What are the 5 things you should look for when choosing a new Chiropractor?
Finding a new Chiropractor can often be daunting, even as a Chiropractor I find this difficult. So i thought I would offer 5 tips to look out for when choosing your Chiropractor.
Currently in Australia we have two types of Chiropractic sub-types emerging, these are ‘Wellness Based Chiropractors’ and ‘Evidence Based Chiropractors’. Evidence based practice just means the Chiropractor will work similarly to a physiotherapist and use a biomedical/mechanical model of care. This means they are looking at the movement and function of your muscles and spine, and where available, they will adhere to what is considered ‘best practice’, based on current research. Generally, they will schedule your care based on pain and function.
I want to make it clear that I am neither for or against either type of practice. Some patients love the wellness approach and respond really well to the philosophy of care. At Bulimba Chiro, we use an evidence based approach to care, therefore I wanted to write about how you would find an EBP practitioner here in Australia:
NUMBER ONE: to X-ray or to not X-ray?
Taking X-rays without any medical question, unless the Chiropractor is a Gonstead trained Chiropractor, is usually part of the Wellness Chiropractors approach to care. They will usually want an X-ray at your initial appointment and have you return in a day or so for your treatment.
Evidenced Based Chiropractors (EBC) will treat without the need for X-rays unless they are deemed medically necessary. This may be ruling out some sort of pathological risk or just to establish if there any congenital abnormalities to consider. These X-rays are usually bulk-billed and not charged to you.
Current research suggests that imaging of the lumbar spine, in the first instance of back pain, should be held off for at least 4 weeks of conservative care. This is because we know that what you see on the scan often will not correlate with the patients pain or problem.
NUMBER TWO: What techniques do they use?
This question is crucial for you to look for in a new Chiropractor especially if you have seen a Chiropractor before and know what works well for you. If you’re used to seeing and SOT/NET/NOT or other low force Chiropractor you would probably find a Gonstead/Sports based Chiropractor very different. As a low force practitioner i would often have patients coming in only to ask to ‘just get cracked’ and they would be disappointed when i advised that i was probably the wrong Chiropractor for them. So do your research and find a Chiropractor that uses techniques you like or a are used to. If you don’t know what techniques you like, then the only way to find out is to try!
NUMBER 3: Check out their reviews
As AHPRA registered practitioners we are not allowed to offer testimonials on our website from patients. However we are ok to have recommendations and reviews on independent websites such as Google or Facebook. So take a quick look through the reviews but also take them with a pinch of salt too. One patients’ experience may be totally different to yours, especially if the Chiropractor has 15 ratings at 5 stars and then 1 bad review because the receptionist was having a tough day.
NUMBER 4: How do they take their bookings?
Many patients don’t mind pre-booking their appointments with the receptionist as they may be terrible at keeping appointments or they may not keep up with their recommended schedule of care. However, in a world of convenience and ‘ i want it now’ kind of approach, I prefer having an online booking Chiropractor. This means I can see what’s available, cancel, reschedule and generally control my booking based on my busy schedule. Without this, i would definitely be a crisis care patient! Yes i am ashamed to admit this.
NUMBER 5: Do they have a photo on their website? If so, go with your gut feeling
I always check out the photo of any practitioner, including medical practitioner, before I make a booking. Building rapport with a practitioner is important and trust is also important when working towards your health goals. First impressions help build your opinion of the person, so if your gut feeling says ‘no’ then go with it. If it says ‘ooh i like the look of them’, then you’re more likely to build a good rapport with them and have a positive experience.
Good luck in your journey of finding the best Chiropractor for you! If you like this blog, make sure you click the facebook like button!