What to Look for in a Chiropractor

It’s safe to say that chiropractors as a whole get a bad wrap. The typical perception of a chiropractor is that you’re going to get your “back-cracked” and have to keep coming back for life. Listen there are good and bad people in every profession. So what makes a chiropractor good at what they do? How do you know you are getting the best conservative chiropractic care possible? And what makes a chiropractor different from a physical therapist? 

What to Avoid 

Let’s start by discussing what to avoid. 

When you go to a chiropractor or physical therapist understand that you do not need x-rays to see the curvature of your spine. Of course, if you have acute trauma or suspect to progressive nerve compression get imaging. My point is that the curvature of your spine does not need to be seen on an image because at the end of the day, does it matter? Unless you have severe degeneration, fracture, or pathology, the curvature of your spine has no influence on spine pain and function (you know Usain Bolt has scoliosis right!?). 

You have heard me say this in the past but bones only move when a muscle influences the movement. This is no different in your spine. You usually see an abnormal curvature only if the muscles pulling on the spine are asymmetrical. So what do you do, rely on adjustments? NO. Rely on soft tissue work? NO. Influence symmetrical muscle pull by teaching the brain to control the muscles around the spine correctly? Yes. 

Avoid solely band-aid care! Band-aid care is an adjustment, soft tissue work, dry needling, and single-joint exercises that don’t fix the root cause of the issue. We preach on this all the time. Look for someone that is working on changing the way you move so you do not have to rely on band-aid care for the rest of your life. Band-aid care is nice to relieve painful symptoms but does not fix the overall problem. Yes I know, band-aid care feels good, but at some point, you’re going to get tired paying for the same issue over and over. 

Avoid being another protocol! Be wary if someone spells out your whole treatment plan from start to finish. I remember doing rehab after my elbow surgery when I was younger and every visit they would go to the computer, type in my “issue”, and out came a list of exercises that we did that day. Every person has different strategies to move AND has a different ideal pattern that they should be moving in. Treatment should vary in response to how your body chooses to adapt to the new movement strategies. 

The Goal

The goal of every practitioner should be to fix a problem long term. The best physical therapists and best chiropractors practice the same — they are going to use the best possible treatment strategies to help their patients. The problem is that the best is hard to find. In your search for chiropractors in charleston, sc, keep in mind that you are looking for someone who takes a look at the whole kinetic chain, someone who tailors treatment to your body and goals and someone who wants to fix the cause of your pain long term. 

Here at The Rehab Docs, we understand how confusing it is when choosing a healthcare professional. We would love to help you make that decision by answering any questions you may have and to help you find the best chiropractic care possible.