I’ve been a Chiropractor since 2010 and I’ve seen a lot of changes in my field over the course of my career.
One of the biggest (and saddest) changes I’ve seen is the overcrowding of Chiropractic & physical therapy clinics, which ultimately reduces the quality of care you receive.
As reimbursements from insurance companies have gone down, traditional Chiropractic/Physical Therapy clinics have been forced to increase their volume of patients.
That means you rarely get to spend time with your therapist anymore. You typically only see the doctor for a short time and if you are in PT, it’s usually the initial visit or for a re-evaluation.
For Chiropractors, the avg visit time is about 5-7 minutes, and for one-on-one, Physical therapists, less than 15-20 min. You are usually with an assistant!
Because your well-meaning therapist has often been held hostage to a computer because of all the documentation requirements placed on them (just to get paid and keep their jobs).
This results in quicker adjustments for the Chiropractor with no emphasis on soft tissue or rehab, and with Physical Therapists, you often get a sheet of exercises to do…
Yeah, the same exercises they give as TEMPLATES to everyone for that injury! In addition, they are so simple that you typically can do them at the gym or on your own, and they typically are not effective.
Most of the time you’ll hear, “You are right, just stretch more!”
I cringe at this one! Why are you tight? Why are you having this pain? What is the cause? How do we fix this?
The end result is… you spend hours each week doing exercises or rehab that are poorly “supervised” exercises that may or may not be addressing your problem.
As this model of care is becoming more and more common, it’s impossible for the quality of your treatment not to suffer.
Almost all patients that come into our clinic who have tried other therapists say, it was a “waste of time” or “I could have done that at home on YouTube.”
Do you know what’s Worse? When you fail at traditional Chiropractic/Physical Therapy what’s next?
Most people go back to their doctors hoping for a different solution. But in most cases – after the perceived “failure” of physical therapy – the logical next step involves unwanted procedures like injections or surgery. Heck, sometimes they even say, “Go back to the therapist.”
But what if you don’t need that? What if REAL QUALITY CARE & TREATMENT could have fixed your problem – but you just didn’t know what that looked like?
This is the problem in the current medical model. So if you are suffering back pain, sciatica, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, etc, It’s important that you understand what quality Chiropractic/Physical Therapy is and isn’t – so that ultimately you can advocate for the best treatment – and not settle for anything less.
Let’s start with what quality physical therapy is not…
It’s not a quick 5-minute adjustment, saying your “hips are misaligned” and then getting adjusted and told to go stretch, then repeat.
It is also NOT a bunch of general exercises (sheet you follow), e-stim, and ultrasound treatments with a 10-minute hot pack. In both cases, it should “FEEL” different and most certainly, quality care does not feel cookie-cutter or like a waste of time.
Quality Chiropractic/Physical Therapy treatment – on the other hand – is customized, specific, and obvious, heck it can even be fun.
When you receive quality physical therapy – it’s about so much more than making you feel good and reducing your present symptoms.
While of course, that’s a happy byproduct – quality Chiropractic/Physical Therapy treatment should consist of a proper diagnosis that explains to you exactly why you’re having symptoms.
No more guessing games.
And spoiler alert – a proper diagnosis, when done properly, is often different and far more specific and longer than your medical doctor’s.
From there – you should have a clear plan to eliminate and/or get your pain back to something manageable.
In other words, you should feel so good that you have a plan and understanding of your condition!
But here’s the most important aspect of your treatment – and what distinguishes quality therapy from the regular kind… it’s how things work and function when you’re not at therapy.
In other words – do you always feel good when you leave only for the pain to come back the next day? Are you making progress?
You should leave every visit with a crystal clear path forward & understanding.
It’s critical that you know how to keep your pain gone after your therapy treatment is finished as well as prevent it from coming back.
Generalized, non-prescriptive exercises won’t be enough to accomplish this.
You need very specific and purposeful treatment that is based on you, your condition, your sport or activity, and your goals!
When done correctly – 80% of all musculoskeletal problems can be resolved the first time naturally and without procedures or surgery – even without pain pills for that matter.
I love my chosen field and I continue to have faith in my colleagues. Quality therapy does still exist – you just may have to go hunting for it.
Sadly, the insurance-based model of Chiropractic & Physical Therapy reimbursement has made the ability to deliver high-quality therapy harder and harder for so many clinics. The result is that you may need to be prepared to pay out of pocket for some or all of your treatment in order to receive the quality physical therapy you deserve.
It’s worth the extra cost – especially when you consider the alternative and risk of a failed procedure or surgery – which can have a much bigger “cost” at the end of the day.
Trust me – I’ve seen it.
PS If you want some help with your injury, make sure you schedule your FREE Discovery Visit. This will give you a chance to come into our office free of charge!