“I was seeing the chiropractor almost everyday for 4 months without any improvement. He told me that my neck was so bad I would likely need to be seen 3x/week for the rest of my life so I wouldn’t need surgery”
Yep, that’s really what someone told me during a consultation recently, and it’s actually something I’ve heard in various forms.
It’s one thing if some form of treatment doesn’t work for a patient or individual. There’s nothing on earth that has a 100% success rate. But making absurd statements that aren’t based in logic, reason, or evidence is a big reason why people can be distrustful of chiropractors, or any professional really.
Probably one of my least favorite things is when someone has a bad experience with a chiropractor.
A close second is when someone hears about another person’s bad experience and is scared of chiropractic because of something they’ve heard.
I know most of you are scared and skeptical. The truth is, you should be. We’ve had a bad rap for a long time, and it’s only recently where people don’t see chiropractic on the fringe. You should be cautious and skeptical for anyone who wants to take care of your body. This is your health and quality of life at stake. You should be extremely diligent in choosing a health care provider.
So How Do I Make Sure I’m Seeing a Quality Doctor of Chiropractic?
While I can’t guarantee that someone will have their life changed, or get rid of every bad egg in the profession, I do feel like I can hlep people ensure that they are in the presence of the right doctor for their needs. That’s actually a big reason why this blog is here to begin with.
Here’s a quick list of things to look out for when deciding on a chiropractor:
- What is this doctor’s area of expertise?
If you’re like most people, you probably had an idea that all chiropractors are the same. However, lots of chiropractors choose to FOCUS their practice on a certain area. Some will only deal with auto-accidents, others in athletic injury, and others in family health.You have to find someone that’s in line with your goals as a patient. Someone who has suffered a whiplash injury is going to want a different goal than someone who is seeking maximum sports performance. While there is some overlap, the treatment plans and modalities utilized will be different for the type of care you receive.Make sure your goals and the provider’s goals are on the same page.
- How Transparent is the Chiropractor?
This point isn’t just isolated to chiropractic, but it’s probably a very important point when choosing a chiropractor. One of the biggest complaints I hear when someone has a bad experience is that the chiropractor wasn’t transparent about their office policies, fees, and insurance practices.No one likes to be surprised, so it’s important to find out what to expect when it comes to fees, procedures, and the day to day patient experience. If the doctor dodges questions or rushes through them then trust your gut because they might be hiding something about the cost or care or duration of treatment.Most chiropractors have a Complimentary Consultation to introduce themselves to a patient before exams and treatment begin. Use this time to find out what your experience is going to be like.
- Reviews, Referrals, Reputation
Word of mouth is the greatest marketing of any doctor. The internet is a wealth of knowledge as well as your community. Ask around and find out what chiropractor has the best reputation. While you’re asking, it can give you insight into what the patient experience will be like. How long will an office visit take? Roughly how much will it cost? Were there any surprises? Did you feel pushed?If you don’t feel comfortable asking others, there are always doctors that have reviews posted of them on Google and other sites.
- Does the Chiropractor’s Reccomendation Make Sense?
This is probably the most difficult part to decipher, and also the area where you want to place a lot of trust in the doctor in front of you to be honest about what you need. If you hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable, then trust your instinct and get another opinion. Some of these things may include:
- Recommending a year of care before knowing how well you’ll respond
- Manipulative language or coercion techniques
- Being scared into a treatment program
Remember, you are the patient and have ultimate control over what happens to your body. That’s what informed consent rules were designed for. There is nothing more healthy or more powerful than an empowered patient. You have ultimate control over what doctor you wish to see.
That may mean you might have to spend more money, or see someone that’s outside of your insurance plan, but proper management of brain, spine, and nerves is way too important to leave it to just anyone.
If you want more tips, I’ve written an e-book that provides a comprehensive guide to choosing a chiropractor. It comes with specific questions to ask during a consultation that may help make the decision process more straight forward.
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