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How to choose a chiropractor

Though there are many great resources for obtaining valuable information to assist you in your search for a chiropractor, it can be overwhelming, particularly if you are new to chiropractic. To help guide you in making an educated choice regarding your health care professional, keep the following five points in mind as you sort through the mass of information.

Woman at chiropractor

5 tips for choosing a chiropractor

1. Honesty and confidence

The first thing to look for in a chiropractic doctor is honesty. An honest doctor has both trust and confidence in each and every one of his patients, and that confidence is a reflection of his pride in providing proper treatment and getting successful results for the patient. A good chiropractor will recommend only the best treatment for your quickest and best results; not-so-good chiropractors will recommend you sign up for a package of long-term treatment even before seeing how you respond to treatment. If chiropractic is not the proper treatment for you, a good chiropractor will have no problem referring you to another health care professional to manage or co-manage your case.

2. Techniques

There are a variety of techniques and methods of treatment in chiropractic, with no two being exactly alike. Each specific technique can work well with a specific patient, but no single technique will work perfect and heal everyone. This being said, any chiropractor that states her particular technique is superior to others or that absolutely guarantees results should be avoided. Although her techniques may be effective with certain patients, guaranteeing results is actually against the Laws of Chiropractic.  

3. Word of mouth

This is always a great place to start. Positive word of mouth in every profession is a good sign. If you are considering chiropractic for the first time, or considering choosing a different chiropractor, listen to others in your community more than the ads in the phone book, on TV or placed on Facebook. It is easy to look good in a well thought out advertisement, but the right chiropractor for you may be more successfully found by listening to others around you that have experienced chiropractic practice firsthand.

4. Appropriate examination, diagnosis, and treatment

This is extremely important. Doctors of chiropractic have been through extensive training and education to become health care providers. This training included proper examination, proper diagnosis and proper treatment protocols. If a doctor lacks in any one of these three essential areas, he should not be treating you, period! What does this mean for you? If a chiropractor doesn’t talk to you about your health history and your current condition, doesn’t give you an initial physical examination (checking posture, reflexes, etc.), doesn’t give you a diagnosis regarding your condition, and won’t explain your treatment plan, find another chiropractor.

5. Willingness to refer

Some chiropractors treat conditions that are out of the realm of chiropractic. Although chiropractic treatment with underlying disease is fine (assuming no contraindications for treatment), chiropractors should not be treating you specifically for that disease or claiming they cure conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease or other illnesses. A good chiropractor will refer you and/or co-manage your condition with a specialist.

Time to question your potential chiropractors

Now that you have the criteria to evaluate potential chiropractors, the best thing to do is find three chiropractic clinics that you have heard good things about or you feel you would like to try. Set up an appointment at each to meet with the chiropractors (many clinics offer a free consultation, anyway). Ask them as many questions as you have about your upcoming treatment and how their clinic practices. When you find a chiropractor that seems a good fit for you and your goals of treatment, make an appointment, and go in for your first treatment.

When you go to your appointment, make sure you keep in mind the importance of a proper examination, diagnosis and treatment. It is only after your first appointment that you should determine if you want to continue care with this chiropractor. Do not sign up for any treatment plans until you are sure the doctor is right for you. Finding the right chiropractor will take more time than picking the best looking ad in the phone book, but it is well worth it in the long run.

More on chiropractic care

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