By: Dr. David Ginsberg, D.C.
Hello. This Consumer Awareness Booklet is brought to you
by the offices of Dr. David Ginsberg. The purpose of this guide is to help you choose the right
chiropractic services for you by arming you with 9 important questions you should ask any
chiropractic office BEFORE agreeing to care. We are sharing insider secrets with you that some
Doctors of Chiropractic may not want you to know. So let’s begin…
Chiropractic has never been more popular: A recent CNBC poll asked “Would you seek the care of
a doctor of chiropractic for your low back pain?” and 20% said no, 8% were undecided, and a
whopping 72% of the 2,584 respondents said “Yes!” People who see chiropractors are seeking
relief from not only low back pain…but for carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, headaches, as
well as for work and auto related injuries…without the use of dangerous drugs,
sedatives, or surgery!
Across the country, the number of chiropractic visits per capita has doubled in the past 20
years. Today, doctors of chiropractic must complete 4 years of study at an accredited
professional college of chiropractic. After receiving the D.C. (doctor of chiropractic) degree,
they must pass national board examinations to obtain a license. To maintain their license, the
doctors are required to complete a specified number of hours of continuing education each
So if you are experiencing back pain, neck pain, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, or have
been involved in an auto or work related injury…then a doctor of chiropractic may be the right
choice for you!
But Before You Are Convinced That Any
Chiropractor Can Help You, You Must Be Aware That
Not All Chiropractors Are The Same, And Choosing The
Wrong Chiropractor Could Be A Big Mistake!
In a moment, you will discover 9 questions you must know
before choosing any doctor of chiropractic. But first, let’s review what do most Chiropractors
do so you know why this form of care is so popular and effective! Doctors of chiropractic
relieve pain, and restore proper motion and function of the body by relieving pressure on
muscles, joints and nerves. They can relieve so much pain, and solve so many health problems
that will not likely get better using traditional methods from medical doctors. If you have any
chronic back or neck pain, for example…you probably know that taking drugs only masks the
symptoms temporarily and does nothing to actually correct the cause of the pain. And, you
certainly know that surgery can be very dangerous, and often times ineffective method to
relieve your pain as well.
There are literally countless examples of patients who could not get better with traditional
methods…yet found quick and long lasting relief from chiropractic adjustments that required no
drugs, and no surgery!
So what should you ask a doctor of chiropractic BEFORE agreeing to care? Let’s review these
Prior to care, a chiropractor should ask detailed questions about your past and present health,
do a complete physical exam, and order x-rays or other tests when necessary.
He or she should analyze your posture and carefully examine your spinal column while you stand,
sit and walk, and then check the range of motion of various joints. Then he or she will come up
with a diagnosis and a Recommended Action Plan. So for starters…
Do NOT agree to care from any chiropractor that does
not first provide you with a written explanation of:
1. What is causing or contributing to your
2. An estimate of the costs involved, and
3. A Recommended Action Plan that details what specific care is needed…and why.
Unfortunately, there are a small number of doctors,
including Chiropractors who treat every patient pretty much the same, regardless of their
As you would expect, there’s a lot the doctor must know
before you can decide what care is best for you, in your specific situation. He or she will
want to know if your problem is caused, or aggravated by anything more serious, such as a
broken bone, disc disease, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, a tumor or an infection? Or…is it a
simple problem that can be resolved within a reasonable period of time?
Here’s what you should know, and the 9 questions you must
ask before choosing a doctor of chiropractic:
1. "What technique do you
practice?" – Ideally you want a
doctor who is proficient in chiropractic full spine adjusting techniques like the
Gonstead Method but has some knowledge of other techniques. You want a doctor who is
proficient in specific adjusting of the spine. Chiropractors who say they do a little bit
of everything usually are not real good at any one technique because it takes a lot of
time to be really good and master the specific full spine techniques. The problem with
this is that not every condition that chiropractic care can help responds to just one
type of adjustment. This is why when chiropractors master a technique like the Gonstead
Method they have 4-5 different ways to adjust the spine, but each move is trying to
accomplish the same thing. I have many natural ways to relieve my patients pain…and
restore their optimal range of motion, flexibility, and function! Following a
systematized specific approach to adjusting the spine, like the Gonstead Method, ensures
a greater chance for rapid results.
