How should you choose a good chiropractor? Making this decision can seem daunting at first if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for. Chiropractic care is a popular treatment method for people looking to recover from injuries or that are dealing with chronic pain.
The growing nature of the field means that many chiropractors are competing for your attention. While there are many qualified chiropractors out there, finding the best chiropractor specific to your preferences and needs means there are some factors to consider.
Here are my top 7 things to consider when making your decision to choose a good chiropractor:
1. Seek Recommendations & Referrals
Start by gathering recommendations for chiropractors. Social media and your friend groups are a good source for an initial list, but there likely won’t be a clear winner. Some friends haven’t really shopped around and others don’t necessarily know what you’re looking for in your chiropractor.
Asking in Facebook groups of like-minded people or on NextDoor will yield additional results. You’ll have some people mention one doctor and someone else say, “No, pick my doctor!” It becomes a competition for some people, but you’ll often see the same names pop up in each group. This is a good sign that you’re on the right track.
You may also want to consider asking your primary care physician for a recommendation, but we’ve found that many will direct you to your insurance plan to find a chiropractor, so you’re often back at square one in your decision-making process.
2. Consider Insurance Coverage
Insurance is a practical aspect to consider, especially if you have health insurance and want to be able to use it. Most insurance plans have at least some coverage for chiropractic care, so there’s no reason not to at least make this one of your deciding factors when choosing a good chiropractor.
Chiropractic care often requires multiple visits, and insurance plans may have limitations on coverage. Don’t expect your health insurance to cover chiropractic care 100%, as that rarely happens and is becoming less and less frequent. Some services are simply not covered by health insurance either due to the service being considered “experimental” or just as a part of their exclusion list. Insurance plans do not cover every service, even in the medical field or with other types of practitioners.
You can contact your possible future chiropractor to see if they are in-network for your plan, but it’s often easiest to just look at your insurance company’s website and see who’s on the list. Chiropractic offices don’t always have time to confirm all of your benefits prior to your initial visit.
3. Conduct Additional Background Research
With your list of potential chiropractors, do some initial research. Do they have a Facebook page? A chiropractic YouTube Channel? Do they have a blog to shares more information about conditions they help and what they’re about?
While it may seem tedious, reviewing a chiropractor’s available videos and posts can give you a strong glimpse into their personality and what you can expect in their office. We strive to give our potential new patients helpful information, because that’s something they can expect from us when they enter our office. Checking out available information will may not be the only factor you consider, but it will certainly help you as you look to choose a good chiropractor.
4. Read Patient Reviews
Patient reviews provide insights into others’ experiences with a chiropractor. While subjective, they can highlight potential concerns. Lack of reviews can also be a warning sign and warrant further investigation into the chiropractor’s experience, but this can be especially a concern for an experienced chiropractor that doesn’t create enough of a positive patient experience to generate even a few reviews a year.
Every chiropractic office will have a few negative reviews, just like any business. While we do our best to help every patient and to create a great experience for our patients, there are some patients that will still not consider it a good experience. Evaluate the ratio of good to bad and look to see how the doctor responded to any negative feedback.
5. Evaluate Location and Overall Convenience
Convenience is important and often overlooked. Choose a chiropractor located near your home, workplace, or child’s school to ease the commitment of regular visits. Also, consider their availability and ease of scheduling appointments. A highly qualified chiropractor isn’t helpful if they’re consistently unavailable.
While patients look for “the best chiropractor” they can find, if it’s not reasonably close or their office hours don’t match your schedule, you’ll find remaining consistent with your care long enough to get good results a challenge. Don’t make it more difficult for yourself than it needs to be. Undergoing any type of treatment requires consistency for results. A similar example would be joining a gym on the other side of town — you’re much less likely to actually show up enough to see a physical change!
6. Office Communication
Effective communication is key in chiropractic care. You need a chiropractor who listens, understands your concerns, and communicates clearly and that starts with their office team. How does the staff treat you on the phone? On email or chat? Do they seem to enjoy their work?
Does the office have a system to remind you of appointments and send you the initial paperwork ahead of time to complete? These are just a few of the small things that can indicate you will be going to an office that is well run and works to make life easier for the patient’s experience in the office. A poorly run office may run into billing and scheduling issues, or cause delays with insurance or time in the office.
7. Assess Any Specializations
Chiropractors often have areas of specialization, such as specific injuries or demographics. Understanding a chiropractor’s focus area can help determine if they’re well-suited to address your particular needs.
Some offices are more personal injury (auto accident) focused, while others work almost exclusively on prenatal and pediatric patients. A “family” practice means the office is less specialized, which will work for most patients. If you feel your condition warrants a specific type of chiropractor, review their website to see if your condition is mentioned. In our office, we respond quickly to any emails or chats to answer questions about specific conditions or problems. We want to make sure you get to the right type of doctor for your problem.
Do they have additional therapies that can help your specific condition? (We have spinal decompression therapy, PEMF therapy, and HEIT in addition to our personalized chiropractic care.) While you may not know for sure that you need additional therapies, it’s sure nice that they have them if you need them.
Final Thoughts on How To Choose a Good Chiropractor
While choosing a chiropractor can seem overwhelming, I hope these factors will guide you in making an informed decision. Every person and office can have an off day, but hopefully your research will help guide you in choosing a chiropractor that can not just help your problem, but help you have a positive experience along the way.
If you’re close to us, give us a call or schedule online!