Chiropractic care is very well-established in the United States these days, with excellent chiropractic offices in all major cities and an estimated 10%-12% of the American population taking advantage of them. But if you don’t have a trusted chiropractor at present, how do you go about finding one who’s right for you? In this article we’ll present a few tips that might help.
A good place to start in choosing the right chiropractor is to ask around. Chances are you already have family, friends, neighbors or colleagues who can tell you about their experiences and make recommendations. Although their suggestions will be based on their own personal circumstances, preferences and treatment goals, if the same names keep popping up, that’s one good indication of reliability. Professional referrals are also a good sign—your primary care physician will probably be happy to recommend a chiropractor with whom he or she has worked in the past.
Next, use the Internet and search the websites of the most-recommended chiropractors in your area to check out their education, experience and specialties. All Doctors of Chiropractic have completed a minimum four-year program to become a D.C., but many have pursued advanced studies and become certified in specialties that may be relevant to you. For example, a CCEP (Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioner) specializes in the treatment of displacements of the arms, legs, shoulders, feet, ankles, while a CCRD (Certified Chiropractic Rehabilitation Doctor) focuses more on the rehabilitation of injuries, and a CCSP (Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner) specializes in sports-related injuries and in performance enhancement for athletes.
Even if you are not particularly concerned about your future chiropractor’s specialties, you should find out about the techniques and overall approach he or she uses. Some chiropractors manipulate the spine using only their hands, while others use various instruments or specialized treatment tables to aid them. Also, some chiropractors apply more forceful pressure during manipulation, while others use a “low force” technique. In addition, many chiropractors have received training in specialized techniques such as the Active Release Treatment (ART), the Cox Flexion Distraction Technique, or the Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT).
You’ll be able to learn a lot about a chiropractic clinic’s expertise and professionalism by looking at the practice’s website. The way a website describes the doctors’ approach to treatment, providers’ biographies, blog articles and reviews or testimonials can all help you understand what a particular chiropractor has to offer and whether or not he or she might be a “good fit” for you. Images and videos can be particularly useful for many people. Naturally, there are practical considerations as well. The location of a chiropractor’s office, his or her office hours and the types of payment the practice accepts (including insurance) are just some of these.
Finally, a critical factor that should not be overlooked is “manner” or “likeability”. Choosing a chiropractor is a very personal decision, and a great deal depends on the kind of relationship you want to have. When you meet the chiropractor, do you feel comfortable discussing your symptoms with him or her? Do you have a high degree of confidence in the chiropractor’s ability to listen carefully to what you say? Do you trust him or her to provide expert advice and select the right treatment options for you? The chiropractor you choose is a major investment in your general health and well-being, so you should feel at ease when it comes to these sorts of issues.
Whether you’re considering chiropractic treatment for the first time or are looking for a new provider, we’d be happy to answer any questions you have and to explain what makes our practice special. Just call or visit the office and we’ll be happy to help.