When I was a 20 year old college student facing back pain for the first time, I decided to try chiropractic instead of a steady diet of ibuprofen. I had no idea how to choose the best Indianapolis chiropractic practice though. So I picked up the Yellow Pages (Yes, I’m that old!) and called every chiropractor listed to ask the only questions I knew to ask:
How soon can I get an appointment? How much can I expect to pay?
I was surprised to get so many different answers. Some chiropractors couldn’t see me for weeks, but some could see me the same day. Several required x-rays before treatment and some didn’t. A few would start the treatment the day of the first visit, but some wouldn’t. Some offered very inexpensive first visits but wouldn’t give any information on the cost for future visits. Others could only say it would depend on my insurance plan.
Luckily, the chiropractor I chose was wonderful. After a few visits, I felt amazing, and I eventually decided to become a chiropractor myself.
As a chiropractor, if I could go back and tell my 20 year old self how to pick the best Indianapolis chiropractic practice, here’s what I’d say.
Ask friends and family for their recommendations. Most people are very willing to share whether their experience with a chiropractor was good or bad.
Check out the review sections of the chiropractor’s Facebook business page and Google business listing.
Spend some time on the chiropractor’s website. Many chiropractors have a practice focus, and knowing what that focus is can help you decide whether that practice might be a good fit for you. Some common focuses include sports-related injuries, pregnancy and postpartum, and pediatric chiropractic.
Here are some questions to ask so you can find the best Indianapolis chiropractic practice.
Some chiropractors offer consultations for a small fee or no charge. Consultations give you the opportunity to share your health concern(s) with the chiropractor and ask any questions you have. It also gives the chiropractor a chance to explain the new patient process and give general information on treatment.
If you have the chance for a consultation, I’d recommend asking these questions at the consultation rather than on the phone. That way you have a chance to speak directly with the chiropractor. If the chiropractor doesn’t offer a consultation, you should still be able to get answers to the next couple of questions by phone.
This is an important question to ask. X-rays expose patients to radiation, so x-rays should be performed only when medically necessary. The most recent research shows that x-rays are not needed prior to chiropractic treatment (or as a way to monitor the patient’s response to treatment) in most cases. However, depending on your age, health concerns, and prior health history, x-rays may be necessary.
There are chiropractors who will recommend care plans that last several months up to a year and require upfront payment or a payment contract for a long-term care plan. I strongly recommend against long-term care plans and upfront payment or payment contracts for a large number of visits.
Why? I wish I could say that chiropractic works for 100% of patients, but that’s not the case. Just like a medication doesn’t work for 100% of patients or a surgery isn’t successful 100% of the time, chiropractic isn’t successful 100% of the time. No one wants to be locked into a contract or waste a large amount of money on treatment that doesn’t work.
Please hear me… I am not suggesting that it will only take a visit or two to be 100% improved. That takes time, and it can take several visits to even start feeling improvement. I’m just saying that I would not recommend starting care at an office that requires long-term care and upfront payment or payment contracts for a large number of visits.
Many chiropractic practices will not discuss fees over the phone. This is because it’s not possible to determine exactly how many visits or what services a patient will need. Also, for practices that directly bill insurance companies, the patient’s insurance plan and coverage determines the out-of-pocket cost of the visit, which can vary widely from plan to plan. They should be able to give you a range of fees for the most common services performed in their practice if they cannot give the exact fee.
I hope these suggestions and questions help you to find the best Indianapolis chiropractic practice for you. And, of course if you’re searching for a chiropractor, Bravo Women’s Chiropractic would love to help!
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