How to Choose a Chiropractor

Two Parts:Knowing What is Offered by the ChiropractorDeciding on Your Chiropractor

Through manipulations of the spine, chiropractors sometimes bring pain relief that traditional medications cannot. Choosing a chiropractor that you trust is a key part of the process towards pain relief. There are a few things about chiropractors that you need to know and find out to make an informed decision. This is how to choose a chiropractor.

Part 1
Knowing What is Offered by the Chiropractor

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    Understand the differences between chiropractic methods and which one will be best suited to your needs.
    • Learn about chiropractors that adjust spines using instruments.
    • Learn about chiropractors that adjust spines with their hands using either joint-popping manipulations or low-force manipulations.
  2. 2
    Find out what other treatments are offered. If your chiropractor is professional he/she will often carry out additional treatments and procedures which accompany chiropractic. Ask the chiropractor if the surgery provides:
    • Acupuncture treatments
    • Pilates exercises
    • Nutritional counseling
    • Massage therapy
    • Interferential electrical muscle stimulation
    • Microamperage neural stimulation
    • Mechanical traction
    • Cryotherapy
    • Diathermy
    • Moist heat therapy
    • Paraffin bath
    • Work hardening rehabilitation program.
  3. 3
    Find out if the clinic has all the necessary equipment. When people visit a chiropractor, it's often to resolve back pains or neck pains. You would be wise to ask the clinic if they carry the required chiropractic equipment which offers the best treatments. Some basic equipment which chiropractors often use are:
    • Spinal decompression table
    • Cold laser
    • Pilates systems
    • Ultrasounds with their hands using either joint-popping manipulations or low-force manipulations.
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    Ask prospective chiropractors how many visits over how long a period it should take before you will begin feeling better. The reasonable answer is that you should feel some results in the first couple of visits, but in 1 to 4 weeks most of the pain should be reduced. In cases of chronic arthritis or underlying spinal deformity (scoliosis, loss of neck curve, pelvic unlevelling) the symptoms typically resolve long before the underlying damage is stabilized. It typically takes 6-18 months to reverse damage if it has been present for more than 10 years.
    • Expect that a chiropractor you want to see will advise you to come in three times per week for the first 2 to 6 weeks and then taper off as is appropriate for your condition. Expect that the chiropractor will give you some home exercises (spinal hygiene) and stretches to help expedite your results.

Part 2
Deciding on Your Chiropractor

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    Investigate the educational background of potential chiropractors.
    • Verify that candidates have been accredited by a 4 year chiropractic university/college. Most will have a bachelor's degree already, and some will pursue post graduate certifications in specialized fields such as sports therapy, pediatrics, and geriatrics.
    • All chiropractors in the United States must be licensed in order to practice chiropractic. Be sure to ask for a valid doctor's license number before you make your appointment.
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    Inquire about the chiropractic clinics' payment plans.
    • Ask whether the prospective clinics take the insurance you are currently covered under.
    • Ask if there are any family discounts available at the prospective clinics.
    • Ask if they offer you an option to spread the payment over time.
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    Decide whether communication style is important in your decision. Some chiropractors listen and answer questions better than others, but this is more important to some patients than others. Ask if the doctor involves the patient by explaining everything in advance, or provides educational material or presentations for you to utilize should you choose.
    • While visiting your chiropractor for the first time, see if he/she is professional. Check to see if he/she is interested in the patient and is asking the right questions to help learn about your medical history. Check to see if treatments are administered in a professional manner. And see if your doctor is polite and makes you feel comfortable, this is always an important part of an ongoing treatment, which should not be taken lightly.
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    Poll opinions in your area to find out which prospective chiropractors are recommended.
    • Ask your doctor for suggestions of reputable chiropractors.
    • Ask friends and family if they have had good experiences with any chiropractors in the area.
    • Check online chiropractor review sites to find out what impartial, anonymous people think of prospective chiropractors.


  • Often chiropractors work closely with hospitals as part of the rehabilitation program after experiencing auto accident injuries. Ask if your chiropractor provides this service.


  • Ask the doctor how they will measure improvement in their office. Beyond mere symptomatic changes, a good chiropractor will be willing and able to demonstrate to you the improvements via pre- and post-X-rays documenting change, pre- and post-nerve scan tests, pre- and post-flexibility measurements, pre- and post-balance tests, pre- and post-postural assessment, etc.
  • Do not trust chiropractors, or any doctor, that tell you that they are able to cure chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes. It is true that people with these diseases have seen them resolve under chiropractic care, these are not typically within the realm of a chiropractor's capacity to fix since chiropractors are supposed to be focusing on subluxations in your spine and nerve system.

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Categories: Finding a Medical Specialist