What you should look for in a chiropractor
What you should look for in a chiropractor depends on your healthcare needs. Most people think of chiropractors as licensed medical professionals who use manual manipulation of the spine to temporarily relieve back or neck pain without medication or surgery. This is generally true, but chiropractors, like medical doctors, specialize in certain fields. The first thing to look for, then, is a chiropractor who has experience dealing with your particular disorder.
Check the Credentials
Regardless of your particular malady, you will want to make sure the chiropractor you select is licensed to practice by your state. Even a superficial check of a practicing chiropractor’s credentials should reveal:
- A four-year Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree from an institution accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education
- Additional study, often in the form of a two- or three-year residency, in medical fields such as orthopedics, biomechanics, neurology, physiology, rehabilitation or other areas
- Completion of a competency examination administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners
- Annual continuing education courses or programs administered by the American Chiropractic Association or other accredited chiropractic organizations
In addition to education and certification, you’ll want to make sure the chiropractor you choose has a clean track record and is someone whose methodology matches your expectations. Consider each of the following before making a decision:
- Safety – have this chiropractor’s patients complained of manipulation-related complications?
- Effectiveness – how well have this chiropractor’s methods worked, and how often are treatments required?
- Philosophy – does this chiropractor embrace scientific diagnosis methods, as well as other conservative treatments such as physical therapy?
- Competence – have there been actions taken against this chiropractor by a regulatory board?
If you can’t find a chiropractor you’re comfortable with, or if you’ve tried chiropractics and continue to experience chronic back or neck pain, contact Laser Spine Institute. The orthopedic specialists at Laser Spine Institute perform advanced minimally invasive procedures on an outpatient basis to help patients rediscover a life without back or neck pain.