2. “Do you take x-rays when
necessary?” – Be sure to seek a
chiropractor who takes x-rays to rule out fracture or a gross pathology (English
translation – some other serious problem) as indicated by the consultation, health
history and exam. Caring for a patient without x-rays is like flying in the dark without
radar. Unfortunately, there are some life and death conditions that can first express
themselves with back, neck, or bone pain. X-rays also help me determine the health of
your joints and discs, an estimate of how long it will take to get you better, as well as
what specific chiropractic techniques will likely do the most good for you. If the doctor
you’re consulting doesn’t take x-rays before recommending treatment, you should consider
talking to another doctor.
3. “Will you give me your recommendations in
writing?” – This is very important. This
allows you to go home and think about it before making a decision. Plus, it gives you an
explanation up front of what the care will consist of, how long it will last, and how much it
4. “Can you furnish me with
references?” - Ask for five references.
Three of these references should be current patients, and the other two should be other health
care professionals like an orthopedic doctor, and a medical doctor. There are three reasons for
getting patient and professional references. First, any person in practice should have at least
three satisfied patients they can provide you with. Secondly, if a chiropractic doctor cannot
produce two other professionals that will attest to his or her ability as a chiropractor, he or
she may not be respected by his or her peers. Last, outside professionals in the community see
all kinds of things, will usually be aware of what kind of care is available, and what kind of
quality is provided by different folks. Feel free to call the references you receive. Many
people ask for references, but never use them! Call all five people. You can never learn too
much about the person you are considering using for your chiropractic needs. Take the few
minutes to talk to these people. It will be worth it!
5. “Do you have payment plans available?”-
Successful practices usually allow patients to make payments. For example, I allow both my cash
and insurance patients to spread out their entire care, deductibles and co-pays into low
monthly installments. This allows them to get the care they want without financial stress. Any
successful practice will be able to work with you on the payments, whether you’re covered by
insurance or not.
6. “Will you guarantee my
satisfaction?” – You should receive a 100%
guarantee of unconditional satisfaction. By law all doctors can’t guarantee results. But, for
example, an office that offers the following guarantee: “You’ll be totally satisfied with each
office visit, or that visit is FREE!” shows you that they are putting their money where their
mouth is. In my office, every patient knows that if they feel rushed or don’t get the attention
they think they deserve, or aren’t satisfied with how they are treated that day…will get that
visit FREE. And in the 3 years we’ve had this policy, I’m proud to say we haven’t had one
patient express dissatisfaction. Make sure the doctor you choose is willing to stand behind
7. “Do you have a no waiting
policy?” – A recent patient survey
revealed that what irritates patients the most is when the doctor and the staff do not
respect their time and make them wait excessively in the waiting room. In fact, we are so
mindful of our patients time we set up our office with no waiting room. Patients are
immediately sent back to the treatment area or examination/report room. In addition, we
set up our staff to be able to handle patients when they most want to come, in the late
afternoon/evening, instead of trying to make patients come when it is inconvenient for
them and then making them wait for long periods of time.
8. “Do you have a criteria for determining how many
visits I need?” Some doctors do not have an
objective method to determine how many visits are necessary to relieve your pain, and to
maintain your newly found state of excellent health. They make subjective guesses about your
initial treatment and progress. I do progress exams along the way to make sure we are on track.
This procedure tells us exactly when we are done with the initial pain relief care, and how we
are doing in maintaining the relief…so your pain doesn’t come back. That way you don’t get even
one more visit than you actually need. Make sure to find out how the doctor you’re talking to
measures progress, and whether it’s routine or not.
9. “Will you show me ways of preventing what you are
treating?” – I saw a sign the other day in
my dentist’s office that read, “Support your dentist, eat more candy”. Although I know he’s
joking, I spend a considerable amount of time customizing simple and easy ways for you to stay
healthy…no matter what caused your problem to begin with. You’ll be thrilled to find out how
quick and easy it is to prevent your pain from coming back without drugs or surgery. This
prolongs the benefits of the care you’ve received; and helps prevent you from re-injuring
For information purposes only. Consult a
doctor regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your
symptoms or health condition. This information received is not intended to diagnose, treat,
or cure. For personal use only. Not to be sold or compiled into electronic form without
prior permission of the authors.