Q&A: What to Know Before Your First Visit to the Chiropractor
Updated: Apr 7, 2019
By: Kelsey Schwab
Why do you need a chiropractor?
There are many initial reasons to start going to the chiropractor and many reasons to continue receiving chiropractic treatment long term. In general, when you have some type of musculoskeletal pain, a chiropractor can help treat your pain naturally.
What are the main reasons for someone to seek out chiropractic care?
Low back or neck pain
Childhood developmental milestones
How are chiropractors educated?
Chiropractors go through rigorous medical training to receive their degree as a Doctor of Chiropractic or D.C. Like other types of doctors, chiropractors must first complete undergraduate study before they can begin their studies. Their training in anatomy, manipulation, and osteopathic medicine is much more advanced than any other type of doctor. In addition, many chiropractors go on to receive advanced certifications in areas like sports injury, prenatal care, and infant care.
What are the benefits of chiropractic?
Improve neurological function
Decrease need for painkillers
Does getting treated hurt?
Short answer: possibly. When you are in acute pain, think about how much it hurts to do anything. Getting adjusted or manipulated by a chiropractor can be uncomfortable when you are in severe discomfort, but thankfully the treatments are designed to help fix the issue and alleviate pain. A normal treatment when your body is functioning normally typically feels like a release of tension and the ability to move more freely.
Will I need to go to the chiropractor forever?
It’s the same idea for any type of maintenance. Does your car need to be serviced just one time in its life? Can you work out one day and be fit forever? You move, exercise, and stress your body everyday. These stressors can cause joint fixations or muscular adhesions in the body that need to be treated in order to ease pain. Keeping a normal routine of seeing your chiropractor every 2-6 weeks will help your body be more mobile and catch injuries before they become a problem.
Will insurance cover my care?
With most health insurance plans, there are two routes you can go with which type of doctor you chose: in-network or out-of-network. Generally speaking, if you choose to go in-network the doctors are limited with the procedures, amount of time, treatment plan and expertise they have to offer. If you go to an out-of-network doctor, they will typically have more advanced education, technology, and can spend a lot more time with their patients. Basically you get more bang for your buck and get healthier faster with an out-of-network doctor. Out-of-network doctors are covered by most patients insurance, but the specifics of your plan dictates whether it is worth it or not to pay cash rates or go through your insurance. For any doctors visit, if going through your insurance is important to you make sure to call your insurance company or your doctors office to verify your benefits before setting up an appointment.
How many visits do I need?
Every issue and every body will require a different length of care. The main determinants have to do with how acute or chronic your issue is, how well you keep up with active care (exercise, stretches, physical therapy) and what your day to day activities include.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
Leave your kids at home if you can! Appointments are much more through and seamless when there are less distractions.
Don’t be scared to tell your doctor about pain you are having that is not involved with the spine. Not only can they treat extremities, they are knowledgeable about what direction to point you in if they think your issue requires a different type of medicine.
Kelsey Schwab is the billing manager at Washington Park Chiropractic. She grew up in the fountainhead of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa. She has been a chiropractic patient all of her life and is an advocate for doctors of chiropractic.