Everyone likes to think that they have the best chiropractor. Unless you’ve been to a number of chiropractors, it can be difficult to know if you have the best chiropractor. I’ve had many patients come to me after going to their chiro for years, and come to the realization that the care that they have been getting has been sub-par. I’ve compiled a list of what I believe makes a good well rounded chiropractor. This list is also dependent on what you are actually looking for and need, which can be different for everyone and their situation.
1. How much time does your Chiropractor spend with you?
I recently had a patient who was seeing another chiropractor tell me that her old chiropractor would brag about seeing 70 patients within a 3 hour shift. In this quick crack, high volume style office it is extremely difficult to maximize the quality time with the doctor. Is it possible to answer questions that may arise thoroughly, accurately assess a patients progress, provide high quality care that addresses the spinal and soft tissue component, and address the inevitable new or renewed conditions that happen in a health care environment all in a 150 second time frame? Do you feel as your visit is rushed and you don’t have time to express your concerns? If you have a chiropractor that gives you plenty of time to address your questions and gives ample table time, you’ve met my first high quality chiropractor criteria.
2. Is your Chiropractor versed in the latest research and techniques in the field.
This can be difficult to know, unless you’ve done your research on the variety of techniques available. Most people that come to me have no clue about the best practices of the trade. A little bit of online research can help determine if your chiropractor is up to date. Just to name a few of the techniques of today; Active Release Technique (ART), Graston Technique or Instrument assisted soft tissue technique, Kinesio Taping, Chiropractic Bio Physics (CBP) and Webster Technqiue. There are also many certifications that a chiropractor can receive, such as; DABCO Diplomate of the Amercian Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists, DACNB Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, DABCI Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Internists, DACBSP Diplomate American Chiropractic Board Sports Physicians. No chiropractor can possibly specialize in all of these techniques (and be an expert in them) or have all of these extra certifications. There are many more certifications and courses, but the main question is if your chiropractor is keeping up with their education and always striving to improve.
3. Is your condition improving with care you are receiving?
I’m amazed at how some patients come to me that have been going to another chiropractor 2 to 3 times per week for over a year and are still not better. You’ve heard the definition of insanity, right? A good chiropractor will make changes to their approach or refer out to another chiropractor or medical provider to achieve the results you are looking for.
4. Does your chiropractor discuss a individualized treatment plan for you.
Many chiropractors will have a one size fits all recommendation for their practice members. Whether you are an 60 year old with a herniated disc who has been in a motor vehicle accident or a 25 year old who woke up with neck pain your treatments and recommended schedule can be eerily similar. A good and thorough chiropractor will perform a detailed history and exam and work together to find realistic goals and develop a treatment plan that achieve those goals.
In summary, chiropractors come in as many flavors as there are chiropractors. Utilizing this short list may help you find a chiropractor that can help you address your condition. Chiropractors also treat a variety of conditions, and some chiropractic specialists are much more well suited to treat your condition.