by Brent Hearn •
Doing anything for the first time can be a bit daunting. Whether it’s your first day working at a new job, your first time visiting a new place, or your first time trying a new hobby, it’s completely understandable to be a bit nervous.
That same kind of trepidation is completely understandable if you’re visiting a chiropractor for the first time. After all, this is your body we’re talking about, so the stakes are higher; you’re not taking up bowling here. (Though if your first time bowling went horribly wrong, perhaps that’s why you’re going to see a chiropractor!)
To alleviate your concerns about chiropractic, we’d suggest doing the same thing you could do in any other “first time” situation: arm yourself with information. Learning as much as you can can help to allay any trepidation and dispel any myths you may have heard about the practice. With that in mind, here are several common questions (and answers) to help get you started on your chiropractic journey.
Are chiropractors doctors?
Yes. That said, the question itself can be misleading (through no fault of the person asking it). To many people, the word “doctor” strictly—or at least primarily—refers to a medical doctor (M.D.) Chiropractors are not medical doctors, so they don’t have the M.D. designation. Chiropractic care has a more specific focus, so it’s important for the training to reflect that focus.
After they’ve received their undergraduate degree, an aspiring chiropractor undergoes rigorous training—over 4,000 hours of it—to receive their Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree. This includes classroom and laboratory study, as well as extensive clinical training.
Does my insurance cover chiropractic?
Per the American Chiropractic Association (ACA): “Chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans, workers’ compensation, Medicare, some Medicaid plans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for federal employees, among others.”
As you know, however, those “most” and “some” qualifiers are important. Coverage can differ from plan to plan, so it’s important to check your policy for the details (what chiropractic services are covered, how many visits, etc.).
Something else to note: If you’re uninsured or if you’re concerned that your insurance won’t cover enough of the costs associated with chiropractic treatment, you may want to consider joining ChiroHealthUSA.
Will I need a referral from an MD?
It depends. Most chiropractors won’t require a referral, but your health plan may have referral requirements. Just as with insurance coverage, it’s important to check the fine print.
How long will I need to see a chiropractor?
This differs from patient to patient. Your chiropractor will evaluate your specific needs and develop a course of treatment tailored to you. To get the best results, it’s important to be an active participant in your treatment. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and be sure to complete any “homework” (exercises, ergonomic recommendations, etc.) assigned by your chiropractor.