research on their clinical approach, experience and reputation can help you reach your healthcare goals.
- Appropriate Examination, Diagnosis and Treatment.
Doctors of chiropractic have extensive training in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal problems. It is crucial that your chiropractor listen carefully to your health history, do a problem focused examination and give you a specific diagnosis. Every person has a unique history and a good chiropractor will consider all of these factors in your assessment to determine a specific diagnosis. Simply telling you that you have back pain because you need adjusting is not enough! Of course, neither is telling you to rest and take Ibuprofen.
- Clearly spell out how long to expect treatment to last and how much it will cost.
It is essential that your chiropractor give you an honest assessment of what the chances are they can help you. There is no crystal ball to look into but based on the severity of your problem and your chiropractor’s clinical experience and skills, they should be able to give you a fairly accurate idea of how long it will take to get better and give you an estimate of how many treatments it will require. Also ask them how many other patients they have treated with similar problems.
It is also important to get an estimate of how much it will cost. There is nothing more shocking than getting a large medical bill. Make sure they verify your insurance benefits prior to starting treatment and give you an estimate of how much your out-of-pocket expenses are. Unfortunately, the modern healthcare insurance industry has become a quagmire of misinformation. Nevertheless, your chiropractor should be able to provide you with a reasonably accurate estimate of what is covered by your individual insurance plan.
With deductibles being so high these days, it is also important to ask if they offer payment plans. That way you can get the care you need in an affordable manner.
- Offer a variety of treatments.
Not everyone is a candidate for spinal manipulation (treatment usually resulting in a “pop” of your joints). Yet there is a myriad of chiropractic techniques that can make you feel better that do not use manipulation. Ask if they offer a wide variety of chiropractic techniques, including instrument adjusting, distraction traction and Thompson drop moves.
It is equally important that your chiropractor use various muscle therapies to reduce spasm and increase range of motion in tight muscles. People in Spokane often face cold, crummy winters during which we become less active. The resulting stiffening and shortening of our muscles (such as the hamstrings) contributes to all of the neck and back injuries we see in our spring gardening season. You will get better faster if your chiropractor utilizes muscle treatments to reduce your muscle spasm.
A good chiropractor should also be well versed in exercise therapy and be willing to show you the exercises appropriate for your condition. There is no cookie-cutter approach for spinal exercise. Doing the right exercise hastens your recovery and will help ensure that you won’t need to come back for chiropractic treatment for an extended period of time.
Also, ask if your chiropractor works on extremity problems such as runner’s knees, hips and shoulder problems and TMJ. Sports chiropractic can greatly help many of these conditions using both muscle and joint therapies to improve mobility, reduce pain and strengthen your body.
- Offer Decompression Therapies.
Ask if they offer Decompression Therapy. Many patients suffer from problems caused by compression of their joints, such as with degenerative arthritis, disc problems and sciatica. Traction-based therapies provide a unique benefit for these types of problems and are often more effective than adjusting. Oftentimes traction, together with adjusting, produces excellent results and can keep people out of surgery.
- Works with Other Medical Providers.
It is important that your chiropractor work with medical providers in a cooperative manner. Patients with complex problems may require a number of practitioners other than just a chiropractor to fix their problem. Chiropractic does not fix everything! If anyone, a chiropractor or otherwise, guarantees that they can fix your problem, run for the exit!
- Other things to ask about:
Ask if they have massage therapy available on site. Some folks respond much better to a combination of massage and chiropractic.
Do they provide cold laser therapy? Low level laser accelerate healing and also reduces pain in arthritic joints. This speeds recovery and is a powerful adjunct to chiropractic treatment.
Hopefully these ideas will provide you with the knowledge you need to find a chiropractor who can fix your problems. Our office offers free phone consultations with any of our chiropractors should you have any questions. Feel free to call today.
Call (509) 922-0303 or visit www.spinalandsportscare.com.