FAQs: How To Choose The Right Chiropractor

Geoffrey Lions
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What factors should I consider when choosing my chiropractor?

The three most important factors in choosing a chiropractor are:

Are they a good match for you? This should be the first question you ask when choosing a chiropractor, and it’s important to find a chiropractor that is right for you. In order to avoid substantial pain and injuries, it’s important to see a chiropractor that you find to be a good fit for your personality. The doctor you choose should be someone you can talk to and feel comfortable sharing your personal health goals with.

What experience do they have? Chiropractic is a journey, and it’s important to know if they are capable of helping you reach your goals. You’ll want to look for a chiropractor that has experience helping patients reach their health goals. If you’re not sure if they have the right experience to help you reach your goals, ask for references of people they’ve worked with that can share their experience.

Do they offer a free consultation? This is important because there is a lot of information you need to ask about before making the decision to start any chiropractic treatment. One way to see if they’ll be patient with you is to ask if they offer a free consultation where you can ask the questions you’re thinking about.

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Who are they?

Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who specialize in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. It is their job to help alleviate the pain and dysfunction of the vertebral column by manually manipulating the spine and other joints in the body. Chiropractors have spent years completing a four year undergraduate course followed by a four year doctorate degree at an accredited university. They have then completed a 1000 hour internship and at least 2 years of training in an established chiropractic practice. Today, chiropractors are licensed healthcare professionals who are able to work with other healthcare professionals should the need arise, e.g., back doctors – spinal specialists.

Who are they?

Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who specialize in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. It is their job to help alleviate the pain and dysfunction of the vertebral column by manually manipulating the spine and other joints in the body. Chiropractors have spent years completing a four year undergraduate course followed by a four year doctorate degree at an accredited university. They have then completed a 1000 hour internship and at least 2 years of training in an established chiropractic practice. Today, chiropractors are licensed healthcare professionals who are able to work with other healthcare professionals should the need arise, e.g., back doctors – spinal specialists.

Which techniques do they use?

A chiropractor uses manual or mechanical techniques to help release pressure on the spinal area. Most chiropractors use a combination of techniques.

The methods can vary depending on the chiropractor. I recommend finding a doctor that is flexible with their methods, who can adapt the techniques according to the person needs.

Are They Licensed?

Most states require chiropractors to be licensed through their state board of chiropractic. Contact your state board for information on eligibility, licensing, education and other requirements.

Are They Bonded?

Be sure to ask if the chiropractor is bonded with your insurance company, if they accept your insurance provider.

How Will the Doctor Diagnose My Condition?

Your chiropractic doctor should have some strategy for how they will diagnose your condition. It is helpful to ask if they will review your x-rays with you before your first chiropractic adjustment.

What Kind of Help Can I Expect?

Be realistic when you ask how to help you. Some chiropractors help people learn to manage their conditions at home for a more effective and long term patient/doctor relationship.

How Much Does the Treatment Cost?

The costs for your treatment vary by your insurance and your individual needs. You should have an idea as to what your treatment costs will be prior to starting.

Does My Doctor Offer a Guarantee?

Which techniques do they use?

A chiropractor uses manual or mechanical techniques to help release pressure on the spinal area. Most chiropractors use a combination of techniques.

The methods can vary depending on the chiropractor. I recommend finding a doctor that is flexible with their methods, who can adapt the techniques according to the person needs.

Are They Licensed?

Most states require chiropractors to be licensed through their state board of chiropractic. Contact your state board for information on eligibility, licensing, education and other requirements.

Are They Bonded?

Be sure to ask if the chiropractor is bonded with your insurance company, if they accept your insurance provider.

How Will the Doctor Diagnose My Condition?

Your chiropractic doctor should have some strategy for how they will diagnose your condition. It is helpful to ask if they will review your x-rays with you before your first chiropractic adjustment.

What Kind of Help Can I Expect?

Be realistic when you ask how to help you. Some chiropractors help people learn to manage their conditions at home for a more effective and long term patient/doctor relationship.

How Much Does the Treatment Cost?

The costs for your treatment vary by your insurance and your individual needs. You should have an idea as to what your treatment costs will be prior to starting.

Does My Doctor Offer a Guarantee?

What additional treatments do they offer?

