Choosing the right chiropractor can make a massive difference to your overall health and your feeling of well being. Your family doctor has suggested that chiropractic treatment may help with your long term pain in your spine or other areas and is referring you to a chiropractor for treatment. Should you follow your doctor’s recommendation or is a little investigation warranted?
Many people ask this question every day and wonder if the treatment received and the customer service will meet their expectations. What should you expect, especially if this is your first time visiting a chiropractic clinic? The profession comes with a wide variety of techniques as well as philosophies. Many include hands-on techniques, as well as other treatment styles. For many people, it is essential to establish a rapport with your physician.
Ask for Referrals
Referrals are very important in any business. However, in health-related issues, referrals can be separated into professional referrals and patient referrals. Both are equally important and should be considered carefully.
Professional referrals can be provided by your health care provider, your family physician, physical therapists, and other specialists you may be seeing. You might ask them who they would like a member of their family to go to? Many have a list of practicing chiropractors and have little personal interaction with them or feedback from patients. You can choose one from the list or do some more research.
Referrals from friends and online ratings are another approach used by many patients. Talk to other family members and friends, keeping in mind that your requirements may be different than those of your contacts. The more people that recommend a single chiropractor is usually a good indicator of someone that is reliable and provides professional services with the rapport you may be looking for.
Complete Background Research
Referrals are usually the best approach to follow when looking for a chiropractor to provide treatment for your health issue. For many people a good referral is more than sufficient, however many patients would like to be more thorough and follow through with additional research.
For example, check with the Council on Chiropractic Education to confirm accreditation. Check for disciplinary action against the physician, the staff, or the clinic. Look for online reviews and testimonials. This information can often be found on your state’s regulatory and licensing board website.
Meeting the Chiropractor For the First Time
Now that you have settled on one or two clinics based on referrals and information you have gleaned from online searches, it is time to set up an appointment and meet the Chiropractor. Many patients do not realize that the chiropractor is also interviewing the patient. They want to get to know you and ensure that with treatment, they will actually be able to help you.
Your consultation is also your chance to get to know the chiropractor. Determine if you feel comfortable with him or her and the clinic in general. There are many factors to consider, and some may be more important than others depending on your personal needs, likes, and dislikes. For example:
- How long is the wait in the waiting room?
- Is the office location close to your home?
- Is the chiropractor respectful, friendly as well as courteous?
- Do you feel comfortable speaking with the chiropractor?
- Have all of your questions been answered?
- Do you feel that all of your concerns about treatment, and preferences were addressed?
- How long has the chiropractor been in business?
- Does the clinic focus on a specialty fitting your condition and needs?
Once your initial session is complete, you should have sufficient information to decide on the treatment plan proposed and your overall comfort or rapport with the physician delivering the proposed treatment plan.
Making Your Decision
Once you have completed your homework, i.e., obtained referrals, conducted an online search, and met with the physician, it is time to make a decision. Many people will interview or consult with several chiropractors before making a decision. They want to receive the best treatment from someone they are comfortable with and confident about the outcome.
While the pain your experiencing may cause you to want to expedite the decision and obtain treatment immediately, keep your eye on the long term goal. The reality is that recovery from ailments that can be treated by a skilled chiropractor may take several months and many treatments. Changing physicians part way through your treatment only prolongs the pain, causing additional discomfort and anxiety.
Do your homework up front and make the right decision choosing a chiropractor with the reputation, the skills and the rapport that meets your needs.