By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
If you’re shopping for a chiropractor, here’s what to ask
Bill Ferris, chiropractor and owner of Modern Chiropractic & Pain Relief, Victor
• ”Does the office offer a free consultation?
• ”Ask if they have digital x-ray available onsite, because they’re dealing with the spine.
• ”Ask how long the doctor has been in practice, as experience is important. Ask if the doctor participates regularly in continuing education.
• ”Does the office or doctor use any advanced technology like Class IV laser? Cold laser is the antiquated laser.
• ”Some of them use only one tool. If all you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. That happens a lot in our profession. Does the doctor use one technique or a more comprehensive, holistic list of tools? Is the doctor certified in any soft tissue modalities, which complement the skeletal modalities. Typically, muscular/skeletal mean you treat all of that.
• ”Do they offer a reduced fee membership model? That’s the wave of the future.
• “Have they treated your specific condition before, if you know what it is?”
Joshua Rittenberg, chiropractor, East Avenue Chiropractic, Rochester
• “People should find someone who has an affiliation with a larger corporation like American Chiropractic Association.
• “Look for someone who’s not ordering imaging right away, unless there are certain red flags that indicate you need imaging.
• “You want to find someone who’s goal-oriented for you, someone who will help encourage an active treatment plan, who will help restore you to a normal function not just treat pain.
• “You don’t want someone who encourages the use of lumbar support or braces for long-term prevention of back pain and headaches, but will teach you how to learn and exercise so you don’t need a chiropractor.
• “Look for interdisciplinary care. As a chiropractor, I should be part of someone’s healthcare team. The skills and knowledge I possess and continue to learn should be complementary to what they receive from their physician. If you can’t tell the difference between the care you receive from a chiropractor and a physical therapist, you’re in the right place, though our study is broader.
• “They should be open to referring people out. If I possess the skills and tools that will help patients the most, I’ll keep them in house, but if I know they can receive better care elsewhere, then I’d send them elsewhere.
• “There’s a formula to care for everyone. Some have intermittent bouts of back problems, but if we can develop a formula such as a frequency of spinal adjusting and exercise, and mindfulness to know what it needs at certain times, you’ll likely have better results.
• “Go online and read reviews. People tend to post pretty honest things about their experience.”
Adam Cassel, chiropractor with Rochester Chiropractic Associates, PC, Rochester
• “You want someone who will sit down and explain treatments. They will use insurance instead of saying it’s a cash-only plan.
• “Read the chiropractor’s biography online to see if that will be a good fit. They might say what they’re into and that can help. It’s a good way to take a look. You can see the certifications that can include if they do taping, soft tissues, ultrasound and other modalities. You can gauge a lot about a chiropractor through their website.
• “A lot of times, they have tours. You can see how their office looks. You want to be comfortable with the provider, like with any provider.
• “A lot of people, when they call here and ask to speak with the doctor, that’s not a bad thing. The doctor may not be able to speak with you that minute, but you know it will be a good fit if they’ll call you back before you come into the office. It should be all about the patient.”
• “If it’s a worker’s compensation injury, you’ll have to see if they accept those. Some don’t.
• “If it’s a cash or general insurance basis, the best way is by word-of-mouth. Talk with family members and friends. See who keeps them moving.