Issues like back pain and headaches can leave you in the lurch, slow down your productivity, and just put a major damper on life. Sometimes rest isn’t enough to get you back to normal and the assistance of health professionals, like chiropractors, is needed.
Choosing a chiropractor need not be an intimidating task. With a few tips, this process should be easy and yield great results. It is important to take your time in finding the right provider, as the chiropractor you choose plays a large role in your treatment process, and the results you will see.
Let this guide clue you in on what you need to know and take your search from “best chiropractors near me” to finding the right provider for you and starting on your path to improvement.
What does a chiropractor do?
A Doctor of Chiropractic is a health care provider that treats the body through the use of spinal and joint manipulations. The goal is to ensure optimal posture and function, reduce pain, and improve mobility. The typical reasons for seeking out chiropractic care include acute and chronic pain, headaches, and joint pain or stiffness.
Chiropractic treatment can be temporary or used as a maintenance measure. Many people do see chiropractors to help with pain, but other people choose to attend this care for wellness reasons.
Experts of the human body, alignment, and posture, chiropractors can provide regular care to ensure that your body is functioning well and you maintain good overall health.
Learn more about chiropractic care from the American Chiropractic Association.
Important factors to consider
You certainly don’t want to drag your feet when it comes to healing from an injury or reducing pain. It’s essential to take the time to search for a chiropractor that you feel will be the right fit for you. Putting the effort in now can save you from wasted time later.
A few important factors to consider when looking for the right chiropractor include the following:
- What do other patients think of them?
- What is their success rate?
- Do they have any specialties?
- What is the reputation of their clinic?
- How can chiropractic care benefit you?
Let’s discuss each of these considerations in more detail.
What do other patients think of them?
If you received direct recommendations from your friends, ask them what they liked about their provider. Inquire about the personality, expertise, and patient interactions. Did they listen well and provide insightful feedback? Were they understanding and supportive? Were they able to adapt a treatment plan?
It’s an important quality of a medical provider to be able to conclude that a treatment plan may not be working. This might require a change of approach or even referral to a different class of providers. Your chiropractor should have a good history of dealing with patients who have improved and those who haven’t as well.
Not everyone will improve with chiropractic care and those that don’t see results should not be dismissed but guided thoughtfully back to their medical doctor, or on to another specialty for continued care.
What is their success rate?
Browse through customer testimonials to get a good understanding of the types of results patients have experienced when working with this chiropractor. Check the following platforms to find reviews:
- Clinic website
- Google Maps location page
- Other social media, like Twitter and Instagram
Pay attention to any recurring themes in the reviews. People are typically very honest when it comes to online reviews, so these can be a good source of information for you.
Do they have any specialties?
Many practitioners hold other certifications, credentials, and specialties. Not only does this mean that a provider is more knowledgeable in an area, but it also demonstrates that they are continually working to advance their education. Some common specialties include:
- Corrective Exercise Specialist
- Sports Rehab Specialist
- Chronic pain Specialty
Beyond specialty, a chiropractor may also be skilled in serving specific populations, like kids or the elderly. If you’re searching for a provider for a specific age range, those with the coordinating certifications will be the best choices.
For example, a provider that consistently treats kids will be much more adept at working with young ones and providing fun and creative care plans.
Elderly populations often have secondary concerns, such as limitations and equipment (like an oxygen tank or IV). A chiropractor that is experienced in this environment will be able to provide the best care.
In terms of sports and orthopedic fields, a provider that is certified in these areas will be well versed in the physical requirements of specific athletics. For instance, they will understand how the spine rotates when a golfer takes a swing and the muscular balances that are ideal for an Olympic weightlifter.
What is the reputation of their clinic?
Check back on those social media and online platforms to learn about the reputation of the clinic. Seek to find answers to the following questions:
- How many providers work at this clinic?
- Are patients mostly satisfied?
- Where is the clinic located?
- Has the clinic won any service awards?
- What other supplementary treatments are offered?
The quality of the clinic is nearly half the equation when it comes to finding the right chiropractor for you. Having more treatment modalities present at the clinic, like flotation and acupuncture, allows your provider to expand the variety of your care, giving you the best opportunity to improve.
Ideally, you’ll discover that most patients are very happy with their clinic experience, like the quality of the building, parking availability, cleanliness, privacy, and staff morale. A lot goes into crafting the best possible environment.
Your clinic experience might not seem important at first, but as you’ll likely be making regular visits to this location, they should certainly be pleasant by all accounts.
How can chiropractic care benefit you?
This is a great discussion to have with your doctor before you begin to search for chiropractic care providers. Your doctor should have an end goal for your treatment and be able to explain why they feel like a chiropractor can help.
If you aren’t attending a chiropractor on referral and instead are seeking out treatment on your own, examine the following concerns:
- Can your condition improve with manipulations and adjustments?
- Are you looking for medications or surgery? If so, chiropractic care will not help you here.
- Is your pain not getting better with rest? Chiropractic care can be a useful treatment option
- Are you having issues with your posture? A chiropractor can perform adjustments and education to improve your alignment
- How much will treatment cost? Your provider should be willing to work with your budget if you’re paying out of pocket. This might mean less in-clinic appointments and more creative thinking.
You might be surprised at what a chiropractor can treat. For instance, did you know that one reason for seeing a chiropractor is for jaw pain? It’s common for dentists to refer patients with this pain to see a chiropractor for treatment.
Patients that are currently seeing other providers, like a Physical Therapist or Massage Therapist, should mention this to their new chiropractor. It’s a big part of the discussion to talk about the other forms of treatment you are undergoing and what results that you can realistically expect.
Check with your healthcare provider that your care will be covered at the clinic you choose. It’s common for chiropractic clinics to accept most insurance plans as well as HSA and HRA. You will likely also have the choice to pay by check, cash, or credit care.
If you don’t have insurance, some clinics will let you pay out of pocket and might even offer a discount for such payment.
For any outstanding questions that your previous research hasn’t answered, give the clinic a call! Speaking with the staff and discussing your queries and concerns can be extremely helpful in understanding the atmosphere of the clinic and the available treatment options.
Clinic staff should be more than willing and happy to answer your questions and if they’re not, well that’s a red flag. You’re looking for informed staff that will provide detailed information and welcomes your concerns.
Some clinics organize welcome days, where they invite any new clients to attend the clinic for a tour and a mini-evaluation, all for a very low cost. This is the perfect way to get a taste of the type of treatment, the clinic and chiropractor can provide and assess if it will be the right fit for you.
It might seem like there is a lot to know when choosing the best chiropractor for you. But it boils down to answering two questions, “how can chiropractic care help my pain,” and “is this the right provider to treat me?”
Choosing a medical provider that will take the time to listen to your concerns and provide you with helpful and knowledgeable answers to your questions is essential. With this guide, you’re one step closer to finding your treating provider. And with that, you’re one step closer to improving your pain and bettering your life.