Finding the Right Chiropractor for You
Auto accidents are never a desirable experience. They are the third-leading cause of death and the leading cause of injuries in the US according to the CDC as reported by Healthline. After an auto accident, unless you have life-threatening injuries needing a trip to an emergency room, the first doctor you should see is a musculoskeletal specialist—a chiropractor. Chiropractors specialize in treating the spine and the tissues around it, which are often injured in auto accidents. These types of injuries are often missed by primary care providers and left untreated can result in serious harm.
According to new national studies, chiropractors are trained to treat injuries typically associated with auto accidents and have been proven to administer the safest, most time-effective treatments, which maximize recovery at a 2-3X cost savings over other doctor treament plans.
A quick search for “auto injury chiropractor near me” or “car accident chiropractor near me” will produce a long list, but what the list won’t tell you is the quality of the practice or the practice’s credentials for servicing auto injuries and delivering better and faster heal times. So how do you narrow that list and choose the right chiropractor for auto-accident back and whiplash-related injuries?
Is the Chiropractor an Auto Injury Specialist with Experience?
Auto accidents often cause whiplash, neck pain, back pain, thoracic compression fractures, sprains, strains, and injuries such as ligament and muscle tears, which don’t always appear in an X-ray. When you’ve suffered an injury from a car accident, chiropractors have the expertise to help you heal faster. However, even among chiropractors, not all chiropractors are the same in proficiency to detect, diagnose, and treat auto injury conditions.
Auto accident chiropractors have a powerful assortment of state-of-the-art techniques (e.g., spinal adjustments, rehabilitative exercise, and soft tissue treatments) from which to build a unique treatment plan tailored to your circumstances. Does the chiropractor you are researching have the evidence-based equipment to be able to analyze, diagnose, and treat your specific injuries? You can learn more about how we do this from day one in our blog here.
Here are a few simple things you can check to determine if the chiropractor you are researching has the experience you need:
Seek Out Recommendations
First, contact people you know and trust—relatives, friends, coworkers, your primary care physician, and other medical professionals. People will likely give you a name or two and share their experiences. Of course, opinions can vary from person to person, so you’ll still need to do some homework on referrals given, but if all goes well, you will end up with a shortlist of chiropractors.
Research the Chiropractor’s Website
The first thing you want to look for when researching a chiropractor for auto injuries is content on their website, specifically, how they service auto injuries.
Chiropractic practices should have a website with an overview of the practice, staff bios, services provided, techniques and treatments used, and contact information. Some may include videos, blogs, links to events, and more. Websites are excellent sources of information and a great place to begin your research.
When it comes to auto injuries, though, it isn’t enough to have general information on a website. Does the chiropractor have any blogs or service pages about what to expect after a car accident? Auto injuries are some of the most serious types of injuries that a chiropractor sees, and you want to know that you are in good hands with someone who has the experience and expertise to treat these injuries with time-proven results from other patients.
Social Media and Reviews – What Are Other People Saying?
We live in the feedback era where it is easy… sometimes almost too easy… for people to express their opinions and leave feedback and reviews for everything from a shower loofa to a brain surgeon. Not all chiropractic offices deliver the same kind of service either, so examining what people are saying about the chiropractor you are researching is a great way to get a sense of the quality of care delivered by that chiropractic medical practice.
You can find these under the Reviews section of Facebook or by simply googling the practice name or chiropractor’s name. Not only should you look at the star rating but also how many reviews the practice has and read a sampling of the reviews, both good and bad, to get a fuller picture of the practice.
If a practice only has 5-star reviews, it may be too good to be true, like with purchased reviews, so we think that a practice with a 4.5-4.9 rating is ideal and more realistic and believable.
When reading the reviews left by patients, do they indicate things like atmosphere and culture and use keywords that would make you feel safe, like “warm” and “welcoming” or “friendly” or “helpful.” Does the practice take the time to respond to the reviews received as well? This is a good indicator of a patient-centric staff.
Need to make sure we white out the patients last name in this review – that’s standard practice for our company anytime we post reviews.
Degrees and Certifications
A chiropractor must have a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree from an accredited Doctor of Chiropractic program. Furthermore, the chiropractor must also be licensed by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Chiropractors may take on additional studies and receive certifications in specialties such as auto accident injuries. You can check a chiropractor’s credentials on the state licensing board’s website.
How Long Has the Chiropractor Been in Practice?
Find out how long the chiropractor has been in practice, what types of injuries they treat, what areas they specialize in, and what kind of treatments they have used.
Look for someone who is evidence-informed. For example, studies show that a certain combination of adjustments and rehabilitative exercises produces favorable results for neck and back pain. You should always look for someone who uses evidence-based techniques, which is why we invest so heavily in tools like our online-assessment tool and in-office medical equipment to diagnose and treat various musculoskeletal conditions accurately. Also, if you research your condition, you can develop a set of questions to ask the chiropractor to see if their experience matches your needs.
Examine the Doctor/Patient Relationship
It is essential to find a chiropractor who communicates well with you, someone who listens to your concerns, answers your questions, and explains findings and treatments. You should always feel comfortable with your treatment. A great chiropractor will also develop a post-treatment plan with you so that you can maintain your health once your treatment plan has ended.
When considering professional relationships, look for a chiropractor who can collaborate with your medical doctor, other caregivers. If an auto injury or workers’ comp lawsuit is in the works, make sure they will work with your attorney. They may even be able to recommend someone from these other professions if you need.
Transparent Pricing: Explore the Cost of Personal Injury Chiropractic Care
The cost of a chiropractor after a car accident varies by doctor, location, and treatment needed. Ask about fees for initial consultation and treatments they may recommend for you.
Next, you’ll need to figure out how those fees will be paid: by you out of pocket or by other sources.
- The other driver. If the accident was the other driver’s fault, they might be responsible for at least some of your expenses. Talk to your vehicle insurance agent and, if needed, an attorney for advice on how to receive payment.
- Your medical and auto insurance. Review your policies and talk to your insurance providers to make sure you understand what is covered by medical insurance and your auto insurance’s personal injury protection. Look for or ask about what percentage of expenses they will pay for and what maximums apply. Find out whether your chiropractor is included in your plan’s network, what deductibles, copays, and other expenses you will need to pay for yourself. Also, ask your chiropractor’s office which insurances they accept.
- Workers’ Compensation. If your accident was work-related, check with your employer’s benefits department to learn what is covered and what you need to do to process your claim.
If you don’t think you can afford possible out-of-pocket costs, talk to the chiropractor’s office. Many chiropractors offer affordable self-pay options.
Choosing an auto injury chiropractor specialist is no easy task. But a little research on your part goes a long way. Start with recommendations from people you trust, check credentials, experience, and types of treatment. Finding a great chiropractor is an investment in your health that you won’t regret.
At Kaizo Health, our world-class team of chiropractors in Rockville, MD; Landover, MD; Fort Washington, MD; and Fairfax, VA practice an evidence-based approach combining chiropractic care and rehabilitative exercises. We provide the treatment and resources you need to recover your health and strength. If you are suffering pain from an auto accident, don’t hesitate to contact us here. We are here to help! In the meantime, make sure that you check out our blog for more information on the chiropractic field, tips and tricks for your overall health and wellness, as well as our free virtual self-assessment chiropractic web app here.
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