6 tips to find safe chiropractic care

Don't make a blind hiring decision. Know what to ask when finding the right chiropractor. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Joann Z.)

Don't make a blind hiring decision. Know what to ask when finding the right chiropractor. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Joann Z.)

Angie's List compiled the following guidelines for choosing a top-notch chiropractor based on information from the Chiropractic Stroke Awareness Group, with the help of licensed chiropractors across the country. For quality chiropractic care, choose a chiropractor who:

1. Emphasizes the importance of a balanced diet, regular exercise, better posture, minimizing stress, etc.

2. Takes a full medical history before starting treatment.

3. Recommends a medical facility take X-rays or MRIs to rule out fractures, gross pathology or something serious like a torn artery.

4. Discusses at length all risks and benefits of chiropractic manipulation.

5. Clearly establishes the type of treatment he or she is going to perform, its expected outcome, how long it will last and how much it will cost.

6. Refers you to a medical doctor if you or close family members have medical histories that indicate a thorough medical exam is necessary before any chiropractic treatment.


Comments

Having been to seven DC's over a forty-year period, all have given safe and effective relief. None have pushed me to get ancillary treatments. Several offered full "wellness" instruction and methods, each carefully explained, but done as offers not sales pitches. Items ranged from massage both manual and mechanical, diet instruction, yoga, and relaxation techniquies, among others. Given some of the very heavy work done by this slender under-weight dude, I doubt that, in one case in particular, I'd even be able to walk today were it not for a very capable DC. At the time, two local MD's I saw were of no help at all, beyond telling me to find other work and to simply rest. A good DC helps you live better.

Chiropractic malpractice insurance is about 5% the cost of average MD's. Stroke is an unreasonable concern. Chiropractors are physicians who perform more thorough physical diagnostics than most MD's. That makes the aforesaid recommendations superfluous. Chiropractors are very well capable and able to order and/or perform x-ray and other imaging if needed.

I have had a very stiff neck with a pull down feeling. I have had a MRI,CAT SCAN,X rays etc. No bone structure problem can be found. I was sent to therapy for the last three weeks with little results. I am know seeing a Chiropractor with the following treatment. Neck strechIng, heat to neck, ultrasound and electronic application. I am scheduled for ten straight days. I have been two days and noticed a little different feeling in my neck area. Any reply to this comment would be appreciated. CSS:

I agree with the other D'C's who have chimened in.. Not every patient needs, or should get an X-ray or MRI. I believe our medical costs are so high because of this thinking. Many patients present with simple sprains.strains, and after an exam and history of the patient, often can be treated and on their way. The writer of this article abviously is not a Chiropractor.

Two yrs ago my husband was playing volleyball in the pool and hurt his back so badly that he couldn't even stand up. He went to his doctor and was told it was just a pulled muscle, Was given no pain medication...I finally convinced him to go see my chiropractor.He couldn't even walk into the examing room, he curled in a fetal position three time before getting to it, because of the pain. I have never seen anyone in so much pain in all my life. After about 6 wks of treatments he was back to his old self I know there are some bad Chiropractors but there are also back doctors. I am lucky to say I found a very good one. CS

Chiropractic care is by far the safest form of health care. The proof of this is the rate that chiropractors pay for malpractice insurance. Chiropractors pay next to nothing when compared to medical physicians. There is good reason for this. The fewer the claims against a health care profession, the lower their rate of insurance. Chiropractors are well educated. As far as stroke and chiropractic is concerned, any knowledgeable chiropractor knows when to refer a patient for medical attention. Every study, and there are quite a few that have examined any relationship between chiropractic care and stroke, has concluded that there is a 1 in 1 million to 1 in 12 million chance that a chiropractic adjustment could cause a stroke. This is less than the use of aspirin or extending your head back into the shampoo bowl at the hairdresser.

The 6 guidelines listed above don't make much sense, and here's why. I've never met a colleague who didn't emphasize diet and lifestyle improvements to a patient. Chiropractic is a wellness discipline, and it is the goal of the profession to keep people well (not healthy- well). I agree that a DC should take a thorough history and do a complete exam before rendering care. X-rays do not need to be taken on patients every time they walk in the door. X-rays are invasive and should only be taken on patients when clinically indicated. To x-ray every single patient who walks in the door to rule out "potential fracture" is exposing patients to massive amounts of radiation that isn't needed. "Potential fracture" should be considered if the history dictates it (I fell on the ice). Then an x-ray should be considered. Yes, DC's should talk about risks and benefits. I'd like to someday soon see a written informed consent required from all patients prior to any health care provider starting care. Yes, a treatment plan from the onset should be given. This last point is, by far, the most annoying. If a patient is a candidate for chiropractic care, that's for the DC to determine. A MD can not make that determination because he doesn't know or understand what I do when I render care. The same is true when a patient needs medicine. At that point, a quality DC will make a referral to a medical provider so that the patient can get the medicine they need. Chiropractic has fought with medicine for over 100 years so that our profession would not be ancilliary. Chiropractic is it's own profession. A chiropractic can make their own determination if care is safe and when it's not. Any MD who tells a patient not to go to a chiropractor for ANY reason is violating the judgment from the 1986 Wilkes trial lawsuit, where the DC's sued the MD's in court- and won!

The comment about x-rays and MRIs be done at a medical facility is merely done to steer patients toward MD's and PT's and away from chiropractors. Chiropractors often take X-rays themselves at a lower cost and refer for MRI's when a condtion warrants it. This is really bad advice. The organization itself seems to link chiropractors with strokes, but yet the scientific literature is saying there is no linkage.

Terrible advice from a group largely known to be marginalized pundits of chiropractic care. So much for reviews you can trust...

This is utterly absurd. There is no linkage between chiropractic treatment and stroke. Chiropractors are well educate professionals who are capable of being your PCP. They do refer to specialists as needed. Cost analysis shows that those who utilize chiropractic as portal of entry providers spend less money and enjoy better health.

I just joined and this is the first place I went. Based on this I want a refund. Chiropractors and stroke only have one common thread. Seeing a chiropractor could help America avoid strokes!

Chiropractic is safe health care. Our saftey record is superlative in the healing arts. What we do is safer than aspirin.

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