Seven (7) things you need to know BEFORE you even think about visiting a chiropractor for neck pain, shoulder pain and disc herniations
So you are indecisive about visiting a chiropractic office based on myths?
Here are the questions you need to ask before you decide to visit a chiropractor:
- Is this the right specialist? – Ask the doctor of chiropractic if he/she specializes in neck injuries, neck pain and shoulder pain.
- Can he/she help me? – What typical results has he/she seen since in practice with symptoms such as numbness, radiating pain in arms, shoulder pain and neck pain. Ask the office staff if the clinic has a testimonial book/binder showing results with similar conditions.
- Most people believe that chiropractors “crack”, “pop” or “twist” the spine (neck & back). – This may be true but not all chiropractors use the same techniques. Given that the original founders of chiropractic performed adjustments/manipulations to correct the spinal subluxations (this term applies to misaligned bones causing nerve impingement (“pinched nerves”)), there are options. There are state of the art new treatment methods (laser therapy, spinal decompression, instrumentation) that have proven to be effective and gentle. Most patients prefer a gentle type of treatment and therapies which allows them to be more comfortable while undergoing a program of care/treatment. After all they want relief and the thought of having the neck “popping” is enough for the person to avoid any reason to seek chiropractic treatment.
- How long is treatment going to take? – Typically there is a time range for a treatment plan/program. If your injury or illness has been chronic, you owe it to yourself to at least gather some information as to the time range and frequency of treatment for best results.
- How much does it cost? – This is by far the most common question asked by patients as they need to know if their health insurance covers chiropractic care. Despite being primary care providers the carriers limit the coverage for chiropractic care almost all the time, so based on this, some chiropractic offices only take cash payments and bill the patients’ insurances as a courtesy whereby the insurance company will reimburse the patients for those payments for services rendered. This is a simple and clean way to pay. Find a chiropractic office that makes it affordable using payment plans.
- Does the chiropractic office offer a Free consultation? – This is a smart way to visit the clinic without any financial obligation and allows you to actually visit the office and get the “vibe” of the office staff and doctor (The clinic website may be the second most preferred way). This will also allow you time to personally interview the doctor and explain your symptoms. It is also wise to bring in your x-rays and MRI studies so that the doctor can review them. Chiropractors have over 270 hours of radiological training completed before graduation (v. 13 hours with M.D.’s).
- Can a chiropractor prescribe medication? – the answer is no. However, since chiropractors in most states are primary care providers they can order x-rays, MRI’s, nerve tests, CT scans and co-treat with medical doctors for any prescription medications that are necessary. Be sure to look for a doctor of chiropractor who does not hesitate to refer to the appropriate specialist when medically necessary. It makes your healthcare team that much more reliable.
The bottom line is, that more likely than not, you know somewhat about the chiropractic profession but not enough. Less than 10% of the population seek chiropractic care. The other 90% are either ignorant, have heard myths or simply have not been exposed to the profession. However, if you find the right D.C. you can be assured that by following the above check list you will find your chiropractor of choice. Chiropractic has proven track records over and over again to restore function and reduce pain and suffering conservatively. The public is now becoming more aware of the benefits of chiropractic care as it has been more recognized. Also as far as safety is concerned the insurance industry has used actuarials to measure the safety of chiropractic, and found out that the average chiropractic malpractice insurance cost is 1/10th of that of a medical doctor. That means it is ten (10) times safer than medicine. That by in itself is reassuring.
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- Contact Information
- Ali Mostafavi
- OC Laser and Spine Institute
- (1) 949-756-1003
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