Chiropractors vary in their values, their style of practice, and the techniques in which they practice. Choosing a chiropractor that you trust is a key part of attaining your personal health goals and your individual needs.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right chiropractor for you:
- Ask a primary care physician, family and/or friends for recommendations of a trustworthy and highly trained chiropractor. A positive word of mouth in every profession is a good sign. Ask your doctor for suggestions of reputable chiropractors, or ask your friends and family if they have had good experiences with any chiropractors in the community. However, keep in mind that one person’s definition of the best chiropractor may be quite different from another person’s definition. While recommendations can be valuable, it is essential to find a chiropractor who can meet your specific needs.
- Stays up-to-date with the latest evidence-based knowledge and practice in manual medicine. To ensure patients receive the utmost care, it is important that chiropractors have the knowledge and skills to optimize your health. Although not necessary, some chiropractors pursue post-graduate programs including but not limited to, Sports Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Diagnostic Imaging, and Pediatrics.
- Personalities are compatible. Since healthcare is a partnership between you and healthcare provider, it is important to not only choose a highly trained and knowledgeable chiropractor, but also a chiropractor with a personality that meshes well with yours. It is essential to feel comfortable with your chiropractor as well as the clinic to have an overall positive treatment experience.
- Performs an appropriate examination, diagnosis and treatment. Doctors of Chiropractic undergo extensive training and education to become primary health care providers. After performing a thorough examination and providing a diagnosis, your chiropractor should recommend only the best treatment for your optimal recovery.
- Answers your questions in a way that you understand. It is key that you are involved in your treatment and healing process. Your chiropractor should clearly explain to you your diagnosis, expected recovery time, as well as the treatment recommendations. Your chiropractor should listen to your health concerns and make every effort to help you improve your health.
- Explains the risks and benefits of treatment. Your chiropractor should be able to outline a course of treatment for your health problem as well as clearly explain the risks and benefits of the treatment in a way that you understand.
- Delivers individualized, safe and effective treatment regimes. Since every patient is different, your chiropractor should deliver an individualized treatment protocol that meets your specific needs. Treatment may include but not limited to, joint mobilization and manipulation, myofascial release therapy, acupuncture, modalities, patient education, lifestyle and nutrition management, and rehabilitation.
- Suggests and provides alternative treatments. A specific technique may work well with a specific patient, however there is no single technique that will work perfectly for everyone. If you feel that a specific treatment is not working for you, your chiropractor should recommend and provide alternative treatments that may benefit you.
- Educates patients and provides self-directed care strategies. It is key to find a chiropractor that is able to instruct you on home-based treatments, such as when to apply heat or ice to a specific injury. In addition, your chiropractor should give you advice on exercises, and proper posture and body mechanics to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to prevent future injuries.
- Uses an integrated approach to healthcare. Find a chiropractor that works collaboratively with other health practitioners. When necessary, your chiropractor should refer you to another health care professional to manage or co-manage your case.