Hello. This Consumer Awareness
information is brought to you by the offices of
Barry L. Marks, Chiropractor. The
purpose of this guide is to help you choose the right chiropractic services
for you by arming you with 10 important questions you should ask any
chiropractic office BEFORE agreeing to care. We are sharing insider secrets
with you that some Doctors of Chiropractic may not want you to know. So let’s
Chiropractic has never been more popular: A recent CNBC poll asked “Would you
seek the care of a doctor of chiropractic for your low back pain?” and 20%
said no, 8% were undecided, and a whopping 72% of the 2,584 respondents said
“Yes!” People who see chiropractors are seeking relief from not only low back
pain…but for carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, headaches, as well as for work
and auto related injuries…without the use of dangerous drugs,
sedatives, or surgery!
Across the country, the number of chiropractic visits per capita has doubled
in the past 20 years. Today, doctors of
chiropractic must complete a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program or equivalent
at an accredited college or university then complete 4 years of study at an
accredited professional college of chiropractic. After receiving the D.C.
(doctor of chiropractic) degree, they must pass national board
examinations to obtain a license. To maintain their license, the doctors are
required to complete a specified number of hours of continuing education each
So if you are experiencing back pain, neck pain, headaches, carpal tunnel
syndrome, or have been involved in an auto or work related injury…then a
doctor of chiropractic may be the right choice for you!
But Before You Are Convinced That Any Chiropractor Can Help You, You Must Be Aware That Not All Chiropractors Are
The Same, And Choosing The Wrong Chiropractor Could Be A Big Mistake!
In a moment, you will discover 10 questions you must know before choosing any
doctor of chiropractic. But first, let’s review what most Chiropractors do so
you know why this form of care is so popular and effective!
Doctors of chiropractic relieve pain, and restore proper motion
and function of the body by relieving pressure on muscles, joints and nerves.
They can relieve so much pain, and solve so many health problems that will not
likely get better using traditional methods from medical doctors. If you have
any chronic back or neck pain, for example…you probably know that taking drugs
only masks the symptoms temporarily and does nothing to actually correct the
cause of the pain. And, you certainly know that surgery can be very dangerous,
and often times ineffective method to relieve your pain as well.
There are literally countless examples of patients who could not get better
with traditional methods…yet found quick and long lasting relief from
chiropractic adjustments that required no drugs, and no surgery!
So what should you ask a doctor of chiropractic BEFORE agreeing to care? Let’s
review these issues now:
Prior to care, a chiropractor should ask detailed questions about your past
and present health, do a complete physical exam, and order x-rays or
tests when necessary.
He or she should analyze your posture and carefully examine your spinal column
while you stand, sit and walk, and then check the range of motion of various
joints. Then he or she will come up with a diagnosis and a Recommended Action
Plan. So for starters…
Do NOT agree to care from any chiropractor that does not first provide you
with a written explanation of:
What is causing or contributing to your problem,
An estimate of the costs involved, and
A Recommended Action Plan that details what specific care is needed…and why.
Unfortunately, there are a fairly large number of doctors, including Chiropractors
who treat every patient pretty much the same, regardless of their condition.
As you would expect, there’s a lot the doctor must know before you can decide
what care is best for you, in your specific situation. He or she will want to
know if your problem is caused, or aggravated by anything more serious, such
as a broken bone, disc disease, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, a tumor or an
infection. Or…is it a simple problem that can be resolved within a reasonable
period of time?
Here’s what you should know, and the 10 questions you must ask before choosing
a doctor of chiropractic:
1. "What techniques do you practice?"
– The correct answer is: It depends on what is wrong with you. Some
chiropractors are only proficient in only one technique. The problem with this
is that not every condition that chiropractic care can help responds to just
one technique. You need to know that there are many wonderful chiropractic
techniques that can be used to successfully treat, and relieve your condition.
For example, I have training in 8 different techniques, and use them all
depending on the patient’s specific condition. I have many natural ways to
relieve my patients’ pain…and restore their optimal range of motion,
flexibility, and function!
2. “Do you take x-rays when necessary?”
– Be sure to seek a chiropractor who takes x-rays to rule out fracture or a
gross pathology (English translation – some other serious problem) as
indicated by the consultation, health history and exam. Caring for a patient
without x-rays is like flying in the dark without radar. Unfortunately, there
are some life and death conditions that can first express themselves with
back, neck, or bone pain. X-rays also help me determine the health of your
joints and discs, an estimate of how long it will take to get you
better, as well as what specific chiropractic techniques will likely do the
most good for you. If the doctor you’re consulting doesn’t take x-rays before
recommending treatment, you should consider talking to another doctor.
