Are you considering going to a chiropractor for the first time? Because they are working with you to reach your health goals, finding the right chiropractic clinic is imperative. Just as there are many different types of restaurants to choose from, there is a variety of chiropractors which means there is the perfect one for your needs. Rather than just randomly searching online for a ‘chiropractor near me’, it is a better idea to call or email clinics in your area and interview them. The following are some questions to ask a chiropractor before deciding which one to visit.
1. Do you offer a complimentary consultation?
One way to get your feet wet before making a commitment is to meet with the doctor and discuss your issues. Not all chiropractors offer this as a free visit, so make sure the chiropractic clinic you choose provides this service so you can make a more informed decision.
2. Do you accept insurance?
The cost of care is one of the biggest considerations patients have. Many chiropractors take insurance which makes out-of-pocket expenses much lower. Some doctors only accept cash payments, and knowing this helps you budget for your care. Most clinics also accept flexible spending cards, which helps pay for care.
3. How many years of experience do you have?
Chiropractors range from young to old, which means their years and types of experience will vary. Some patients prefer going to someone who has been practicing for a long time, while others may like seeing a doctor who has been trained in newer techniques and technologies.
If you are going in for a specific issue, ask the chiropractor what their experience is with that particular injury or illness. A chiropractic clinic may focus solely on migraines, for example, while another one may work mostly with whiplash cases. Finding one that is knowledgeable and experienced in your condition will help get you better results.
4. Do you practice a particular technique?
Some chiropractors focus on one particular technique, or way of adjusting the spine, while others are skilled in a variety of techniques. Depending on your condition, you may benefit from a specific way of adjusting or you may do better with many different methods. This is one thing you can discuss in your consultation with the doctor.
If you have been to a chiropractor before and didn’t get the results you wanted, it would be beneficial for you to seek out a chiropractic clinic that practices a different technique. What works for one person does not always work for another one, which is why trying a different method is often helpful.
5. What does a visit in your office entail?
Chiropractors take different approaches to care. Some focus only on the adjustment while others may incorporate physical therapy exercises or muscle work. Knowing what to expect, and what the cost will be, helps prepare you.
It is also a good idea to ask what a new patient can expect. Along with the consultation, a health history and a thorough exam should be performed to get an objective look at what is going on and what it will take to fix. Some doctors will take x-rays at the first visit to rule out serious problems or fractures.
6. How long will it take for me to get better?
While everyone’s case will be different depending on their exam findings, a chiropractor should give you a general idea of how long the majority of their patients take to see results. A good chiropractic clinic also performs regular re-exams to determine progress and make adjustments to the care plan.
7. Do you offer payment or family plans?
Whether or not the chiropractic clinic takes insurance, some of them will offer payment plans to help make care more affordable. If you choose to bring in your spouse and/or children, many offices will offer discounts on family members.
8. Do you recommend at-home exercises to help with recovery?
In-office visits are just part of what it takes to heal. Patients need to be involved in their care by taking care of themselves outside of the office. Many chiropractors give nutritional advice and send the patient home with exercises they can do on their own to help speed recovery.
9. Will other practitioners be involved in my care?
Some chiropractors are solo practitioners and you will see him or her for every visit. High-volume clinics will often have a main doctor and associate doctors to help take care of everyone. If this is the case, you may be seen by a variety of chiropractors during your care.
A chiropractic clinic may also have complementary health professionals available for patients. These may include a physical therapist, massage therapist, acupuncturist, or naturopath. Ask whether they will be directly involved in your care.
10. What is the typical wait time for an appointment?
A good chiropractor knows your time is valuable and will keep wait times to a minimum. However, it is always good to know how they structure their appointments, especially if you have limited time for a visit. Some doctors schedule by appointment only, which often helps keep them on track and minimizes wait times. Others have an open schedule, allowing patients to drop by anytime during business hours. This can make waiting times unpredictable, especially during high-volume times such as after work.
Chiropractic is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. However, choosing the right chiropractic clinic can make a difference between excellent and poor care. Take the time to do your research and ask the right questions.