How Do I Find a Licensed Chiropractor Near Me?
Learn to Find an Experienced Local Chiropractor and What to Expect in Your First and Second Visits
You finally made the decision! You have been thinking about it. Your friends recommended it, and so did your co-worker, but your spouse is not a big fan of chiropractors so you’ve been waiting, hoping the pain and suffering will “just go away.” You’re tired of taking the medication, and you even tried an injection which did not help for very long. The ortho is talking surgery and you definitely want to avoid surgery. Now, YOU made the decision: You’re going to a chiropractor!
Now you have questions: “How do I find a good one? Does my insurance cover services? Do they take Medicare? Has the chiropractor treated my condition before? With what kind of success? What post-graduate training has the chiropractor had? Can the chiropractor get to the underlying cause of my condition? Has this chiropractor treated athletes in the past?”
Here’s a guide to answering those questions and finding a quality chiropractic professional in your area.
Finding a Chiropractor Near Me
You may want to start by asking your primary care physician or your Orthopedic for recommendations of chiropractors who they view as competent and trustworthy. One way to phrase this question is: “If someone in your family needed a chiropractor, who would you recommend?”
It also helps to ask friends, co-workers, and neighbors for recommendations. Exercise caution, however, because one person’s definition of the best chiropractor may be quite different from another person’s definition. While recommendations can be valuable, it is important to find a chiropractor who can meet an individual’s specific needs.
In addition, chiropractic associations including the American Chiropractic Association, Illinois Chiropractic Society, Cox Technic, and American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians maintain listings of board-certified chiropractors. You will find Dr. Anthony R. Galante listed on all four sites.
After referrals from physicians, family, or friends, the two most common ways to find a local chiropractor are the providers listed with your insurance company and Google searches. A lot of people use a combination of the two.
Let’s say you go to Google to do a search, some popular searches are:
- “chiropractor near me”
- “chiropractor in Algonquin”
- “chiropractor in Lake in the Hills”
- “Algonquin chiropractor”
- “Algonquin chiropractic care”
- “Lake in the Hills chiropractor”
- “best chiropractor near me”
- “Algonquin chiropractor near me”
Some people search by condition, for example:
- “low back pain in Algonquin”
- “herniated disc Algonquin”
- “Algonquin sciatic nerve pain”
- “Algonquin sciatica treatment”
- “spinal stenosis Lake in the Hills”
- “ruptured disc Lake in the Hills”
- “Lake in the Hills neuropathy treatment”
On the page that comes up, numerous chiropractors will be listed. Chiropractors in general offer excellent services and have a very high patient satisfaction rate so most chiropractors will have good reviews. Negative reviews are often disgruntled people who may not understand how the process works, specifically about their insurance. There is an old saying about doctors, “Most of my patients like me, the rest still owe me money!” Every business is going to have negative reviews but the positive should significantly outnumber the negative. How many reviews does the chiropractor have? 1 or 2? 10-15? 30-40? 80-90? How many are 5-star?
Algonquin Chiropractic has over 85 positive reviews with Healthgrades, mostly 5-star, over 45 mostly 5-star reviews on both of our Google pages, and over 15 5-star reviews on Facebook. Over 150 positive reviews online! Thank you to our patients for taking the time to leave those reviews!
Look over the reviews—do any resonate with you or relate to you and your condition? You will see some reviews that talk about specific conditions such as low back pain, herniated disc, ruptured disc, sciatic nerve pain, bulging disc, neck pain, arm pain and numbness, and even reviews about treatment for car accident injuries and work place injuries.
At the doctor’s website, you can try to pick up on practice philosophy, the conditions they treat, the treatments they use, post-graduate training, their location and hours, etc. Once you decide on a chiropractor, their websites may allow you to schedule an appointment online and/or download the intake forms.
Making the Appointment
“I found a chiropractor near me!” Great, now scheduling an appointment is only a matter of a brief phone call. Our friendly staff will answer, inquire as to what type of condition you are suffering from, find a mutually convenient day and time, get your insurance information, and make sure you know how to get to our office. You will also be emailed our HHI (Health History Intake) Form. You can fill this out from home and email it back to us.
Your First Visit
Once you make your appointment, get ready for your first visit. It is important to have all of your medical information ready when you go. This means bringing any previous imaging tests (MRIs and X-rays) plus information on any medications and dosage, treatment plans, or physical therapy you may have already completed. Bring any records and tests you have in your possession. Records may be requested from your previous providers when you come in.
During the initial consultation with the doctor, we will ask questions about your current condition, such as how bad your pain is on a scale of 1-10, what caused your condition, whether you ever had this in the past, what makes it worse, what makes it better, what other doctors you’ve seen for this condition, what they did, whether it helped, etc…
We will then gather a complete medical history that includes not only your current status but also any previous injuries or underlying medical conditions.
Once your history is gathered, we will perform a physical exam. The exam will consist of a postural exam, range of motion, sensory testing, reflexes, muscle strength testing, orthopedic testing, leg length evaluation, and palpatory exam.
