Ballpark Estimate: 50 to $100 per visit
The next time you experience back pain, you may want to consider getting a chiropractic treatment. This is an alternative form of medicine that relies on manual therapy, such as manipulating your spine or your bones and joints, in order to provide relief from what ails you.
A Growing Trend
In the past, many people were suspicious of chiropractors and didn’t count them as legitimate health care providers. But today, there is a growing body of research that reveals that chiropractic techniques can be an effective form of treatment for a host of medical conditions and can even prevent the need for surgery for various musculoskeletal disorders.
Did you know that the field of chiropractic medicine has its roots in scientific principles? The idea is that when a person’s spine moves out of alignment, which can occur either from repetitive motion or as the result of an accident, your movement will be limited and your spinal nerves can also be affected. This situation can result in pain and can make it difficult to perform your daily activities. This is where a chiropractor can improve your situation. The chiropractor will use different techniques to restore the spine placement and improve your nerve function, too.
The benefits of chiropractic care also extend to your overall health and wellbeing, since a number of health conditions can have their root in spinal and posture problems. Therefore, addressing these issues can make a big difference in how you feel on so many levels.
What to Expect
When you visit a chiropractor, you can expect him to do a thorough exam of your posture and spine. A variety of medical evaluation tools, including X-rays, lab tests and neurological screenings, may also be used to assess your condition fully.
Once the chiropractor determines your diagnosis, he may use a wide range of treatment techniques. Some common approaches incorporate heat, light, water, ultrasound, electric currents and even acupuncture. In addition, lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise and stress management may also be recommended.
What to Look For
Of course the key to getting good chiropractic care is selecting a practitioner who is well trained in his field. To this end, chiropractors must take college courses (often, but not always, a bachelor’s degree is required) and pass state and national licensing exams. In addition, almost all states mandate that chiropractors take continuing education classes on an ongoing basis as part of their licensing conditions. To find out the requirements for chiropractors in your state, you can visit the website of the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards.
It’s also worth noting that some chiropractors work in a general practice, while others focus in various specialty areas, such as sports injuries, pediatrics, nutrition and neurology, among other things.
Finding a Chiropractor
If you’d like to find a chiropractor that practices in your area, you can ask your primary care doctor for a referral. You can also ask family members, colleagues and friends for recommendations. Or, you can do a search online to come up with a list of chiropractors in your neighborhood. A variety of resources exist to help you narrow in on a good fit. For instance, ChiroWeb.com allows you to browse the options by location, education level and specialty. Other resources that can help your search include the American Chiropractic Association, the International Chiropractors Association and the World Chiropractic Alliance.
Factors to Consider
When you begin chiropractic treatment, it’s important to understand that the price may vary depending upon your condition and the treatment method needed. For instance, whether you need dietary supplements, massage treatments, heat therapy or acupuncture, this can affect the length of the chiropractic session, dictate how intense it will be and determine how much it costs in the end. Using diagnostic equipment such as ultrasound or x-rays can also add to your chiropractor price.
Finally, keep in mind that while the majority of chiropractors work in a medical office or clinic setting, there are some who are willing to make house (or office) calls. This convenience may come with an extra cost.
What It Costs
While you’ll need to take these factors into consideration when determining how much you will spend on chiropractic care, there are some general guidelines that can be helpful to give you an idea of how much to budget for this expense. In rural areas and in the Midwest region, chiropractic treatments may be less expensive, while in big cities and in Southern areas, you can expect to pay more for chiropractor services
On the low end, chiropractic sessions start in the $50 range, while on the higher end, you can expect to spend $100 or more. Further, first-time visits are often longer and more in-depth as the chiropractor needs to assess your condition, so you can expect to spend as much as $150 or more for this diagnostic session, but know that the price will usually go down from there. In addition, any special tests performed could be an extra expense.
That being said, the average cost of a chiropractic treatment session falls at about $65, according to a survey published in Chiropractic Economics magazine. Included in a general chiropractic session cost is usually the manipulation of the spine, arms and hands.
It’s also worth noting that for people who need only massage therapy without any other techniques, the cost may be a little lower, depending on the chiropractor’s own fee scale. General chiropractors who operate in small clinics or private practices may also charge a little less than those with specialty areas, as well as ones who work in large practices or as part of a broader medical group.
The good news is that many health insurance plans today cover some forms of chiropractic treatment for subscribers, according to the American Chiropractic Association . This means that it’s worth checking with your health insurance provider to find out exactly what, if anything, qualifies under your specific contract. You may need to use a practitioner who is approved by your plan, or you may have limits on what type of services you can get.
If the treatment you need isn’t a covered service, though, you’ll be glad to know that most chiropractic techniques at least qualify as a tax-deductible medical expense these days.
A Cost Effective Approach
If you’re interested in pursuing chiropractic care but you’re skeptical about what it can really do for your health, it may help you to know that many recent surveys have confirmed the medical benefits of chiropractic treatment and proven its cost effectiveness as well. The savings are usually due to lower medication rates and the need for fewer surgical procedures for people who try this alternative treatment method instead of relying on only modern medicine. In addition to the monetary savings, though, even more important is the fact that many patients who undergo chiropractic care enjoy a vacation from pain and experience an improved overall quality of life every day.