Before we talk about how to choose your chiropractor or what chiropractic technique (200+ choices) would be best for you I want to talk a bit about pain and how chiropractic relates to that pain.
If you are reading this article most likely you have chronic pain or more specifically neck pain, shoulder pain, hand pain, hip pain, back pain, knee pain, or foot pain? No matter where your body pain my be you have a physical pain that doesn’t want to go away.
By now you may have tried many different things. One of the most common approaches is “I thought it would go away.” A few weeks to months later you figure out that your pain is not going anywhere.
Perhaps you began with your medical doctor? After your medical visit, you received a diagnosis and walked out the door with a prescription for pain killers and/or muscle relaxants. Seeing my medical doctor would not be my first choice for body pain, but I understand why people begin here.
You may have tried chiropractic. Tried is a tricky word. I will ask someone if they have had chiropractic for their chronic pain. They respond, “I tried chiropractic and it didn’t work”. I then ask, “How many adjustments did you receive?” The common answer is one and sometimes two adjustments. This is where education of how the human body works is important.
Let’s say you begin a new workout at the gym. Would you expect to be physically fit after one or two workouts? No? I know that even sounds quite ridiculous.
Your physical body responds the same way to chiropractic adjustments that it does to a gym workouts. It takes a series of adjustments to rewire your neuromuscular system. No matter chiropractic technique it will take more than one or two adjustments.
How do you choose from 200+ different chiropractic techniques? There are highly physical chiropractic techniques and very subtle chiropractic techniques. Traditional chiropractic tends to be one of the most physical techniques.
Personal preference plays a role, but if you are like me I want the technique that will create the most permanent results for me whether that is physical or subtle.
When most people think of chiropractic they only think of the traditional chiropractic adjustments which can require a turn or twist then the noise of the joint releasing. Traditional chiropractic adjusting is very effective and taps directly into your body’s healing potential, but it may scare you so there are other choices to receive chiropractic.
Let’s say you have researched and have decided on a specific chiropractic technique.
My primary chiropractic spinal adjusting technique is Torque Release Technique (TRT). TRT is a subtle adjusting technique.
Now it’s time to choose the right chiropractor for your chronic pain condition. Your choice is critical for your best experience, care, and recovery.
The following questions and steps will help you choose a great chiropractor.
Keep track of your research of chiropractic techniques and chiropractors on your computer, phone, or in a notebook.
Chiropractors are not only unique with their techniques, but also their personalities. You want to find a good match with someone who will take great care of you and your family
Decide what/who you are looking for: Male or female? How long in practice? Xrays required? Location? Hours? How soon can you get in?
Follow the word of mouth: Ask your friends or family who they would recommend and why. Remember if you ultimately don’t connect with the chiropractor they recommend then find someone who works for you. You get to choose exactly who you are looking for.
Screen first with a phone consult: Save time by getting your initial questions answered over the phone. Decide what are deal breaking questions for you and ask those questions on your phone consult. If you are looking for subtle gentle techniques that do not involve the twist and crack then ask if they provide that type of care. If you have had a work or auto injury be sure to ask the office accepts injury cases.
Setup a free office consultation: Find a chiropractor who offers a free office consultation so you have the opportunity to meet the chiropractor. Chiropractic care is a very personal relationship with you and your doctor of chiropractic. That relationship can make a significant difference in how you progress. Choose wisely.
Pay attention during the free consultation: Are they listening to you? I know that sounds rather basic, but are they listening to you or are they more interested in selling you on what they are doing? Are they taking their time with you? Do you feel comfortable? Can you imagine yourself being well taken care of with this person?
Ask what their special focus is? Foot and ankle pain, athletic injuries and care, neck/shoulder pain, hip pain or hand/wrist pain or injury cases?
I focus on a 30-minute customized chiropractic session which includes trigger point therapy, other massage techniques, and extremity adjustments (shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees, ankles, feet).
Ask what techniques they use and why? Do they solely use traditional manual adjustments (the chiropractic technique that most relate to chiropractic) or do they use other techniques also? Do they use instrumentation? Do they provide cold laser therapy? Do they incorporate massage, trigger point therapy or other muscle techniques? Do they provide nutrition consultations which recommend supplements to further speed your recovery and expand your health?
I have studied about 15 different chiropractic techniques. I favor the subtle techniques. TRT has given me and my patients the most consistent long lasting results in the shortest time possible.
Ask the right money questions: When chiropractic was not covered by major insurance companies the question “Do you take insurance?” never came up. People paid for their care without any questions. Today, many people decide whether they should have chiropractic or not by whether the chiropractic office bills insurance. Your body doesn’t have a clue what insurance is. Your body just knows it needs help. Overall, chiropractors are exceptionally generous about helping people who are committed to getting better. Find a chiropractor who will work with you in order to get your chronic pain condition taken care of.
Interview several chiropractors before making a choice.
Don’t give up – So it didn’t work for you? – Many times I hear people say they “tried chiropractic and it didn’t work”. Don’t give up on finding the chiropractor and/or technique that works for you. Remember? There are over 200+ different kinds of techniques and approaches. I want you to understand something really important. Your body LOVES chiropractic because it supports its natural healing physiology and it strengthens how your brain communicates to every muscle, organ and gland in your body. If you want your body to start functioning normally and naturally you may want to consider giving it chiropractic care.
- Commit to 1 month’s care – In order to support a positive progressive change in your chronic pain condition commit to a minimum of 1 month of care. The normal healing process of human physiology has its ups and downs in the first few weeks. Your chiropractor and you should be looking for an overall “getting better overall.”
- If at anytime you are uncomfortable with your chiropractic care first communicate that discomfort to your doctor. If they don’t respond to your discomfort in a way that you are comfortable with then it’s time to start the process of finding a chiropractor again.
- If the chiropractor you are interviewing claims to have the only technique or approach that works then I would suggest you keep looking. Each chiropractor/technique works well with who it works well with, but there is a wide variety of choices of complete resolution of the chronic pain challenge.
- Make sure you are being re-evaluated on a monthly basis in order to track your results. If there seems to be an unending series of adjustments without any progress feedback you may want to re-evaluate your chiropractic choice.