Chiropractors are often trained to work with a number of different treatments and many offer massage, traction, ultrasound, or heat therapy to help patients. The other treatments a chiropractor may offer will depend on the type of practice he or she runs. Many chiropractors offer conservative treatments, like massage therapy or cold and hot compress therapy, but larger practices and clinics may also work with nutritional supplements, aquatherapy, stretches and massages, and even nutritional counseling. If you’re looking for a chiropractor that also offers these treatments, then you’ll need to check their website and look through their website to make sure the treatments you’re looking for are advertised.

What additional treatments do they offer?

Chiropractors are often trained to work with a number of different treatments and many offer massage, traction, ultrasound, or heat therapy to help patients. The other treatments a chiropractor may offer will depend on the type of practice he or she runs. Many chiropractors offer conservative treatments, like massage therapy or cold and hot compress therapy, but larger practices and clinics may also work with nutritional supplements, aquatherapy, stretches and massages, and even nutritional counseling. If you’re looking for a chiropractor that also offers these treatments, then you’ll need to check their website and look through their website to make sure the treatments you’re looking for are advertised.

What is their recommended treatment plan?

The only way to have a passionate or caring chiropractic provider is when they truly care about people and themselves.

They are extremely passionate, and I wanted to help people. That’s what made me want to studying this so much…It’s just helping people.

”Washington DC Chiropractor”-Dr. Benjamin Levinson

When looking for the right chiropractor, the first thing to do is to educate yourself. It’s easy and doesn’t take long. A lot of the health information that many patients receive is based on one study. These studies are eventually changed. It’s very important to understand that years ago, chiropractic doctors performed many adjustments in one visit. This changed dramatically when insurance companies began paying for chiropractic treatments.

It really wasn’t a good idea for chiropractors to adjust patients that many times in one visit because it wasn’t needed. Chiropractor knowledge began to quickly increase, and patients began to show substantial improvement when receiving fewer adjustments.

”The use of x-ray for initial evaluation of patients can be misleading, excessive, and therefore, potentially counterproductive.”

What is their recommended treatment plan?

The only way to have a passionate or caring chiropractic provider is when they truly care about people and themselves.

They are extremely passionate, and I wanted to help people. That’s what made me want to studying this so much…It’s just helping people.

”Washington DC Chiropractor”-Dr. Benjamin Levinson

When looking for the right chiropractor, the first thing to do is to educate yourself. It’s easy and doesn’t take long. A lot of the health information that many patients receive is based on one study. These studies are eventually changed. It’s very important to understand that years ago, chiropractic doctors performed many adjustments in one visit. This changed dramatically when insurance companies began paying for chiropractic treatments.

It really wasn’t a good idea for chiropractors to adjust patients that many times in one visit because it wasn’t needed. Chiropractor knowledge began to quickly increase, and patients began to show substantial improvement when receiving fewer adjustments.

”The use of x-ray for initial evaluation of patients can be misleading, excessive, and therefore, potentially counterproductive.”

Do you like their approach?

Many chiropractors use relaxation techniques, soothing music, and a specially designed table to help you keep your composure during treatment. That said, a good chiropractor has many other tools in his or her bag of tricks. Some will use techniques that feel like deep tissue massage (a bit painful) or light massage, while others instead use gentle stretching.

Take note of whether you prefer one type of technique over another. Some patients prefer the gentleness of a light massage (however, that may not be strong enough for very bad cases of back pain). Others may like a more aggressive approach with methods such as cupping, a technique that uses suction to pull toxins and fluid out of tissues and muscles.

Do you like the way the chiropractor communicates with you? Some chiropractors communicate very well throughout the treatment. Others are distracted or even monotone, which may be fine if you feel the need for a more quiet and private approach.

Are you comfortable being treated by this person? Don’t be afraid to follow your intuition—it’s usually on the money. If you feel pressured to join the practice or to get additional services than you requested from the start, then that’s a sign you may not be a good fit for that practice.

Do you like their approach?

Many chiropractors use relaxation techniques, soothing music, and a specially designed table to help you keep your composure during treatment. That said, a good chiropractor has many other tools in his or her bag of tricks. Some will use techniques that feel like deep tissue massage (a bit painful) or light massage, while others instead use gentle stretching.