If you never had imaging, if it’s out of date, or your condition has changed since your last MRI or X-ray was taken, we may order additional imaging.
We will review your history, exam findings, and any imaging, and come up with a treatment plan if we can help you.
Your Second Visit
This is YOUR day, your day to find out what is wrong and if we can help. When you begin that search for a “chiropractor near me,” whether, you realize it or not, you want four questions answered:
- What is wrong with me?
- Can you help me?
- What do we need to do to correct it?
- What are the associated costs?
We will answer all those questions on your second day. Why the second day? First we need to thoroughly review your consultation, your exam findings, and your imaging. We also may be requesting tests and records from previous providers.
We will go over your X-ray and/or MRI findings, your pertinent exam findings, your diagnosis, your specific, individualized treatment plan, as well as your insurance benefits and your associated costs BEFORE you start treatment.
As a new chiropractic patient, you may be wondering how you’ll feel after your first spinal, or chiropractic treatment. Many people are anxious before they come in because they associate chiropractic treatments with old-school, painful cracking techniques. While we do offer the old-fashioned, and effective, popping techniques if that’s what you prefer, we also have numerous highly effective “non-crack” methods. Whatever method we start with, our first goal is always the same: Let’s not make it worse! The first treatment is very gentle as our primary goal is to do no harm.
You may also be wondering if it’s going to hurt and when you’ll feel relief from your pain.
Will It Hurt?
Because the healing process affects each person differently, there’s no definitive way to know for sure how you’ll react or how your body will respond to your first treatment. That is why we do “tolerance testing.” Using the Cox Technic, we can actually test the procedure on your back and neck to ensure it does not increase the pain. Published studies show the Cox Technic causes an increase in pain less than 1% of the time! After you pass tolerance testing, only then do we proceed with treatment.
When Will I Feel Better?
A lot of people feel relief after their first visit. It certainly is not going to be perfect, but most people notice a decrease in their symptoms, at least for a short period of time. The first few weeks of treatment are characterized by “ups and downs.” People have good days and bad days until the inflammation subsides and the spine starts to stabilize. Then, we start seeing more good days than bad days, the good days get better, the bad days aren’t as bad.
Generally, we look for a 50% improvement in the first 2-4 weeks of care.
What if the condition is not improving? Depending on the circumstances, we may order an MRI, consult with your primary, consult with our Orthopedic Surgeon, or consult with our pain management doctor. In the majority of cases, we do not have to order any advanced imaging, such as MRI, or consult with other physicians.
What About Work, Exercise, Golf, etc?
Our goal is to get you back to work and your normal lifestyle as soon as safely possible. First, we start with gentle, pain-relieving exercises to reduce pain and inflammation. When you are ready we will progress to specific stabilization exercises and eventually progress to full-body core exercises.
During this transition time, people can usually do low-impact cardio exercise like walking on the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike. The best exercise for low back pain just might be swimming.
As for work, a lot is written and it can get very complicated, especially if you have a worker’s comp claim. We want you back to work as soon as possible for a lot of reasons—physical, mental, and of course financial. To make it simple, if the person can perform the tasks of the job without the risk of further damage to the condition being treated, then we can go back to work at full duty. If not, they may require a longer period off of work or will have to go back with restrictions or light duty.
People ask their doctors, “What can I do?” Doctors say “do it if it doesn’t hurt.” It sounds like an over-simplified answer but research has shown that the more you can do when you have back pain, without hurting it, the better. As a general rule for back pain, if it is not hurting you it is helping you.
After your first couple visits the questions may start: Am I doing the right thing? Did I make the right decision? Is this going to help? Why does my medical doctor tell me not to go to the chiropractor? Should I just have the surgery? My neighbor had a shot and he’s doing well.
Relax! You made the right decision.
NPR (National Public Radio) and Truven Health Analytics, the most prominent and credible source of healthcare data and analytics, recently published a new poll.
Anil Jain, MD, Vice-President and Chief Health Informatics Officer, Value-Based Care, IBM Watson Health says, “Experiencing back pain is very common among Americans, and there are a number of factors that can contribute to it, some of which are treatable without prescription pain killers. This data shows that when patients do seek care, they are offered prescribed pain-killers. Compounding this challenge, back pain sufferers who are prescribed opioids for pain may be particularly at risk for dependency and addiction. Curbing inappropriate opioid prescriptions for chronic pain is a focus of efforts by providers to combat the current opioid epidemic.”
You will never become addicted to opioid pain killers due to a chiropractor.
Surprising research published in the prestigious Spine Journal in 2013 was eye-opening to almost every medical doctor and healthcare provider who saw it. The study showed that approximately 43% of workers who saw a surgeon as their first point of contact had low back surgery within 3 years.
In contrast, of those patients who saw a Chiropractor first, only 1.5% ended up with low back surgery. Here are some facts of the study:
Starting your treatment program with a chiropractor will significantly decrease your chance of surgery.
Less chance of opioid addiction, less chance of having surgery, you are in the right place!