We received a phone call at our State College chiropractic office today from a potential new patient who asked point blank, “Are you the type of chiropractor that recommends long treatment plans during the first visit?” I’ve answered this question so many times that my response is as immediate as a knee jerk reflex. The man on the phone was wondering if I was going to “sell” him a treatment plan or if he could just come in whenever he would like. Of course, the answer goes like this, “Sir, I can only make recommendations for care after understanding the history of your complaint and performing an exam focused to the area of complaint. Some cases require a treatment plan, some may only require a follow up or two, and others may need a referral to another provider. Would you like to set up an appointment?”
I get it. As a new patient, how do you know if a chiropractor is recommending a fair and honest plan or if they are simply trying to get as much money out of you as possible? Let’s face it, we’ve all heard the old saying, “Once you go to a chiropractor, you’ll have to go for the rest of your life.” Well, there are many different chiropractors with many different philosophies, and this doesn’t have to be true.
It’s important to remember that a chiropractic treatment plan is designed to allow you, the patient, to get the most out of your care. At our chiropractic office in State College, we create objective goals for the outcome of your treatment. This helps us measure your improvement in real terms. For some, it could be reasonable to expect 100% resolution of pain and fully restored range of motion. For others with more serious issues, the goals may be more modest. Regardless of the goals, the plan is designed to give you the most benefit possible. In most cases, it is unlikely that just one or two visits will be sufficient to fix your problem.
Treatment plans are the standard of care in the chiropractic profession. So how do you know if you have been recommended a reasonable plan or if you are being taken advantage of? Well, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Be cautious of chiropractors that ask you to pay up front and sign a contract. Be especially cautious if these plans include more than 20 visits. Run away fast if the initial plan lasts more than 2 months.
- X-rays aren’t useful for determining where your spine needs to be “adjusted.” If your chiropractor uses x-rays to explain why you need treatment, you might consider getting a second opinion.
- Research shows that chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment option for neck pain, back pain, and certain types of headaches. If a chiropractor tells you to get adjusted for issues that aren’t related to muscles or joints, consider calling our office for a second opinion.
I hope this information is useful. It is our mission at Brummert Family Chiropractic in State College, PA to help patients make informed decisions regarding their care. We guarantee our patients that they will never be sold care that they do not absolutely need. We will always give our honest opinion, even when that means referring our patients to other providers.