Choosing the Best Chiropractor for Your Condition

A Guide to Finding the Right Chiropractor for your condition

As it goes when you are hiring any professional for a job, it is also important to “hire” the right chiropractor for the situation you are in. Chiropractic physicians come from different educational backgrounds and can have advanced training in various areas of practice, such as neurology, pediatrics, sports and more.  Whether you have nutritional concerns, a sports injury, or would just like to see a chiropractor for a wellness visit, it is important to research the right physician that would best address your needs.

It is just as critical to go to the right chiropractor if you have been involved in a traumatic event such as an auto accident or fall injury.  Being put in this situation can be very overwhelming to navigate on your own as you deal with getting your car repaired, having your injuries examined, and making time for all of this while juggling your personal life and financial responsibilities.  Your chiropractor should be equipped with the skills and knowledge to help address your medical/healthcare concerns and recovery. The following are some factors that you need to consider if you have been injured:

  • First and foremost, your chiropractor (and any other physicians for that matter) should be in a location that is close or convenient for you. Chiropractic treatment plans in an acute injury setting often involve multiple visits a week.  These treatments are most effective when the patients are compliant and able to make it for those visits.  If the office location interferes with your ability to follow the recommended plan, this could impact your recovery which should be the primary concern!
  • Your chiropractor should be experienced and comfortable in performing a thorough examination and ruling out some of the most common (and especially less common) injuries that you can sustain in that situation.  They should also be confident in ordering the right tests to diagnose your injuries.  These are often imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs or CT imaging to rule out certain conditions.  More importantly, some complex injuries (concussions for instance) require waiting a certain amount of time to pass before ordering the test.  If ordered too soon, this can result in a false negative test and the doctor missing the diagnosis.
  • Treatment of the resulting injuries should involve several phases. Initially, treatment should be focused on reducing pain, swelling and spasms while also enhancing blood flow to the injured areas to promote healing.  This is mostly passive and would involve therapeutic modalities including ultrasound, electrical stimulation, manual massage, acupuncture, laser therapy and more.  This is followed by a phase more directed at restoring strength, mobility and proper function.  At this point, imaging studies are usually completed and reviewed and the patient starts with regular physical therapy and chiropractic adjustments (if appropriate).  The final phase is providing supportive care if there is still pain or dysfunction after the patient has reached maximum medical improvement.
  • Another responsibility of your doctor is to educate you on your injuries and give you other non-chiropractic alternative treatment options. Not all injuries are the same, and not all injuries will resolve with conservative treatment alone.  Traumatic injuries often require co-management with doctors from other specialties such as pain intervention, orthopedics, neurologists and so on.  This becomes even more complex with auto injury as not all doctors accept this type of insurance.  The pool of doctors becomes smaller when the patient needs a less common specialty, for example a psychologist to treat their PTSD.
  • Besides providing treatment, having an injury resulting from another person’s negligence will often result in a medicolegal case as the costs of treatment and future predicted costs should not fall on the victim.  It is therefore important to choose a chiropractor that is experienced with documentation of the events of the accident, your injuries sustained, as well as your anticipated future progression (whether your injuries are permanent and whether they will require ongoing treatment).  This documentation is heavily relied upon by other parties involved such as attorneys and insurance adjusters.