How Do I Find the Best Chiropractor Near Me?
According to Google search trends, two of the most common searches related to chiropractic are "best chiropractor near me" and "is my chiropractor scamming me?" Many of my snowbird patients frequently ask me about finding a chiropractor "back home" when leaving for the season. They want the same experience they get in our office. Occasionally, I have a patient ask me the second question. The chiropractor they've been going to for years just doesn't deliver the experience they've come to expect from our facility. Sometimes, they even feel like the doctor might be taking advantage of them.
The first search term, "best chiropractor near me," tells me people don't know what to look for when choosing a chiropractor. The second search term, "is my chiropractor scamming me," tells me that after they find one, they have may concerns about the doctor's methods, diagnosis, or treatment plan. We're going to answer both questions so that you can get the most out of your experience.
What Do I Look For?
Modern, evidence-based chiropractic has come a long way since the days of old. An ideal chiropractor creates a well-rounded treatment plan. This may include rehabilitative exercise, soft tissue and muscle work therapy, chiropractic adjustments, among others.
Not every condition requires multiple methods of treatment. However, your chiropractor should have the necessary methods available to treat the various parts of your condition. Avoid clinics where every patient gets the same treatment.
Your Plan Focuses on Results
This is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Your doctor should tailor the treatment plan to your personal goals and keep in mind any limits. The treatment plan should also have fair expectations of progress. Your doctor should be able to measure improvement during re-exams every two to four weeks. If there is no improvement between two exams, a change in treatment approach is necessary. This may require more testing, such as x-ray/MRI imaging or lab testing.
Patients should get treatment for as long or as little as they want. If you're getting better, great! If you aren't, why waste time and money for chiropractic care that didn’t work? Avoid clinics that require long-term contracts and thousands of dollars up front. These clinics typically don't have your goals in mind.
Partners in the Medical Community
We are trained to diagnose a variety of conditions that can occur all over the body. However, our treatment is limited to the neuromusculoskeletal system (nerves, muscles, bones, and the stuff that connects them together). When a chiropractor diagnoses a condition that exists outside of their scope, it is their duty to refer the patient to the appropriate type of doctor.
A great chiropractor knows when they can help the patient and knows when they cannot. They rely on working with other doctors in the community to best serve the patient. Sometimes, this means that the chiropractor may have no role in your treatment beyond your diagnosis. Other times, chiropractic helps with certain symptoms or pain in combination with treatment from another medical specialty.
As an example, conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, infections, and broken bones (among many other conditions) must be managed by a medical doctor. It is not appropriate for a chiropractor to treat these conditions without a referral to a specialist. Avoid clinics that claim chiropractic alone can cure those conditions listed above. Yikes!
Resources for Patients
One of the most valuable resources available for patients looking for a great chiropractor is the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance (FTCA). This is a group of like-minded, evidence-based chiropractors who value the principles we discussed. The FTCA provides a directory and member map of chiropractors who are committed to providing the best evidence-based care for the patients. You can find chiropractors on this map from all over the world who you can be confident will provide you with the best care possible in the area.
I want to add a disclaimer that by no means is this an exhaustive list. Not every great chiropractor appears on the FTCA directory. There are plenty of doctors out there who are doing great work who are not members, but it is difficult to ascertain as a patient if they would be a good fit. However, picking a chiropractor from the FTCA practically guarantees that you'll be satisfied with your selection.