I've practiced in many different ways with many styles and have learned from my experience what is right for a patient that walks into my office and what is just plain unethical and wrong. I wanted to take some time this morning to let you know how to choose a Chiropractor that is right for your particular needs whether it be back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder pain, etc.
How to choose a chiropractor … What to be careful of:
1. When the chiropractor says yes, “I can definitely help you with your problem” before even examining you. The truth is that it's just like taking your car to the mechanic, we have no idea if we can help you until we run the proper diagnostic tests.
2. The doctor just wants to talk about chiropractic and does not seem to be too interested in what your actual problem is.
3. The doctor recommends a lot of care up front and requests you to pay up front for like a year of care. The truth is … and I have seen this with literal thousands of patients … is that responses to care vary so broadly that treatment plans should be customized to each individual and progress monitored closely.
4. The doctor wants to educate the heck out of you about chiropractic, but never even asks you about how your problem and how your progressing.
5. The doctor never offers you exercises to do at home so your spine can hold your adjustments.
As with any healthcare profession, it is very hard to know exactly what is right and what is wrong regarding patient care, however there are ethical and unethical business practices.
Here's what I have come to learn is the most honest, ethical way to address and manage patient care: customize everything (number of initial visits, exercises, etc.) for each individual patient, help people get out of pain as quickly and affordably as possible, go from exam to exam and do not over recommend care that is usually unneeded and excessive, teach people what they can do at home to avoid further injury.
Chiropractic is a great health care service and really helps a lot of people get out of severe pain situations including chronic neck and back pain. Unfortunately we get a bad rap sometimes because people have tarnished by the upfront hard sell that some docs use as a means to grow the business.
Watch out for this approach because the truth is none of us chiropractors really now how you are going to respond until we have started treatment.
Hope this helps you find a great chiropractor!
Yours in health,
Dr. Sandy A. Bell, DC