Choosing the RIGHT Spine Care Provider:
As a preface to those reading this page, this is a list of scams used by unscrupulous chiropractors throughout the country. It is not intended to be an attack on any of the local chiropractors in the surrounding area. There are a number of different schools, belief systems, and management styles within the chiropractic profession. This should be used as a guide for those who have never sought care from a chiropractor, are unhappy with their current chiropractor or are wary of chiropractors in general.
Be Wary of the Following Chiropractic Practices
Many Chiropractors have a number of different methods of soliciting unnecessary care and office visits out of their patients. Some knowingly do this as a way to make more money, others likely do it out of a blind belief in their own model of care for their patients. These methods include but are not limited to:
A large lump sum down payment up front prior to the initiation of any form care, it may also include a schedule of all of your future appointments/therapies.
Mandatory x-rays for every patient who walks in the door, regardless of presentation. Please see below for a more indepth explanation!
Utilization of an expensive piece of equipment on a routine basis, even for conditions that would benefit from another type of manipulative therapy or another branch of health care all together (most common example is a practice that just purchased a $10,000 spinal decompression table and wants to recoup the money by putting every patient that walks into the office on the table).
There are cases where x-rays are determined to be medically necessary prior to the initiation of care as a means of ruling out more ominous causes of pain (i.e. cancer, fractures, other diseases). However, the general concensus amongst most evidence-informed chiropractors is that x-rays do not necessarily have to be required prior to the initiation of treatment if there aren't any signs/symptoms that necessitate further investigation. With that said, some chiropractic treatment techniques call for x-rays before, during, and after a course of treatment as a means of measuring progress and a response to treatment. Ask plenty of questions, if you feel that you are responding well to care then continue as you and your chiropractor see fit. However, if you feel that you aren't responding well and the repeated x-rays are adding up without any notable benefits, voice your concern.
Ignoring the Important Details
Some Chiropractors blindly believe that every single person alive should be seen and "adjusted" once a week for the rest of their lives without any rational, evidence-based thought process behind the belief. Many times, those practitioners believe so blindly in their model of health care that they neglect to perform a thorough history and examination on their patients. It is very important to pay attention to how the Chiropractor questions and examines you prior to the initiation of treatment.
Avoid Chiropractors Who:
Bring you into the room, ask you very few questions (usually not specific questions) during the initial visit, lay you down on the table and begin treating you immediately.
Treat areas of the spine that are unrelated to the area of chief complaint (i.e. Chiropractors who adjust the cervical spine in patients who present for evaluation and treatment of lower back pain only).
Do not provide you with a Review of Findings and cover an Informed Consent prior to the initiation of treatment and continue updating their informed consent as you are seen and treated for other conditions.