Chiropractic Care: What to Expect

Do you suffer from constant pain and discomfort? For most, this is due to an injury. For others, there is no explanation. Pain can easily be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, but relief is short-lived. Since pain relievers have risks, especially with prolonged use, it is important to seek proper medical care. One of your options is chiropractic care.

If you weren’t already aware, chiropractic care is a form of medicine. Some classify it as alternative medicine, as the treatment options are very different. Most notice a difference between the care provided by a chiropractor and a primary care physician. Chiropractors believe in manual therapy. This is therapy with the use of the hands. Standard methods of solving pain problems include therapeutic massages and manipulation. For example, neck pain may be treated with a neck realignment. 

If you like the sound of chiropractic care, the first step is to schedule an appointment. Chiropractors can be found online with a standard internet search or an online business directory. Most are also listed in the yellow pages of local phone books, under physicians or chiropractic care. If you have several local options, look for the best reviews and the treating physicians’ certifications and training. If you are looking for the most affordable, you will significantly do yourself a disservice. The cheapest is almost always the worst care. Some insurance providers do cover chiropractic care. If covered by insurance, speak to a representative to see if your care qualifies for coverage and familiarize yourself with in-network providers.

Not long after making your appointment, you will arrive for it. The wait can be as short as two days but as long as two months. The more chiropractors you have in your area, the shorter the wait. As for your first visit, it will be similar to a consultation appointment. Your chiropractor will take your medical history. They may take your blood pressure, measure your height and weight. Your source of pain will be examined, like your neck, hands, knees, or feet. 

Some chiropractors can diagnose a problem by simply looking at or feeling your source of pain. However, additional tests may be needed. These may include an MRI or x-ray. Some chiropractors will begin treatment immediately, but you may need to return for an additional appointment. It will depend on the length of your appointment, the type of care required, and how soon a course of treatment was decided on.

As for the second appointment, this depends. As previously stated, treatment may have started right away. If not, it will start here at the second appointment. Once again, treatment depends on the diagnosis made. If your chiropractor wants to treat your neck pain with realignment, they will start the manipulation. If ongoing therapeutic massages were recommended, your treatment would begin.

After the initial treatment has been performed, it is important to communicate with your chiropractor. For example, if regular therapeutic massages are needed, you automatically know that continued care is required. On the other hand, if your neck was realigned, you may mistakenly believe you are done. Despite the common misconception, chiropractic care does not always translate into continued care, but there are benefits. After a neck realignment, therapy may be needed. Patients regain mobility they never had before; it takes time and practice to readjust.

In addition to wondering about chiropractic care visits, many patients are also curious about payment. Not all insurance providers cover chiropractic care. And, not all chiropractors choose to work with insurance providers. If you are uninsured and paying out-of-pocket, this will not concern you. Instead, examine your available payment options. They do vary. Some care centers accept credit cards, debit cards, and checks, while others only take cash.

Returning to insurance coverage, do not make any assumptions. Always speak to an insurance provider first. If chiropractic care is covered, determine by how much. Do you need to pay for a percentage of treatment costs or just a co-pay? Can you seek care from any chiropractor, or must you work with an in-network provider? These are all questions you need answers to before scheduling an appointment.