1. What conditions do chiropractors treat?
Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions. DCs are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches…particularly with their highly skilled manipulations or chiropractic adjustments.
They also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, ligaments and joints. These painful conditions often involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause referred pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury. The benefits of chiropractic care extend to general health issues, as well, since our body structure affects our overall function. DCs also counsel patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.
2. Does chiropractic treatment require a referral from an MD?
A referral is usually not needed to see a doctor of chiropractic (DC); however, your health plan may have specific referral requirements.
You may want to contact your employer’s human resources department—or the insurance plan directly— to find out if there are any referral requirements. Most plans allow you to just call and schedule an appointment with a DC.
3. Is Chiropractic treatment safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.
4. Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?
Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.
5. What type of education and training do chiropractors have?
Doctors of chiropractic are educated as primary-contact health care providers, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system (the muscles, ligaments and joints of the spine and extremities) and the nerves that supply them. Educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions. The typical applicant for chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work.
Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding — four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Doctors of chiropractic are educated in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition rehabilitation and more.
Because chiropractic care includes highly skilled manipulation/adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical technique training to master these important manipulative procedures.
In total, the chiropractic college curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
6. How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?
Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the doctor of chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractic physician typically uses his or her hands–or an instrument–to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint function. This often helps resolve joint inflammation and reduces the patient’s pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.
7. Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?
The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a chiropractor, a patient needs to be in his or her office. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. . Your doctor of chiropractic should tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to last.
8. How long does an appointment usually last?
A first time patient should plan on the first appointment taking approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour. This includes 15 minutes at the beginning of your appointment designated to filling out new patient paperwork. You may arrive 15 minutes early to begin your new patient paperwork if desired. We are happy to mail or fax your new patient forms to you prior to your visit to shorten your intake time. Please call 316-744-2001 to arrange your paperwork to be mailed or faxed. Following visits will range from 15-30 minutes depending on the treatment plan decided upon by you and your doctor.
9. Will insurance cover Chiropractic care?
Dr. Pirner is a provider for most major insurance companies in the area. While most insurance companies generally cover Chiropractic care, different insurances will cover different percentages of your visit. Some will require that you meet a yearly deducible before visits will be covered. Others will require a co-pay and will then cover the remaining cost. If you do not know if your insurance plan has a deductible or a co-pay please contact your insurance company. The telephone number can be found on the back of your insurance card. What To Know About Insurance:
Do I have a deductible? If so, have I met the deducible for the year?
Do I have a co-pay? If so, what is the amount?
Is the Chiropractor considered a Specialist? If so, will this change the co-pay amount?
The insurance company is there to serve you as a valued customer. Please use the telephone number on the back of your insurance card to contact them at anytime. Know your insurance company and your personalized insurance plan. Do not be afraid to make the insurance company work for you. That is what they are there for, and they are happy to work with you. If you have any further questions that your insurance company cannot answer, please feel free to ask our staff.
10. How much is an office visit if I do not have insurance?
Dr. Pirner is more than willing to work with patients have or do not have insurance. Depending upon the number of segments of the spine and extremities the doctor adjusts and the complexity of the individual case and evaluation, treatments can vary in time and expense. Average time of an office visit is 15-30 minutes and cost can range from $45-$65. Payment plans can be arranged.