One of the most common questions that patients ask me is “Do you know a good chiropractor in ________ that can help my family?” Having been in practice for 12+ years, I have referred many friends and family members to chiropractors outside of my city. I always look for 4 or 5 qualities when selecting a chiropractor, and I developed the following list of “5 questions to ask before seeing a chiropractor,” to help those outside of my area. If you are searching for a chiropractor, an online search is a great starting point. For example, in my area an internet search for Ballantyne Chiropractic reveals several results, and the following list can help narrow down your results.
1. How many years of experience do you have?
Maybe more important than years of experience is the number of patients a chiropractor has worked with during his/her career. While I believe that both education and years in practice are important, clinical experience can provide an accurate assessment including healing time, the most effective treatments needed, how to proceed when patients are not progressing positively and identifying when a referral to another practitioner is needed.
2. What does the process look like?
Does the chiropractor do an initial exam? Do they take X-Rays? Do they accept insurance? I always recommend seeing a chiropractor that does a thorough exam and diagnostic testing. The exam should provide a diagnosis and the test(s) should confirm the diagnosis. From here, I look for a chiropractor that can give recommendations before beginning care. Recommendations should answer the following: whether or not they can help, how much they can help, how long will it take and how much will it cost? The cost of care can typically be estimated up front including insurance coverage and out of pocket expenses.
3. How would you treat my problem?
Ask about the methods of treatments and corresponding effectiveness. Most treatments can be categorized into 2 groups: One that provides temporary relief and one that provides longer lasting results. For example, a passive therapy such as electric muscle stimulation can help provide temporary relief for acute pain but does little to correct the underlying problem. Correcting both spinal misalignments and muscle imbalances as well as identifying healthy lifestyle habits can permanently resolve many problems.
4. How many other patients with this injury have you treated?
By learning about how many other patients your chiropractor has treated with the same injury or symptoms, you can determine how much experience he or she has in this specific area. Be sure to find out about the other patients’ recovery and healing time so you know what to expect. In my office, we specialize in family based chiropractic care and have the best results in treating around 20-25 different ailments. If you search for other chiropractors in Charlotte, you might come across chiropractic offices that treat a different list of ailments, so be sure to ask about clinical experience. Many chiropractors specialize in a certain fields such as prenatal chiropractors (Webster Technique), sports injuries chiropractors, pediatric chiropractors, headache relief chiropractors, spinal disc chiropractors, etc.
5. How long will it take for me to get better?
While most chiropractors can give a timeline for symptom improvement, it is important that your progress is monitored with re-examinations and progress reports.
Chiropractic care has been an effective alternative to prescription medications and invasive surgeries for over 120 years! Be sure to ask these 5 questions before selecting a chiropractor that fits your needs.