Choosing a Chiropractor

Chiropractic treatment is based upon manipulation of the spinal column. It is an effective treatment for neck pain, back pain, a pinched nerve, and similar conditions. Choosing a properly trained chiropractor is essential to obtaining effective chiropractic therapy.

The most important factor in determining whether a chiropractor is indeed able to properly perform chiropractic procedures such as spinal decompression is to determine that the practitioner has earned a DC, or Doctor of Chiropractic degree. This credential is granted only to individuals who have completed an intensive, four-year post-graduate program of specialized chiropractic training at an institution that is certified by the Council on Chiropractic Education. Patients should consider only chiropractors with a valid DC degree, since only holders of this degree can legally practice chiropractic medicine in the United States.

Recommendations from a primary care physician, as well as from fellow patients, are invaluable in choosing a chiropractor. Patients are advised to ask chiropractors for references from patients whom they have treated for similar conditions. Many chiropractic procedures, including spinal decompression, are covered by medical insurance. Insurance coverage is usually available only for procedures that are carried out in an insurance-approved chiropractic clinic. Some chiropractic clinics are a part of one or more insurance networks, and these clinics often arrange for direct payments from participating insurers. Patients who rely on insurance to pay for chiropractic treatment for back pain or neck pain should always use chiropractors who are recommended by their insurers. Not only does this guarantee reimbursement, but insurers often monitor the quality of care that each of their recommended chiropractors provides.

Patients are encouraged to visit each chiropractor whose services they are considering, to obtain an introductory session and evaluation. When evaluating a chiropractor, a patient should make sure that the practitioner indeed has experience providing the particular type of care that is necessary. Some chiropractors specialize in particular areas of the body, and others may specialize in post-trauma or sports medicine. However, the majority of chiropractors are general practitioners. Almost any chiropractor can provide standard spinal decompression treatments for a pinched nerve, neck pain or back pain. However, a patient who has more specific needs is often best served by a chiropractic clinic that includes specialists in different facets of chiropractic medicine. Such a clinic has the right resources to provide the highest standard of chiropractic care, even for the most complex pain management issues.


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