3. “Will you give me your recommendations in writing?” –
This is very important. This allows you to go home and think about it before
making a decision. Plus, it gives you an explanation up front of what the care
will consist of, how long it will last, and how much it will cost.
4. “Can you furnish me with references?” -
Ask for five references. Three of these references should be current patients,
and the other two should be other health care professionals like an orthopedic
doctor, and a medical doctor. There are three reasons for getting patient and
professional references. First, any person in practice should have at least
three satisfied patients they can provide
you with. Secondly, if a chiropractic doctor cannot produce two other
professionals that will attest to his or her ability as a chiropractor, he or
she may not be respected by his or her peers. Last, outside professionals in
the community see all kinds of things, will usually be aware of what kind of
care is available, and what kind of quality is provided by different folks.
Feel free to call the references you receive. Many people ask for references,
but never use them! Call all five people. You can never learn too much about
the person you are considering using for your chiropractic needs. Take the few
minutes to talk to these people. It will be worth it!
5. “Do you have payment plans available?”-
Successful practices usually allow patients to make payments. For example, I
allow both my cash and insurance patients to spread out their entire care,
deductibles and co-pays into low monthly installments. This allows them to get
the care they want without financial stress. Any successful practice will be
able to work with you on the payments, whether you’re covered by insurance or
6. “Will you guarantee my satisfaction?”
– You should receive a 100% guarantee of unconditional satisfaction. By law
all doctors can’t guarantee results. But, for example, an office that offers
the following guarantee: “You’ll be totally satisfied with each office visit,
or that visit is FREE!” shows you that they are putting their money where
their mouth is. In my office, every patient knows that if they feel rushed or
don’t get the attention they think they deserve, or aren’t satisfied with how
they are treated that day…will get that visit FREE. And in the 9 years we’ve
had this policy, I’m proud to say we haven’t had one patient express
dissatisfaction. Make sure the doctor you choose is willing to stand behind
“Do you have a no waiting policy?”
– A recent patient survey revealed that what irritates patients the most is
when the doctor and the staff do not respect their time and make them wait
excessively in the waiting room. Now most doctors claim their patients
don’t have to wait excessively. But, in our office, our policy is that no
patient waits longer than five minutes in our reception area for an
appointment…or that visit is FREE. If the doctor you’re talking to isn’t
willing to put such a waiting time guarantee in writing, they may not be as
respectful of your time as you deserve.
“Do you have a criteria for determining how many visits I need?”
Some doctors do not have an objective method to determine how many visits are
necessary to relieve your pain, and to maintain your newly found state of
excellent health. They make subjective guesses about your initial treatment
and progress. I do progress exams along the way to make sure we are on track
that include computerized equipment that will tell both of us how you are
doing. This procedure tells us exactly when we are done with the initial pain
relief care, and how we are doing in maintaining the relief…so your pain
doesn’t come back. That way you don’t get even one more visit than you
actually need. Make sure to find out how the doctor you’re talking to measures
progress, and whether it’s routine or not.
9. “Will you show me ways of preventing what you are treating?” –
I saw a sign the other day in my dentist’s office that read, “Support your
dentist, eat more candy”. Although I know he’s joking, I spend a considerable
amount of time customizing simple and easy ways for you to stay healthy…no
matter what caused your problem to begin with. You’ll be thrilled to find out
how quick and easy it is to prevent your pain from coming back without drugs
or surgery. This prolongs the benefits of the care you’ve received; and helps
prevent you from re-injuring yourself.
10. “Do you offer free consultations?”
– There’s no way a doctor should expect a patient to choose him or her without
first visiting the office to see if the office, staff and doctor is for them.
This will also give you a chance to talk to any of our patients while they are
coming in and going out. Initially, I provide a
FREE, NO OBLIGATION,
consultation to determine if I can help you and answer any questions you may
have about your condition or my treatment. No one in my office is going to
pressure you into care or anything. This is simply a chance for you to meet
us, and see if our services can benefit you. If after your free consultation,
you decide you do not want to proceed with an exam, you simply leave and that
is that. If however, you do find that you could use our help, we will discuss
the details of how we proceed from there.
Well, I hope this information will give you the confidence in taking the first
step to regaining your health by experiencing the benefits of chiropractic
care. By the way, I do:
Use multiple treatment techniques,
Employ diagnostic tests such as x-rays and computer analysis,
Furnish you my recommendations in writing,
Furnish you patient and professional references,
Offer payment plans,
Guarantee the satisfaction of every office visit or that visit is FREE,
Promise you will never wait more than 5 minutes for an appointment or that
visit is FREE,
Share with you my criteria I use for formulating my recommendations,
Provide you custom designed prevention techniques, and lastly,
Urge you to tour my office and take advantage of my free, absolutely
no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation.