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When should I see a chiropractor?

Updated: Jan 13, 2022

When Should I See a Chiropractor?

We need to start by defining what a Chiropractor is. Chiropractic is often thought of as a type of treatment, rather than a profession. And that is understandable considering there are many Chiropractors who only perform spinal adjustments and then send you on your way.

A Chiropractor can be viewed as a non-surgical neuromusculoskeletal clinician that possesses the scope to diagnose and treat a vast number of conditions. We undergo 3.5 years of rigorous post-graduate training designed to help us also recognize pathology that is out of our scope and warrants referral to another provider.

Chiropractors are uniquely positioned to play an integral role in lifestyle interventions. This often involves a holistic approach to health, including nutritional and exercise advice, stress management, sleep hygiene, and potentially co-management with medical doctors, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, and/or mental health professionals.

In private practice, Chiropractors have the ability to book out longer patient visits. This affords us the time often necessary to fully listen to a patient’s story. This valuable time spent together can be instrumental in forming a strong therapeutic alliance, where the patient and clinician both play an integral part in shared-decision making.

So, when should you see a Chiropractor?

This really comes down to if you have a Chiropractor that you feel you can trust. A masterful Chiropractor should have the tools to directly help you with a multitude of conditions but, as stated before, also be able to recognize issues that are out of their scope and refer you along to another healthcare provider.

What can a chiropractor help you with?

These are some of the common reasons you might see a chiropractor.

  • Low Back Pain

  • Neck Pain

  • Mid-Back Pain

  • Shoulder Pain

  • Groin Pain

  • Hip and Hip Flexor Pain

  • Knee Pain

  • Ankle Pain

  • TMJ Pain

  • Sciatica

  • Disc Herniation

  • Pinched Nerve

  • Stenosis

  • Rotator Cuff Tears

  • Biceps Tendinitis/Tendinopathy

  • Shoulder Impingement

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

  • Piriformis Syndrome

  • IT Band Syndrome

  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

  • Femoral Acetabular Impingement

  • Hip Bursitis/Gluteal Tendinopathy

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinopathy

  • Jumper’s Knee (Patellar Tendinitis/Tendinopathy)

  • Golfer’s Elbow

  • Tennis Elbow

  • Hamstring Injuries

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5 Red Flags to look for when visiting a Chiropractor

There are also red flags to consider when choosing a Chiropractic clinic. The website, Choosing Wisely, is a great resource to help the lay person identify what to look for and what to stay away from when choosing a Chiropractor. In general, here are some things to look out for:

  1. Initial visit X-Rays: Unless your Chiropractor has reasonable suspicion of fracture, infection, cancer, or some other sinister pathology, initial visit X-Rays should NOT be taken.

  2. Using previous or current X-Rays/MRIs to sell you on a treatment plan. There is no QUALITY evidence to suggest that multiple visits to a Chiropractor per week is necessary in order to change anything on your imaging.

  3. Using your X-Ray to validate “spinal misalignments” and the need to correct them with specific Chiropractic adjustments. Also, never been validated. We all have minor asymmetries and outside of severe scoliosis, they are nothing you need to be concerned with.

  4. Spinal decompression packages: While spinal decompression can help some people some of the time, it is not a strongly supported intervention for back pain and should be used sparingly. Spinal decompression packages are often thousands of dollars up front. More cost effective measures should be tried first.

  5. Complete reliance on passive interventions such as: electric stimulation, ultrasound, ice, heat, massage, and even chiropractic adjustments without discussion or implementation of self-management strategies the patient can perform at home.

Are you interested in Chiropractic Care, or are you still unsure of who you should see to treat your painful condition? Book a free virtual discovery visit here. We can discuss your current situation and have an honest conversation.

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