What makes one chiropractor better than another?
Is it the doctor? The length of a visit? The decor of the office? The location?
I'd make the argument that what's best for one person is different than another. You get to decide what is best for you.
When searching for a chiropractor it's important to consider the following:
Length of visit - the length of both an inital visit & follow up visit can greatly vary from office to office. I've been in offices where an initial visit was less than 15 minutes and a follow up less than 5. While this may work for some, others are looking for more time with their provider to better understand their condition & how to reduce it from reoccuring.
Services provided - some chiropractors only adjust the spine. If you're having neck or low back pain, that is great. Having ankle pain? - might not be the best.
Other chiropractors provide a wide range of services or have employed other people to provide them in office. Is having a massage therapist in office important to you? Do you want a chiropractor that can work on any part of your musculoskeletal system? Is being provided education & exercises to decrease the number of visits in office important?
Techniques used - If your expectations of a chiropractic visit include: get adjusted and leave but you schedule with an office that is rehab/exercise based, you may be unhappy. If you like being manually adjusted & go to an office that uses an instrument, that might not be best. If you prefer a light touch and go to someone heavy handed, you might be displeased.
Personality of Doctor - Do you place value in your doctor "practicing what they preach"? Do you feel comfortable sharing your health history with them? Do you like their communication style? Do you feel seen, heard and valued in your interactions?
Office details - are you willing to drive farther for the type of care you prefer or is time a limiting factor? Do you want to be able to schedule online? Do you value the services provided to pay their fee? Does whether or not your insurance company cover services impact your choice? Is it important that you are seen one on one or is being treated in a group session ok with you?
When developing Empowered MVMT, I thought back to my experiences as a patient and as a professional in different styles of offices. I thought about what I wanted from my providers and what could have been improved to be come the best chiropractor in Boise.
I wanted to be able to know what to expect prior to my visit. Reaching out for help can be scary & not knowing what is going to happen, increases that fear. With the available technology, I expect to be able to visit a website, learn about the practice & the doctor. I also want to be able to schedule online as the back and forth between the receptionist, trying to find a time that works with my schedule can be frustrating. I also would like the opportunity to fill out any paperwork (ideally online) prior to my visit.
Be on time! While I can understand that things happen and that I may have to wait a few minutes, I've been in offices waiting for 20+ minutes past my appointment time to be seen.
I look at the first visit to any new provider as a screening session of whether I'm going to jive with the doctor or not. I want to feel like my concerns are being taken seriously & assured that I am in the right office.
Education & empowerment are two things that are incredibly important to me. I want to know what I could do differently in the future to decrease my concern from returning. I want to understand what contributes to my concern & be given advice on how to modify.
Follow up visits
Once again, be on time.
If I decide to continue seeing the provider (they passed the first visit screening test), I want to know the intention behind the services provided. Are we trying to decrease pain, improve flexibility, increase strength?
I want to know when I can expect to feel better. No doctor has the ability to 100% say how your body is going to respond to treatment but I would like to know roughly when most people with my condition show improvement. If I'm not improving, I want to know my options. Do I need to get imaging? See another type of doctor? Buy different shoes?
One of the most common complaints I hear about chiropractors, is that too frequently people are seen for long periods of time, without improvement so people get frustrated and give up on the profession as a whole. This makes sense to me. I wouldn't see my primary care physician for months on end about a concern without any improvement.
Length of time of visits is also important to me. I've been in offices where I see the doctor for less than 5 minutes. This doesn’t leave a lot of time for talking or really anything besides a quick adjustment & a see ya later.
Plan for the future
I don't want to spend all the time and money into getting better only to be told to reschedule when the pain returns. Why isn't there an option to continue working on improving my issues and decreasing the chance that it will return?
Well, there kind of is, it's called wellness or maintenance care and unfortunately most insurance companies don't cover it. There's not a lot of value placed in prevention in our current insurance model. Since we have been conditioned to expect our insurance to cover our care, we have let insurance companies start dictating what care we need, whether it actually is what we need or not.
This gap is what leaves many people in an injury cycle. At Empowered MVMT, we are actively working to fill this gap by providing customized continuation plans to reduce your risk of injury in the future.
At the end of the day, you get to decide what goes into making one chiropractor the best compared to another.