Informed consumers know that making an educated choice is essential when choosing any type of healthcare provider. For good reason, people are often cautious when visiting an unknown healthcare provider regardless of the specialty. When choosing a chiropractor, for example, there are a few mistakes that you definitely want to avoid.
Mistake #1 – Not Getting A Full Evaluation
When determining your needs for chiropractic care, you simply must get your spine and nervous system evaluated before starting care. I experienced this mistake firsthand as a patient. As a teen, allergies and other immune challenges landed me on a merry-go-round of 12 different chiropractors over the course of six years and not one of them actually assessed my spine and nervous system in any way. Each time I went, whether alone or with my parents, I was simply laid on the table for whatever procedure they were doing without any assessment of the presenting state of my NeuroStructural system. I went many, many years without actually getting to the root cause of my concerns.
Important Takeaway: Going in for just a “crack” is only doing you a disservice and so is the practitioner.
Mistake #2 – Treating Chiropractic Care Like A Pain Pill
Another mistake that people make is equating chiropractic care to a pain pill. In an allopathic paradigm it’s very easy to associate chiropractic care with the same conceptual model we’re used to, like taking a pain pill or other medication for a condition. We also did this for years. My parents equated my childhood chiropractic care as a treatment for allergies that was no different than the over-the-counter or prescription medications I took for allergies. Actually, the care for your spine and nervous system is very different than taking a pain pill. Pharmaceuticals generally address symptoms and conditions, whereas the focus of chiropractic, when you’re getting it for its true benefit, is to improve function and maximize quality of life.
Important Takeaway: Chiropractic care isn’t like a bottle of Advil and should not be used in that way.
Mistake #3 – Stopping When Feeling Better
This is one of the most common mistakes that people make when getting chiropractic care as a chiropractor patient. You wouldn’t stop taking blood pressure medication the moment you feel better. You wouldn’t stop going to the gym when you notice that you’re moving towards your fitness goals and you certainly wouldn’t stop healthy eating habits right when you notice the benefits. Do you stop brushing their teeth when your teeth don’t hurt?
When it comes to a person’s spine and nervous system, many NeuroStructural dysfunctions ease at the superficial level before the underlying neurological behavior and spinal structure shift in a sustainable way. This means that deciding that you’ve received all the benefit you could get from care because pain has subsided is a mistake. When I was growing up and my allergies improved from chiropractic care, we constantly stopped care when I was better and three or four months later the allergies came back because the underlying NeuroStructural dysfunction was not addressed to the level that it needed to be.
Important Takeaway: The presence or absence of pain is not the measure of whether to start, stop or continue chiropractic care.
Mistake #4 – Not Getting Reassessed
Don’t avoid reassessments because you’re feeling better or feeling worse. Reassessments give your practitioner an objective way to assess your progress as well as to determine if they should make a change in their procedures. Ninety percent of your nerves do not sense pain but instead coordinate your body’s function. Having objective measures that a practitioner utilizes to assess your progress is very important.
Important Takeaway: Not having your chiropractic care provider assess your progress is like training for a marathon and never measuring your time.
Mistake #5 – Thinking That All Chiropractors Are Created Equally
Conventionally, most chiropractors focus on temporarily relieving pain, improving range of motion, or reducing muscle spasm, and many are very skilled at that set of goals.A chiropractic practitioner who focuses on NeuroStructural Optimization will concentrate on resolving nerve, structural, and behavioral dysfunctions in a more sustainable way by retraining the body and helping the system improve its functional capacity permanently.
Important Takeaway: Chiropractors are not all the same; you have to find one who can help you improve your NeuroStructural integrity and the quality of your life to address the underlying causes and achieve a sustainable change not just the concern of the current moment.
If you would like to find out more start with a consultation to determine if you may be better off with a healthier spine call our office today or request a complimentary consultation.