If you know anyone who’s sought chiropractic care, you know it is effective for treating a variety of issues, including common pain complaints. Much like other doctors, not all chiropractors are the same, and not all approach the practice of chiropractic care the same way. Consider these seven questions you should ask your chiropractor before starting treatment.

1. Will I Need X-Rays?

Not every condition needs X-rays before beginning chiropractic care. Some practices rely solely on the practitioner feeling the problem and addressing it. However, in some cases, structural imaging helps identify underlying issues and guides the course of treatment.

If your particular situation warrants imaging, ask whether it’ll be done in-house or whether you’ll need to seek outside imaging. You’ll also want to ask whether this is covered by your insurance or if it’s included in the fee for your initial appointment.

You’ll also want to ask about whether repeat imaging is required, and at what frequency. Ask how repeat imaging will influence your care. This helps you evaluate the risks and costs of imaging balanced with the benefits.

2. Will Chiropractic Care Help My Problem?

One key question that many people fail to ask is whether chiropractic care can help with your problem. Sometimes this leads to unrealistic expectations and disappointment in the outcome of the treatment.

Chiropractic care helps with a host of symptoms caused by improper structural alignment. However, there are some issues that need more invasive treatment than chiropractic offers. While these instances are uncommon, they do happen. This is why it’s important to be upfront with your chiropractor about the extent of your problem.

In addition to asking about whether chiropractic care will help your particular problem, be sure to ask about possible side effects. Most people respond very favorably to chiropractic manipulation, but some minor side effects are possible. Of those who do experience side effects typically experience a little discomfort in the treatment area, fatigue, or headache.

3. What Types of Treatment Will I Need?

Most people think about the spinal manipulation that is commonly discussed. This type of technique is called high velocity, low amplitude, or HVLA manipulation, and is known as the Diversified Chiropractic Technique. However, this is not the only treatment available.

Rather, in some cases, your chiropractor may use a special tool called an activator. They may also use a lower force manipulation for patients with osteoporosis or other conditions. They may also employ other forms of treatment like spinal decompression. Some problems also need muscle strengthening to help the body keep the adjustment in place. Your chiropractor may need to provide specialized resistance techniques to help strengthen those muscles.

You may not need the same treatment techniques throughout the entire course of treatment. Rather, your chiropractor should have a host of treatment options available and be able to explain why they are choosing the specific treatment style for your particular situation.

4. How Many Visits Should I Expect?

How many times will the chiropractor need to see you, and how often? This is an important consideration to evaluate how it’ll fit into your life.

First, there’s the consideration of the cost per visit, and how many visits your insurance will cover. Beyond that, there is the consideration of how you’ll fit it into your life with all of your other responsibilities.

What you’re looking for is an estimate of how long your chiropractor expects to intensely treat this specific problem. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t stop regular chiropractic treatment once your symptoms subside. Rather, routine visits help keep your body healthy and prevent many issues that require more intense treatments.

5. How Much Should I Expect Treatment to Cost?

Upfront pricing is important to understand as you consider your treatment options. If your insurance covers your visits, how much is your copay? If you need more visits than your insurance allows, what is the cost per visit after your insurance visits run out?

Some chiropractors also offer special pricing for cash patients, including discounts for prepaying for treatment bundles. The benefit of prepaid bundle payments is not only potentially reducing your treatment cost but also relieving the stress of having to pay each time, helping you relax during your session.

When asking about how much you’ll pay for the recommended treatment, also ask for an itemized quote. This allows you to see the various components they are recommending and the charges associated with each.

6. Is Massage Included?

Massage has many benefits that aid with chiropractic care, which is why many chiropractors include some massage techniques as part of their treatment. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you’re necessarily getting the same level of massage that you’d expect with a 30-minute visit with a massage therapist.

Some targeted massage, also known as trigger point massage, helping to reduce inflammation, break up scar tissue, and improve circulation. All of these are important to getting the most from your chiropractic treatments and getting on the road to recovery.

Some chiropractic clinics have a massage therapist on staff, and your treatment may warrant seeing them as part of your plan. However, the chiropractic treatment itself may not include massage, so be sure to discuss the benefits and frequency with your chiropractor.

7. Do You Offer Other Therapies Too?

Chiropractic adjustments are just one component of recovering from an injury. You’ll often achieve better results when you balance chiropractic care with other areas your practitioner has received training. This could include nutritional education, supplement recommendations, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), hydrotherapy, and more. As you discuss your treatment plan, be sure to ask about other recommendations to prepare your body for the fullest recovery possible.

Don’t find yourself wishing you had sought chiropractic treatment sooner. If you’re in the Redmond area, call (425) 636-0303 to schedule your chiropractic consultation with the experts at Structural Chiropractic.