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When You Know You Found a Great Chiropractor

When You Know You Found a Great Chiropractor in Amarillo

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Let me tell you a story. I recently had a patient #1 here at Creek Stone Integrated Care that had been to a chiropractor several years ago. She mentioned to me how the chiropractor had told her that she had completely crushed a vertebra in her low back. Alarmed, I decided to order some x-rays of her low back just to be very clear what I was dealing with. 

There was absolutely zero indication of any damage ever occurring to a vertebra in her low back. 

Patient #2 came in recently saying that her previous chiropractor told her that, even though she was in her 40’s, she clearly had the back of an 80-year-old. 

Patient #3 was told that she had a straightened curve in her neck and that she would need to see him at least 50 times that year and have several more x-rays through the year to track progress in an overall effort to gain that curve back. 

There are so many problems with how these three patients were dealt with. 

Professional standardization is something worth talking about from the very start of this discussion. What I mean by the term ‘professional standardization’ is knowing that a profession is consistent from one practitioner to the next in regard to what they do and the guidelines they follow. 

For example, if you find yourself with an ear infection in either Dallas, New York, or Seattle and you go to the doctor, you will get fairly standard treatment. You are going to know what medication you’re getting which is most likely Amoxicillin. 

Many professions are the same. You can usually know what to expect before walking through the doors. Even if you have never been there before. 

Unfortunately, that is not the case with chiropractors in my experience. When you go to a chiropractic office you have never been to before, you really do not know what to expect unless you have done a complete ‘stalking job’ of their website, social media properties, and a comprehensive stroll through their Google Reviews. 

Understanding that standardization is a shortfall of my profession, I wanted to share my thoughts on ways to know you have most likely found a great chiropractor. They all revolve around a handful of key concepts. Those concepts are:

  • Patient-centered
  • Ethics
  • Honesty
  • Education
  • Experience

1. Patient-centered

Being a patient-centered doctor means always doing what is best for the patient rather than doing what is best for the doctor and the doctor’s wallet. Many doctors do not make the kind of money they would like to make but they sleep very well at night. Sacrificing one’s own personal comfort in the interest of always doing what is right for the patient is admirable in my book. 

Some doctors will use scare tactics to incite patients into long, never-ending treatment schedules just like the patient I mentioned with the straightened curve in the neck. Guess what? Almost ALL patients have a straightened curvature in the neck and it is actually very normal. If a patient comes to the office in their 40’s or 50’s and still has a great curve in their neck, I’m actually surprised!

When doctors scare their patients into long, expensive treatment plans that likely do little for them other than drain their bank accounts, they are practicing ‘doctor-centered’ care rather than ‘patient-centered’ care and those are the offices that should be avoided at all costs. 

2. Ethics

This one really goes without saying. Being patient-centered means that the practitioner is most likely very ethical. We all want to know we are going somewhere that is of the highest ethics. At the end, who wants to put their healthcare decisions in the hands of someone that might manipulate them using their fears or using their lack of knowledge in healthcare lingo? 

Of course, you would never do that on purpose but some healthcare practitioners are particularly skilled at manipulating vulnerable patients. Sometimes even using their religion to talk a patient into long-term and unnecessary treatment. It is certainly something to be on the lookout for. 

3. Honesty

So many of these piggyback off each other and Honesty is no exception. When a person is honest, they are typically ethical and patient-centered. 

If you go to a new office and they want x-rays initially, there may be lots of reasons for that and it is my opinion that you should trust the practitioner in that case. But, if they recommend repeated x-rays in a few weeks or a few months and then more x-rays at the end of the year, etc….that is not backed by research, they are not patient-centered, and may not be honest. If they are honest, then they are ignorant of current guidelines suggesting the reduction of imaging outside of red flags (radiating pain, cancer, trauma, etc.).

Honesty is key and sometimes you know a practitioner is honest when they are not too proud to simply tell you the truth and say, “I’m afraid I just don’t know.” That’s about as honest as you can get. 

4. Education

This one is a biggie, folks. Chiropractors in Texas are required to have 16 hours of continuing education per year to retain a license to practice. My question is, “Why stop there?”

If 16 hours is the minimum, and a practitioner is trying to be more than minimally competent, you can expect that practitioner to exceed 16 hours. Not only exceed the chiropractic hours but exceed them by leaps and bounds. 

There are so many things to achieve professionally that the minimum just does not work in this day and age. With so many competitors in the marketplace, a doctor of chiropractic should be specializing and gathering up skills and certifications every year or two. 

For example, I have Advanced Certification in Whiplash Biomechanics and Traumatology, I have been recognized as an expert on ‘Whiplash’ in District Court. I am currently 2/3 of the way through a 300-hour course toward a Diplomate in the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists.

And on and on and on. 

I also host The Chiropractic Forward Podcast www.chiropracticforward.com to help educate other doctors of chiropractic in regard to the amazing amount of research in favor of the chiropractic profession. 

We do not simply gain a degree, go into practice, then stop learning. We must keep learning and keep building our diagnostic and treating skills or we will find ourselves with terrible reviews online and having a hard time providing for our family. 

5. Experience

There is no amount of money that can buy experience. It can only be achieved by going through life. By seeing thousands of different patients. By obtaining experience in what works on your patients and what seems like a waste of time. 

I have so many stories over the last twenty years that have built me brick by brick into who I am today and how I practice today. 

Some of them I love to share and some, from the first year in practice, I am less likely to share openly. You have to learn and your first years are when you learn. Plain and simple. 

So there you are. If you’re going to an experienced chiropractor that is continually furthering his education beyond minimum requirements, has the highest ethics, si honest, and patient-centered, then you have probably found yourself a home for your neuromusculoskeletal needs. 

Stay away from manipulative practices doing things that are typically in the best interest of the doctor rather than in the patients’ best interests. 

If you are in need of a chiropractor in Amarillo, TX and you think we can help, call us at 806-355-3000 and let us get you all set up and started!

 

 

Creek Stone Integrated Care – Jeff Williams, DC

Evidence-based, Patient-centered Teamwork Getting Results For Our Patients

806-355-3000

3501 SW 45th St., Ste. T.

Amarillo, TX 79109

www.creekstonecare.com

 

www.amarillochiropractor.com

www.chiropracticforward.com

 

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