Take note of whether you prefer one type of technique over another. Some patients prefer the gentleness of a light massage (however, that may not be strong enough for very bad cases of back pain). Others may like a more aggressive approach with methods such as cupping, a technique that uses suction to pull toxins and fluid out of tissues and muscles.

Do you like the way the chiropractor communicates with you? Some chiropractors communicate very well throughout the treatment. Others are distracted or even monotone, which may be fine if you feel the need for a more quiet and private approach.

Are you comfortable being treated by this person? Don’t be afraid to follow your intuition—it’s usually on the money. If you feel pressured to join the practice or to get additional services than you requested from the start, then that’s a sign you may not be a good fit for that practice.

Should my chiropractor have certain qualifications?

Chiropractors should have both a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree and a license issued by a governing board or licensing agency. The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) lists chiropractic boards in every state on their website. Also, it is recommended by ICA that chiropractors who treat infants and children hold a specialty certificate from the International Board of Pediatric Chiropractic Examiners (IBPCE) or International Federation of Pediatric Chiropractic (IFPC).

It is important to remember that many states do not require doctors of chiropractic working in the same state to be licensed. If you have insurance, your chiropractor should be licensed in the state in which he/she is working.

Should my chiropractor have certain qualifications?

Chiropractors should have both a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree and a license issued by a governing board or licensing agency. The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) lists chiropractic boards in every state on their website. Also, it is recommended by ICA that chiropractors who treat infants and children hold a specialty certificate from the International Board of Pediatric Chiropractic Examiners (IBPCE) or International Federation of Pediatric Chiropractic (IFPC).

It is important to remember that many states do not require doctors of chiropractic working in the same state to be licensed. If you have insurance, your chiropractor should be licensed in the state in which he/she is working.

How much should I expect to pay a chiropractor?

Chiropractors vary in price, either by region or depending on what services they offer. Some doctors charge by the consultation, by the adjustment, or even a package of visits. Others chiropractors are willing to focus on adjusting you first and then determine a payment plan for you that fits your budget. The cost vary also depends on the condition that you seek help with. When in doubt, ask your doctor to see if he have any deals offered for new patients.

How much should I expect to pay a chiropractor?

Chiropractors vary in price, either by region or depending on what services they offer. Some doctors charge by the consultation, by the adjustment, or even a package of visits. Others chiropractors are willing to focus on adjusting you first and then determine a payment plan for you that fits your budget. The cost vary also depends on the condition that you seek help with. When in doubt, ask your doctor to see if he have any deals offered for new patients.

How many sessions should I expect to have?

Many people find that they do better with a long-term approach. Some people report that one session will make their back feel better, but for most people, 3-7 sessions are optimal.

A small percentage of people do well with as little as one session; others need 21 sessions or more. Everybody is different.

How often you go is up to you and your chiropractor. If you’re seeing improvement from your chiropractor, it’s a good idea to keep going as long as it works for you. Then, you can decide whether to go every week, every month, every six months or once a year.

Lack of results can vary as well. Sometimes it takes a little while to feel the action of the adjustments; other times, it works right away. If you’re not feeling better or you’re not responding to adjustments, you’ll want to talk with your chiropractor and go over what’s happening.

If you’re not well adjusted, it’s hard to stay well adjusted. Some people feel better after a few adjustments and then need to come in only once or twice a year for maintenance.

How many sessions should I expect to have?

Many people find that they do better with a long-term approach. Some people report that one session will make their back feel better, but for most people, 3-7 sessions are optimal.

A small percentage of people do well with as little as one session; others need 21 sessions or more. Everybody is different.

How often you go is up to you and your chiropractor. If you’re seeing improvement from your chiropractor, it’s a good idea to keep going as long as it works for you. Then, you can decide whether to go every week, every month, every six months or once a year.

Lack of results can vary as well. Sometimes it takes a little while to feel the action of the adjustments; other times, it works right away. If you’re not feeling better or you’re not responding to adjustments, you’ll want to talk with your chiropractor and go over what’s happening.

If you’re not well adjusted, it’s hard to stay well adjusted. Some people feel better after a few adjustments and then need to come in only once or twice a year for maintenance.

Is chiropractic treatment effective?

