What Do Patients Really Want….No, Seriously

July 12, 2020 by Andrew Spracklin

I have got to thinking in the past couple of weeks, with all of the craziness that is going on, what exactly do patients want from a chiropractor and why do they seek care.  Recently, patients have been bringing in treatment plans from other offices in the area and they ask me to explain them for them.  I have to be completely honest, I have no idea how to explain some of these plans to people.  30 visits for lower back pain with a set of x-rays that show a little bit of osteoarthritis, in my mind, does not justify a six month treatment plan.

The whole premise of healthcare is to solve a problem and to see patients as needed when problems arise.  I work with this thought in the back of my mind every day.  When a patient walks into the office, I plan on treating the person until they are either better or they need to be referred out.  For an office to lay out a six month treatment plan for simple problems is irresponsible in my opinion.

Patients respond differently to different problems.  If a 28 year old comes in with low back pain and then a 65 year old walks in with the same problem, the younger person should respond quicker with fewer visits.  It’s not a given but generally speaking this is normally the case.

I’m going to talk in generalities for a moment.  Why exactly do 99% of patients seek care from a chiropractor….let me give you a hint….it’s because pain/discomfort is involved.  The vast majority of people that seek care are looking for pain relief and have no desire to come into an office for the rest of their lives.

If you are seeking care from a chiropractor and the first two visits involve x-rays and a consult as to why you need care for the next year and no adjustment or some sort of care, you may want to second guess care at that particular office.

Very rarely, will you see a patient that comes in that just likes to be adjusted.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to this but it’s just not the typical person that comes in.  Is there evidence out there that chiropractic care can help the immune system and every other medical condition….maybe, the research is very mixed at best.  I’m not resting the life of my practice on this research.  I will be sticking to pain relief and control.

Not all problems are solvable, age and condition can play a huge part but for the majority of people we can help to some degree.  As I have always said, if we can’t help you we won’t drag the treatment on.

In finishing, seriously what do patient want when you seek chiropractic care.  I would almost bet that the majority of people are seeking some sort of pain relief and are not looking for a huge treatment plan that will take month of time and more money than most are willing to spend.  Every office is different and treatments can vary from office to office, but if you walk into an office and you walk out with a treatment plan that goes for 6 months and costs thousands of dollars, feel free to give us a call, I’m sure we can save you time and money.


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