Chiropractors –some medical doctors dismiss them as “quacks” while other patients swear by their proven results.
Not everyone is on board with chiropractic care, although those of us who have faithfully found a good chiropractor continue to sing their praises.
But finding a good chiropractor can sometimes be like finding a needle in a haystack.
And as more and more Americans are choosing to seek integrative techniques to help treat their conditions, they are turning to chiropractors in droves.
In fact, Medical News Today reports on just how many Americans are incorporating chiropractors into their treatment process:
“According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health in the U.S., chiropractic therapy is the type most commonly used for back pain. An estimated 74 percent of Americans with pain in this area have used chiropractic care at some point in their treatment.”
But if you’ve never had a chiropractor and don’t know where to start, check out our tips on what to look for in a good chiropractor:
- How Much Time They Spend With You
Some chiropractors treat their patients like an assembly line – get ‘em in and get ‘em out.
In fact, I’ve been to one chiropractor in the past that lined up patients in a common area room in a row and spent about 2 minutes adjusting each one.
On the contrast, my current chiropractor allocates 30-minute sessions, where he takes the time to actually look at my body and see what needs adjusted.
Of course, there are different appointment windows which must be kept, but when selecting a chiropractor keep in mind what needs you have.
Maybe you’re busy and a 2-minute quick pop is all you need.
But if you’re like most people who seek deep relief from a chiropractic session, 30-minute appointments tend to be the sweet spot.
- Knowledge of the Body
A good chiropractor doesn’t just know the names of the bones, they have a working knowledge of the bones and muscles, and how your entire body works together.
Instead of seeing the body in pieces, they see the body as connected, understanding how if the hips are off, it can affect the shoulder, and vice versa.
By taking a holistic approach to chiropractic care and viewing the entire body, they can pay attention to how all the muscles and bones work together.
National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health had this to say:
“Chiropractors approach patient care in a manner similar to that used in conventional medicine. They interview the patient, obtain a detailed health history, perform an examination, do tests, and develop a working diagnosis. They then develop a management plan, start treatment, and monitor the patient’s progress. Chiropractors often treat problems related to the musculoskeletal system.
The manual treatment methods used by chiropractors range from stretching and sustained pressure to specific joint manipulations, which are usually delivered by hand and involve a quick and gentle thrust. The purpose of the manipulations is to improve joint motion and function. Manipulations are most commonly done on the spine, but other parts of the body may also be treated in this way.”
A good chiropractor doesn’t just “crack bones” – they stretch the body and use additional techniques other than the bone manipulations.
If you have a certain part of your body that feels “off,” does your chiropractor listen to you? Or dismiss your concern?
A good chiropractor will listen to what your chief complaint is, and then explain his adjustments and reveal his findings after his assessment.
- Keep These Questions in Mind
With all that said, if you’re wondering where to find a good chiropractor to begin with, the key is to interview them and try a few sessions before you commit long-term.
Spine-Health has provided a list of helpful questions for you to keep in mind when selecting the perfect chiropractor for you:
- Which chiropractic techniques does the chiropractor use and why? Most chiropractors are experienced in a range of techniques, e.g. 4 or 5 techniques, and will pick the one or ones best suited to the patient and his or her condition.
- Does the chiropractor use his or her hands or an instrument for the chiropractic manipulation?
- Does the chiropractor employ a deeper, joint-popping adjustment or a low-force adjustment?
- Is the chiropractor experienced in treating problems similar to the patient’s?
- How many years has the doctor been in practice?
- How much training and experience does the chiropractor have in the specific technique he or she is recommending?
Finding out the answers to these questions could be deal breakers for you – for example if your chiropractor says they don’t treat TMJ or migraines (and you struggle with these) it might not be a good fit.
Or perhaps you are okay if they are new to the field, but might not agree with deep joint popping adjustments.
Since everyone is different, keep these questions in mind to see if they are a good fit!
If you suffer from headaches, back problems, jaw pain, or other body ailments – consider checking out a chiropractor.
By having someone look at your entire body and understand how muscles and bones work together, they can help you develop a plan you can use that works for you.
A good chiropractor even has you performing stretches outside of the office – because they know it takes more than an office visit to keep your body healthy!
So check out our tips when selecting a chiropractor, and don’t be afraid to try a few different ones out before you find one that works best for you.
Is chiropractic care part of your health routine? If so, what health benefits have you found from visiting the chiropractor?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family and let them know how to select a good chiropractor!