Knowledge like chiropractor’s education, specialisation and techniques (the hard facts) can be searched online these days. Based on my experience with a few chiropractors during the tenure of my first job at a chiropractic group, I would like to present some pointers for you to consider instead.
Your Health Recovery Partner
Does your chiropractor patiently address your concerns?
Did the clinic ask about your full medical history before your treatment?
How long is the treatment period?
What does the result look like?
If you told your chiropractor about a symptom on the day of your adjustment, did he or she address it?
Your chiropractor should be willing to explain at length with you during / after the consultation and adjustments, and involve you in his plan of treatment. What is not is for example, when my mom asks her orthopedic doctor about new symptoms she experienced, he will always attribute everything to her “old age”, which seems a lot like brushing aside her concerns.
You must also be comfortable with his or her bedside manners and whether you are able to build up a rapport with your chiropractor. Sometimes that would mean speaking at ease in the first language by both chiropractor and patient.
Ensuring you get your spinal x-rays done before your first adjustment should be the practice of a responsible chiropractor. However not all x-rays quality are the same.
It is very important that the chiropractor is able to see your spine clearly, so going to a good diagnostic imaging clinic is crucial. You can use the one that the chiropractor has partnered up with, or going to your own choice.
I would recommend the latter. One recommendation is RadLink Diagnostic Imaging www.radlink.com.sg at Orchard Paragon. Although their x-rays are more costly than the ones from community x-ray centre, it saves you the possibility of spending that extra money and time (e.g. using annual or medical leave) for a second take.
Depending on your situation, you can either purchase by per session or a set number of sessions (“prepaid packages”). Like my case, it would make more sense to embark on a long term care programme. Having consistency allows the patient to see better results from the treatments.
I don’t see any issue with chiropractors offering prepaid packages, as this allows them to provide the level of care support required while ensuring them in business continuity. Beauty and wellness industry is regulated by the officials however black sheep still happen. Considering that the chiropractic industry is unregulated in Singapore, it is even more so a “buyers beware” situation. Whether the industry is being regulated or otherwise, consumers must still do due work to protect oneself just in case. One way to mitigate the risk is to buy fewer sessions packages each time. If the company collapses or the clinic abandons their patients and the patient has no recourse, he or she minimises the loss to a minimal. Downside is the fee per session will be higher than if you were to purchase a treatment programme with more sessions.
With fewer sessions, you could monitor your progress for two weeks to a month to see if you experience any relief from your pain or discomfort (more serious spinal structural problems like scoliosis may need a longer time to see any improvement). It also allows you the flexibility to change chiropractor, which leads to my next point.
Precision of Adjustments
When I was under chiropractic care, I had a primary chiropractor. However since I worked in a chiropractic group, I had the opportunity to visit a few others. I noticed that the degree of precision in adjusting the spine is extremely important to have a good adjustment. Once I had the privilege of my neck being adjusted by my ex-boss. He would feel for the misaligned cervical vertebrae and then with a swift turn – ‘click’, he sets only that part in place. Immediately it’s a total relief and I’m amazing at the high level of precision. And till this day, I still remember the incident. Now I understand why there is always a long queue of patients waiting for him despite his busy schedule.
What I believe is, if not all vertebrae need to be corrected, then we shouldn’t have to. In certain cases, aligning back the misaligned vertebrae may suffice. With that said, your chiropractor should approach each case differently based on your x-rays and not a one-size-fits-all type of adjustment.
— Sharon Lee (@sharonleesg) March 9, 2015