It’s hard to take the first step to trust someone, especially when that person is going to impact your physical well-being. It’s no different when it comes to finding a chiropractor who cares for you. There are good quality chiropractic treatments around, but only if you know how to spot the good chiropractors.
It’s not difficult to find a chiropractor you can trust. There are things you should look out for to find a chiropractor who’s got your back.
Do they hard sell you?
This is the part that turns people away from receiving proper chiropractic treatment. Some chiropractors may hard-sell you packages on your first visit, when they should focus on assessing your issues and advise you to go for a scan if needed. There are those who even go as far as selling you a 90-session package just to lock you in for the long-term. As far as association guidelines go, chiropractors are not recommended to sell any packages beyond 12 sessions. Some chiropractors even offer a 1-year package. Imagine if your problem is minor, if the chiropractor can’t solve your issue, or if they close down the clinic without warning, what are you going to do with those packages?
You, as a consumer, should have the freedom to choose. You should decide if you want to stick to a chiropractor, and not be pressured to commit.
If you’re afraid of being cornered at their clinic, you can try searching on the internet for their prices. Alternatively, you can try calling in to ask. If they don’t seem transparent about their pricing, then there’s a good chance they might hard-sell you when you visit.
You might also chance upon a chiropractic roadshow. Keep in mind that it’s usually the salespeople, not the chiropractors, who are there. Sometimes they make crazy claims just to make a sale, such as helping you to slim down, curing glaucoma, regulate hormones and even eliminate cancer. A good litmus test is to ask them if chiropractic will help with those conditions. If they give you some crazy answers, just walk away.
Some roadshows may also offer on-the-spot diagnosis, but do make sure it’s a qualified chiropractor. Note that the diagnosis is also not conclusive until an X-ray is taken and a follow-up consultation is done.
What should you do: Look for prices on their website. Otherwise, call in and ask. If you’re in the clinic, do not give in to pressure – seek a second opinion.
Where did they get their degree?
Speaking of qualifications, chiropractors go through a rigorous education of at least five years to become a certified chiropractor. We have an independent international body, known as the Council of Chiropractic Education, to certify training programmes. Furthermore, the World Health Organisation also issues guidelines on the training and safety of chiropractic. In Singapore, we have a self-regulated body, called the Chiropractic Association of Singapore, which lists the accredited chiropractic institutions from the Council on Chiropractic Education in Europe, Australasia, United States and Canada.
Some TCMs misuse the word “chiropractic”, probably because they draw parallel between our practice and their bone and joint manipulation and are not completely aware of what qualifies someone as a chiropractor. They don’t go through the same education as we do, and they may not fully understand the human body to give the best treatment and ensure your safety.
What should you do: When you’re at a clinic, examine the certificate hanging on the wall in your chiropractor’s office and do a quick Google to see if they are from an accredited chiropractic institution.
Are they approved by the Chiropractic Association of Singapore (CAS)?
Apart from their education, their practice should be listed in the CAS. These chiropractors graduated from accredited chiropractic institutions and meet CAS standards, including the code of ethics, practice, advertising and bylaws. They are also subjected to an annual review. If they are unable to keep up with these professional guidelines, they will be removed from the list.
What should you do: Google and see if your chiropractor is an accredited member of the CAS.
What kind of services do they offer?
Look at the list of treatments they offer and understand what they can do for you before approaching the clinic. Check out the ratings on their Facebook and anywhere else on the internet. Don’t just look at the number of stars. Read the experiences and decide if they are generally positive. Some things to look out for while reading the reviews are whether the chiropractor’s treatment is effective, takes the time to clear any doubts and offers advice beyond treatment that will help you recover faster.
What should you do: Do some research into the clinic. Look at the website. Is there sufficient information? What do the online reviews say about them?
Do they have partnerships with other healthcare providers?
Here’s the truth: Chiropractic is not a miracle cure. Whoever tells you that chiropractic can solve all problems is probably someone you shouldn’t consult.
That aside, a good chiropractor takes care of your interest and goes above and beyond. If chiropractic is not suitable for you, they will let you know before you sign on the dotted line. They will tell you as soon as they realise that the treatment is not working for you, and will not leave you out in the cold. They have a ready pool of partners, such as podiatrists, physiotherapists and orthopaedic surgeons, ready to offer alternatives to make sure you’re on the highway to recovery.
What should you do: Look for current partnerships on their websites, or simply ask them if they have any.
A good chiropractor is compassionate and puts you first, ready to build a long-term relationship with you. They adjust your spine back into place when you need it, not twist your arm to get you to sign a package. If you’ve ever had some bad experience with other chiropractors, give us a chance! We are confident that we will be the last chiropractor you’ll search for.
Dr. Jenny Li is the appointed chairman of Medical Committee for NABBA WFF Singapore.