Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability not only in the United States but also around the globe. At least 619 million people in the world suffer from this condition, and experts project that number will hit 843 million by 2050.
Pain relievers, physical therapy, and surgery are common treatments for chronic back pain. Unfortunately, these solutions do not always work. If that happens to you, you may want to consider a chiropractor for back pain.
But finding the right chiropractor is easier said than done. After all, finding a high-quality chiropractor is crucial for getting the care you need to eliminate back pain symptoms once and for all.
Want to know our top tips for finding the right chiropractor for your unique needs? You clicked on the right article. Keep reading for 10 tips to make your search easier.
1. Ask Friends and Family for a Referral
You may not know any chiropractors in your area, but you can almost guarantee someone in your network does. Ask friends, family, and coworkers if they have ever seen a chiropractor before.
Of course, pay close attention if someone has negative things to say about their chiropractor. Only add chiropractors to your shortlist if people you know give them raving reviews.
Don’t know anyone with experience with chiropractic care? You can always ask your primary care physicians. Even if your insurer does not require a referral, your doctor may know a reputable chiropractor that is right for you.
2. Run a ‘Near Me’ Google Search
So, you do not know anyone in your immediate circle who has seen a chiropractor, and your physician doesn’t have any recommendations for you. The next step is to run a “near me” search for chiropractic care in your area.
How do you do that? A near me search looks like this: “chiropractors near me.” You can also add keywords specifying the types of techniques the chiropractor uses or the condition(s) for which you need treatment.
The reason why this tip works so well is that most chiropractors have websites. What’s more, good chiropractors optimize their websites for near-me searches to reach prospective local clients like you.
3. Verify Chiropractor Credentials
Chiropractors have to jump through a lot of hoops to start practicing in California. They face such high requirements to ensure consumers are safe in their hands.
All chiropractors in California must have a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Aspiring chiropractors must receive their degree from a Board of Chiropractic Examiners-approved program.
After receiving a degree, chiropractors must pass the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) exams. Only after passing the exam can aspiring chiropractors apply for a state license.
But chiropractors aren’t finished there. They must continue to receive education credits every year to keep their license in good standing.
You can verify your chiropractor’s education and disciplinary status at Healthgrades.com. You can also search for licensed chiropractors on the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners website.
4. Read Online Reviews from Former Clients
Once you find credentialed and qualified chiropractors, you may start spinning your wheels. After all, how are you supposed to know what differentiates a good chiropractor from a great one? We recommend reading reviews for that.
Some chiropractors may publish client reviews on their websites. Of course, they may cherry-pick reviews to ensure you see only the most positive feedback.
For a more thorough picture of a chiropractor’s client satisfaction, check out Google and Yelp reviews. Zocdoc and RateMDs are more specific platforms tailored to medical professional reviews.
Give preference to chiropractors who have raving reviews. Of course, do not let one or two bad reviews turn you off. But if you see multiple one-star reviews, that is most likely a red flag, and you should consider searching elsewhere.
5. Narrow Down Your Shortlist
By now, we hope these tips have helped you create a shortlist of possible candidates. The next step, then, is to narrow down your shortlist to a couple of viable options. To do that, consider factors like:
- The chiropractor’s gender, as you may feel more comfortable with a same-sex professional
- What kind of appointments the chiropractor offers since some clients prefer virtual telehealth appointments over in-person ones
- Whether the chiropractor accepts your insurance and, if so, what services may be covered
Additionally, consider what kind of techniques the chiropractor offers. Most chiropractors will list the techniques they specialize in on their websites. If not, do not be afraid to give the chiropractor a call to learn more.
Make sure you ask about services specifically for back pain. Why does this matter? A chiropractor for joint pain will differ in their approach from a chiropractor for sports injuries or for upper and lower back issues.
The best type of chiropractic care for back pain depends on your unique symptoms. Some of the more common ones are the toggle drop, motion palpation, and the flexion-distraction technique.
6. Schedule a Consultation
Once you have narrowed down your list to two or three chiropractors, consider scheduling an appointment with all of them. Some chiropractors offer free consultations. Even if they don’t, the benefits of attending one will outweigh the cost.
During a consultation, the chiropractor will ask you to fill out patient intake forms. You will list any pre-existing health conditions as well as information about your back pain symptoms. This is also a great time to verify your insurance.
But the consultation is not just for these administrative requirements. It is also the perfect time to ask any burning questions you may have. Bring a list of questions with you to the consultation so you won’t forget something important.
7. Evaluate the Customer Service
89% of consumers say customer service plays a significant role in whether or not they buy a product or service again. This is also true for medical service providers, including chiropractors.
You may spend two or three hours a week with your chiropractor. The last thing you want is to dread each visit because the office staff is not so pleasant or your chiropractor has a poor bedside manner.
Former clients often mention customer service in their reviews. But there is no better way to evaluate a chiropractor’s service level than to check it out firsthand during your initial consultation.
8. Find Out What Services Are Offered
Some chiropractors may specialize in adult care, while others are pediatric chiropractors. Many chiropractors even specialize in both. That is why it is essential to understand whether or not a chiropractor works with clients like you.
Some chiropractors go a step further. They may offer lifestyle services to help you improve your diet and physical activity habits. Others may provide relaxation and de-stressing techniques.
Don’t know what kind of services you would benefit from most? You and your chiropractor can discuss this during your consultation. Then, your chiropractor can customize a treatment plan for your unique needs.
9. Ask About the Chiropractor’s Fee Structure
Most health insurance plans cover chiropractic care when it is medically necessary. However, you have to have specific symptoms. You cannot get insurance coverage for chiropractic care to treat general symptoms.
But say your insurer does not cover chiropractors, or you need non-medically necessary care. In that case, you need to ask about the cost of the services you need. That way, you can avoid any surprise bills that could put you in debt.
After all, chiropractic care is not cheap. You may pay hundreds of dollars per appointment without insurance. The good news is that some chiropractors offer payment plans, so ask about this during your consultation.
10. Rely on Your Gut Instinct
At the end of the day, picking the best chiropractor for upper back pain or lower back pain is all about personal preference. As we have mentioned, you may be working with your chiropractor for many hours a week for months or years.
You want to choose a chiropractor whom you can trust to make the process less stressful. So, if a chiropractor gives you weird vibes during your consultation, don’t second guess yourself.
Instead, mark that professional off your list and keep searching. You will be thankful you did not settle when you find a chiropractor who does make you feel at ease.
Searching for a “Chiropractor for Back Pain Near Me”?
Finding the right chiropractor for back pain is not always easy. We hope this guide gives you some ideas on how to get started with your search. That way, you can finally find relief from pain and start your journey toward recovery.
Are you searching for chiropractic care for back pain in the Glendale/Los Angeles area? Healthwise Chiropractic specializes in long-term pain relief from debilitating conditions like lower back pain.
Contact Healthwise today to schedule a consultation and find out if we are the right chiropractor for you.