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If I could, I would . . .

Many patients are surprised at the fact that it typically takes a series of treatments to get the results we are after.  Other potential patients never come in for the help they need because they’ve heard that “once you start going to a chiropractor, they just make you keep coming in every other day for the rest of your life,” or “I don’t go to a chiropractor because I don’t want to get addicted” (as if we are piping crack smoke into the treatment room).  So this is the subject I want to tackle in this blog.

Before I go on, I must address an unfortunate issue.  There are some BAD chiropractors out there. I cannot deny that we have more than our fair share of bad apples in our profession.  There ARE chiropractors who will keep you coming in much more than necessary.  I had a patient come to me from another chiropractor who had coerced her into paying for 80 visits UP FRONT! (I’m glad she had the wisdom to ask for a second opinion, and so is she!). There are very few patients who need that many treatments in a year’s time.  In fact, in most cases, this many adjustments would do more harm than good.  If you feel that your chiropractor is ripping you off, GET A SECOND OPINION from a DIFFERENT chiropractor.

Typically, chiropractic care involves a treatment plan made up of multiple sessions.  This is no different from physical therapy, speech therapy, orthodontics, among others.  Most drug-based therapies require that you swallow chemicals every day for weeks to years.  In fact, there are very few “quick fixes.”

The human body is very complex and is very resistant to change.  What I do is recondition the way the spine and other joints move.  It involves changing the NEUROLOGICAL PROGRAMMING that controls movement. This is much more involved than finding a bone that is “out of alignment” and “popping” it back in place. It just doesn’t work that way.

So here is how I respond to those who are surprised or upset that chiropractic care usually involves multiple treatments:

If I could fix your problem in one visit, I would. If I came up with a way to restore optimum function to the spine, and eliminate back pain in one visit, people would be lined up out my door, around the block, and probably all the way to Kentucky to be treated by me.  People would gladly pay $5,000 or more for me to “fix” them, it wouldn’t even matter if I was in their insurance network or not.  My treatment room would be full of other doctors learning to do what I do.  I would stay in private practice for a few years and become a wealthy, wealthy man.  I would then buy a jet and travel the world, providing my services for no charge to anybody who needed my help.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.  Our fee schedules are built to accommodate multiple treatments.  In our office a treatment session costs between $45 and $100 (depending on what we do on that visit).  The average out-of-pocket amount for uninsured patients is around $50 and $25 for insured patients.  Treatment plans range from 6 to 40 visits over a 2-week to 4-month period.  The average treatment plan is around 18 visits over two months time.  You can do the math.

The good news is that I CAN very likely help you.  The effectiveness of chiropractic care is head and shoulders above other treatments for most cases of back/neck pain.  The MEDICAL literature (not just chiropractic literature) has hundreds of studies proving this (a future blog will be a bibliography of medical journal articles that clinically back-up what I do).  The cost of what I do ends up, in most cases, being LESS than the other treatments.

In short, I will do the best I can to get you well and keep you well in the least amount of time possible, at the least possible cost.  IN MOST CASES (I’m not God.  Pretty far from it, in fact) you experience great results and refer all of your friends who may need my help.  THAT will ensure my financial success (I do want to be financially successful, don’t get me wrong). THAT will also ensure that I get to help lots of people, which is more rewarding than the money!

By on November 24th, 2009 | Tagged with: | 2 Comments