Before the explosion of advanced technology in the last two decades, choosing a chiropractor was as simple as opening up the New Jersey Yellow Pages book. While this was certainly a simpler time, patients had to go through a process of trial and error to determine if their chosen chiropractor was an adequate fit for their needs. Fortunately, today, there are endless resources that can be utilized to help you make the right decision for your specific chiropractic needs.
Understanding Your Condition
From chronic back pain and migraines to whiplash and sciatica, chiropractors in NJ treat numerous conditions. Each of these conditions will require a different course of action when it comes to treatment. For instance, a person who is suffering from inflammatory arthritis may require a more gentle spinal adjustment than someone with chronic back pain. Researching your specific condition can help you understand which methods may be most effective in restoring functionality and eliminating pain, allowing you to play an active role in your healthcare.
Understanding Chiropractic Methods
When it comes to chiropractic methods, there are two distinct philosophies around the globe as well as here in New Jersey: traditional and mixed. Traditional chiropractors utilize a hands-only approach with spinal adjustment methods such as high-velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) techniques. They often do not make use of diagnostic tools, like X-rays and believe that injuries and pain can be relieved by properly restoring the alignment of the vertebrae. Mixed-method chiropractors understand that pain has specific causes. They operate based on scientific evidence and will use X-rays, physical therapy, acupuncture and other therapies in your treatment, along with spinal alignments.
Performing a Background Check
Nearly 2,000 chiropractors in New Jersey are listed with the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors. To become a member of the association, the chiropractor must meet a strict set of guidelines. These guidelines include demonstrating good moral character, successfully completing all educational requirements, passing the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners Examination and passing the New Jersey Chiropractic Jurisprudence Examination. Searching for a chiropractor listed with this association eliminates a lot of the guess work. In addition to seeking a member of the association, you may also wish to investigate further by performing a simple Google search of your chiropractor’s name.
Researching Payment Plans/Terms
Many New Jersey residents are insured with health plans that offer coverage for chiropractic treatments. Unfortunately, some policies do not cover chiropractic care at all and others provide limited coverage for procedures. Before committing to a chiropractor in NJ, inquire about your coverage and discuss payment options with the chiropractic office. Some offices may require payment for procedures in advance and in some cases, discounts may be offered for paying for an entire treatment up front.
Recommendations are perhaps one of the most useful tools in determining if a chiropractor is right for you. These recommendations can come in many forms, whether an official recommendation through your primary care physician (PCP); by word of mouth through friends, family or co-workers; or even through online reviews written by strangers. While recommendations and reviews can undoubtedly sway you to further investigate a chiropractor, keep in mind that everyone will have their own medical needs and experiences, which may necessarily vary from your own.
Just as your personality is different from those of your colleagues or family members, each chiropractor will also have their own distinctive characteristics. The chiropractor certainly does not have to share your personality traits to be professional or effective, but it is important to feel at ease during sessions and be able to freely express your opinions.
5 Important Questions to Ask a Chiropractor
1. Which chiropractic techniques do you prefer and why?
Some chiropractors prefer to use their hands while others prefer to use tools or instruments. Asking this question and allowing the chiropractor to explain why they prefer these methods will allow you to determine if you will be comfortable with their treatment plan.
2. How many years of experience do you have with these specific chiropractic techniques?
A new study conducted last year may have persuaded a chiropractor to utilize a new tool or adopt new strategies, despite their 20 years of experience. Questioning the chiropractor’s specific experience with the techniques they plan to use in your treatment will give you a better idea of what to expect.
3. How many of your patients are being treated for the same condition and what have their outcomes been?
If your chiropractor has hundreds of satisfied clients, but none of them suffer from the same condition as you do, it is difficult to predict what your outcome may be. By asking how many patients have the same condition and learning what their outcomes have been, you can anticipate similar results.
4. How will you determine how many visits I will need?
Ideally, your treatment plan should be catered to your needs and your ability to meet specific milestones rather than a predetermined time frame.
5. What caused my pain and what steps can I take at home to lessen the pain?
A competent chiropractor should be able to explain specifically what has caused your injury or pain. Whether it is related to poor posture or a direct result of an obvious injury, you will need to be advised on how to prevent relapses. Likewise, your chiropractor should provide written instructions on how to relieve pain at home.
By thoroughly understanding your needs and researching a local chiropractor in NJ before making an appointment, you can eliminate wasted time and feel confident that you are being treated by one of the best in the Garden State.