Everyone I meet likes to think that they have the best chiropractor. Unless you have been to as many chiropractors as me, it can be difficult to know if you have the best chiropractor. Yes, you heard that correctly. As a chiropractor myself, I have visited many of the other chiropractic offices around me. I’ve even had many patients come to me after going to their chiropractor for years, and come to the realization that the care that they have been getting has been sub-par. I have made a list of what I believe makes a good well-rounded chiropractor. This list is also contingent on what you are looking for and might need, which can be different for others around you and their situation.

1. How much time do you actually spend with your chiropractic doctor?

chiropractic patient care

Have you experienced a quick “crack em, whack em?” adjustment or the “wham bam, thank you, ma’am?” The assembly line type of practice makes it difficult for any quality time between you and the doctor. On the other hand, if you have a chiropractor that gives you plenty of time to address your questions and gives ample table time, you’ve met my first high-quality chiropractor criteria.

2. Is your chiropractor well versed in the latest techniques?

Graston Technique Soft Tissue Therapy Chiropracticactive release technique chiropractic

This can be difficult to know unless you’ve done your research on the variety of techniques available. Most people that come to me have no clue about the best practices of the trade. However, a simple google research can help determine if your chiropractor is up-to-date on their skills. Just to name a few of the techniques of today:

  • Active Release Technique (ART)
  • Graston Technique or instrument-assisted soft tissue technique
  • Dry Needling
  • Muscle Energy Technique
  • Functional Movement Screen
  • Acupuncture
  • Kinesio Taping or Rock Taping

There are also many certifications that a chiropractor can receive, such as CCS Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician or an MS Clinical Nutritionist. There are many more certifications and courses, but the main question should be is your chiropractor keeping up with their education?

3. Does your chiropractor have a good reputation online?

truspine 5 star yelp

What is everyone saying online about your chiropractor? Some review sites are better than others. Some of my favorite sites are Yelp and Google Reviews as I feel they do a slightly better job at keeping fake reviews from being posted. As you can tell, a search for San Francisco chiropractor online reviews will give you lots of information. You must be a good critical thinker when it comes to evaluating reviews. When looking at reviews, it is helpful to not just look at the number of reviews, but also to look at the quality of the writing. You can usually tell if a review is fake if there are no real details. Does the review discuss the actual methods employed by the doctor? Does the review give details about the clinic layout and ease of appointment? Are there details about the intake process, or about how long the treatment lasted? All in all, fake reviews are usually vague and give little to no details.

4. Is your condition improving with the care you are receiving?

chiropractic phases of care chart

I’m shocked at how some patients come to me that have been going to another chiropractor 1 to 4 times per week for over many months to a year and are still not better. You’ve heard the definition of insanity, maybe? Well, move on or ask about other options for care.

5. Does your chiropractor perform x-rays on everyone that walks through the door?

chiropractic x-ray

Some spinal related conditions need an x-ray and are medically necessary. However, if your chiropractor x-rays everyone, regardless of your condition, it is a warning sign. Unfortunately, some chiropractors think that everyone needs corrective chiropractic care. This type of care is expensive, time-consuming, and for the majority of people, is not needed.

All in all, chiropractors come in as many flavors. Utilizing this short list may help you find a chiropractor that can help you address your problems. Chiropractors also treat a variety of conditions, and some chiropractic specialists are much more well suited to treat your specific complaint.


Also published on Medium.