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How to select a good chiropractor.

When looking for a chiropractor it helps to ask friends, family and neighbors for recommendations.  It is also important to find a chiropractor who can meet an individual's specific needs. Before starting treatment with a chiropractor, it is best to request an office consultation to find out more about how the chiropractor practices and it will give the chiropractor a chance to begin evaluating you to see if it is possible to help you.

There are many different chiropractic techniques for treating a person. Some chiropractor's adjust with their hands, while others use various instruments.  The chiropractic technique is a very individual preference by both the chiropractor and the patient.  Having a better understanding of the chiropractic technique will allow the patient to determine if there is a good fit. 

Which chiropractic techniques does the chiropractor use and why?
Does the chiropractor use his hands or an instrument for the chiropractic adjustment?
Does the chiropractor employ deeper, joint-popping adjustment or a low-force, adjustment?
How much experience does the chiropractor have treating similar types of problems?

Depending on the nature and extent of the specific back problem, a few visits to the chiropractor should help the patient feel noticeably better. Within four weeks of a chiropractic treatment plan, the pain for non-complex musculoskeletal conditions should typically be reduced by 40 to 80%, and the frequency of visits to the chiropractor should decrease as the patient's pain and function improve.  If the patient's symptoms are not improving within four weeks, then other treatment possibilities should be explored, such as:

•There may be another mechanical problem that is being overlooked
•There may be repeated ergonomic stress that reproduces the back pain and/or neck pain
•There may be a complicating condition that may need further diagnostic evaluation or may benefit from some other form of treatment besides the current chiropractic program.

Good chiropractors do everything in their power to help their patients feel better as fast as possible with as few chiropractic treatments as necessary, and also give advice on how to avoid future problems by evaluating lifestyle ergonomics, implementing an exercise approach and reducing care to an as-needed plan.

In general, in the absence of progressive worsening of a condition in spite of chiropractic care, a common chiropractic program is 3 times per week for 2 to 4 weeks, followed by a re-evaluation. If improvement is noted, a tapering of treatment frequency is appropriate while introducing a self-help, home-based exercise program and/or ergonomic modifications to activities of daily living.

If the patient is not getting relief after the first 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the specific case, the chiropractor should consider one of the following:

•Change the therapeutic/treatment approach for an additional 2 to 4 week trial period
•Refer to another practitioner.

Chiropractic Treatment Program Questions

•What is the chiropractor's typical practice pattern or treatment program?
•What services does the chiropractor offer? Some chiropractor's offer additional services such as massage, acupuncture, rehabilitation and strength training, and nutritional counseling.
•What is the chiropractor's recommendation if the treatment program doesn't seem to help? A good chiropractor will recommend that the patient consult another practitioner if these or other methods of treatment (such as medications or surgery) are indicated.

There are arguments both for and against the use of x-rays as a part of chiropractic health care. Some patients who see chiropractor's do not require x-rays; however, many chiropractors take them as a standard procedure.
As a general guideline, X-rays are necessary in the following cases:

•If the patient has sustained a significant traumatic injury at any age
•If the patient has experienced any type of trauma (even a minor one) if over age 50
•For most patients over 70 years of age, especially if the patient's history and examination suggests a possible bone disease.
•If the patient has had long-standing pain that has not responded or resolved with previous chiropractic health care.

Some questions that may be asked of the chiropractor include:

Does the chiropractor recommend an x-ray? If so, why?
If an x-ray is taken by the chiropractor, how do the x-ray findings correlate to the patient's pain and symptoms?
What other tests may be taken by the chiropractor?

Finally, the communication skills of the chiropractor plays an important role. Some people will have a markedly better experience and may heal better if their chiropractor has good communication skills.
Questions to ask about the chiropractor's style of communication may include:

Is the chiropractor friendly and courteous?
Does the chiropractic doctor listen to the patient's complete explanation of symptoms? 
Does the chiropractor fully answer all questions?
Does the chiropractic patient feel comfortable talking with the chiropractor?

Selecting any health care professional for treatment is something that should be done with care.

At Koelling & Turnbull Chiropractic we routinely treat neck pain, lower back pain, herniated disc, sports injuries and auto accidents.

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Testimonial

Dr. Koelling is the first chiropractor that ever totally worked with me to heal my back and neck. I am so very grateful and his staff is just as caring and wondrous.

Brenda R. -
St. Peters, MO

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