Yes. In fact, chiropractic is one of the most effective nonsurgical interventions that are provided by healthcare professionals. A study done in 2007, led by Dr. David K.T. Yui of the University of Western Ontario, found that many of the patients who received chiropractic care reported improvements for disabling back pain.

The study also showed that the improvements experienced by these patients was similar to those of patients who received conventional medical treatment.

The study concluded that chiropractic care allowed the patients who received it to enjoy a greater level of improvement when it came to pain and function compared to the patients who received conventional medical treatment.

A separate study done in 2011 conducted at the University of Alberta in Canada showed that chiropractic care helped to speed up the recovery of patients who had sustained a whiplash injury while in an automobile accident. The study showed that chiropractic care helped to reduce the incidence of acute pain, increase neck movement and reduce the duration of headaches in the patients who received it.

Another study conducted at the University of Western Ontario in 2013 showed that patients who received chiropractic care experienced very positive results. The study showed that the chiropractic interventions in the study served to help the patients who received it reported less pain.

Is chiropractic treatment effective?

Yes. In fact, chiropractic is one of the most effective nonsurgical interventions that are provided by healthcare professionals. A study done in 2007, led by Dr. David K.T. Yui of the University of Western Ontario, found that many of the patients who received chiropractic care reported improvements for disabling back pain.

The study also showed that the improvements experienced by these patients was similar to those of patients who received conventional medical treatment.

The study concluded that chiropractic care allowed the patients who received it to enjoy a greater level of improvement when it came to pain and function compared to the patients who received conventional medical treatment.

A separate study done in 2011 conducted at the University of Alberta in Canada showed that chiropractic care helped to speed up the recovery of patients who had sustained a whiplash injury while in an automobile accident. The study showed that chiropractic care helped to reduce the incidence of acute pain, increase neck movement and reduce the duration of headaches in the patients who received it.

Another study conducted at the University of Western Ontario in 2013 showed that patients who received chiropractic care experienced very positive results. The study showed that the chiropractic interventions in the study served to help the patients who received it reported less pain.

Where should I look to find a chiropractor?

Chances are if you are asking this question, you probably have already found your local chiropractor. But if you don’t have a chiropractor in mind, you may be looking to find one through an ad or word of mouth. There are several places that you can go to find a chiropractor, but beware that not all of them are safe for you and your family.

Make sure that they are board certified, licensed and insured. While some doctors like to claim that this is only a way to make more money, it is much more serious than that. When you see a chiropractor who is certified, it means that they are held to a higher set of standards to make sure that they are using safe practices and equipment. Chiropractors are often pushed into using back cracking and other things that can cause spinal injuries.

Avoid chiropractors who advertise in newspapers, on trains or on the sides of buses. Yes, you may find that they have some great deals and give you a money back guarantee, but that’s part of the problem. They use slick advertising to hook you, but these treatments often aren’t very safe and, as such, it’s likely that these doctors get a lot of business.

Where should I look to find a chiropractor?

Chances are if you are asking this question, you probably have already found your local chiropractor. But if you don’t have a chiropractor in mind, you may be looking to find one through an ad or word of mouth. There are several places that you can go to find a chiropractor, but beware that not all of them are safe for you and your family.

Make sure that they are board certified, licensed and insured. While some doctors like to claim that this is only a way to make more money, it is much more serious than that. When you see a chiropractor who is certified, it means that they are held to a higher set of standards to make sure that they are using safe practices and equipment. Chiropractors are often pushed into using back cracking and other things that can cause spinal injuries.

Avoid chiropractors who advertise in newspapers, on trains or on the sides of buses. Yes, you may find that they have some great deals and give you a money back guarantee, but that’s part of the problem. They use slick advertising to hook you, but these treatments often aren’t very safe and, as such, it’s likely that these doctors get a lot of business.

How do I submit a question?

You can submit a question to a chiropractor by clicking on the “Submit A Question” button on the page for each chiropractor. We review all questions and approve only the ones that are both educational and appropriate. You will receive an automatic email notification once your chiropractor's reply is posted.

How do I submit a question?

You can submit a question to a chiropractor by clicking on the “Submit A Question” button on the page for each chiropractor. We review all questions and approve only the ones that are both educational and appropriate. You will receive an automatic email notification once your chiropractor's reply is posted.