Do’s and Don’t’s of Finding a Good Doc
The practice of chiropractic, like many professions, has a wide variety of philosophies and choices on how to treat patients. This can make it difficult to find a chiropractor that is both effective and compatibile with you as a patient. A chiropractor’s approach can make a difference on whether or not the patient experiences relief and is effectively treated. So the question is, how do you find a chiropractor that is compatible with you and suits your needs? We are here to help!
Whether you’ve gone to a chiropractor your whole life or are brand new to the field, you want to be comfortable and confident with the doctor you choose. One important step in choosing a good chiropractor is to watch out for a few red flags. We have discussed these red flags in previous posts at length, 5 Reasons to Fire your Chiropractor, but to summarize, you should avoid a chiropractor that displays the following:
- Pushing long term care plans.
- Not treating you on your first visit.
- Fixating only on the spine and not the whole body.
- Overselling supplements.
- Free x-rays.
If you come across any of these red flags in your search for a chiropractor, you may need to continue looking. Additionally, just because a chiropractor doesn’t trip these alarms, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily your best choice either.
You want a GOOD chiropractor, not one that’s simply not bad. So you know what to avoid, but what do you look for? Here are five tips for things to look for and questions to ask when scheduling.
- Positive Reviews and Referrals – First and foremost, check a few online reviews. A good doctor will have good reviews online. If they do not have any reviews or the ones they have are bad, keep looking. There are too many fish in the sea. Google, RateMDs, Facebook, and Healthgrades are few easy places to look. In addition to positive reviews on Google, you will also want to check another site or two, like the ones mentioned above. 300 reviews on google and no reviews anywhere else could be assign hey simply paid for reviews. A doctor who has been around a while will have at least a dozen on some of these other secondary sites.
- Background Research – Read their bio on the practice website, assuming they have a website. Do you get a good vibe? Do they have other credentials and certifications? While you are on their website….how does that look? A business owner who cares about their website appearance, cares about their business and how they are perceived.
- Look for an Evidence Based Doctor – Believe it or not, not all chiropractors’ approaches are rooted in science. Some philosophies resemble religion more than scientifically backed clinical practice. The Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance is a good place to start. They have a search page which is very handy. It is not foolproof, but members are vetted and it can be a good starting point.
- Questions to ask the front desk when making your appointment –
- Do they adjust on the first visit when indicated? A well intentioned chiropractor should treat most patients on their initial visit. In some instances, additional tests or measures may need to be taken to assure the safety of the patient.
- Does everyone get x rays? X-rays are great, but they are a limited diagnosis tool. There are many cases where x-rays can help the doctor narrow down their differential diagnosis, but it is not medically indicated in all cases/patients.
- Do they provide more than adjusting, Myofascial Treatment, Rehab, Core Exercises, Other Therapies? The adjustment is a great tool to restore mobility and reduce pain. Muscle therapies, exercises and lifestyle modifications(advice) should also be included in most treatment plans.
- Are they up front with costs and insurance coverage – There is a difference between “accepting” your insurance and being “in-network” with your insurance. If this is important to you be sure to ask. The person scheduling your visit should be able to answer questions about cost and insurance very directly. Many plans are different even under the same carrier, so offering to check your benefits is a reasonable request.
Being able to trust someone with your well-being and health is important. Chiropractic care can make a world of difference in your day to day living and experiences with pain. But, not all chiropractors have that same goal of getting you to be at your best. Following these tips should provide you some guidance on what to avoid and what to look for during your search for a chiropractor.
Dr. Robert “Bo”Andel