5 Questions to ask before seeing a chiropractor in Pittsburgh

Oct 07, 2022
5 Questions to ask before seeing a chiropractor in Pittsburgh
1. What are your credentials? Doctors of Chiropractic (D.C.) comprise the second largest health care profession with over 50,000 practitioners in the U.S. They earn the title “doctor” along with Medical Doctors (M.D.), Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.),...

1. What are your credentials?

Doctors of Chiropractic (D.C.) comprise the second largest health care profession with over 50,000 practitioners in the U.S. They earn the title “doctor” along with Medical Doctors (M.D.), Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.), and Dentists (D.D.S. and D.M.D.).

The educational process leading to the title Doctor of Chiropractic is similar to that of an M.D. or D.O. In order to obtain a D.C. degree, a student must complete several years of pre-chiropractic studies at a college or university. Followed by four academic years of Chiropractic education (totaling a minimum 7 years of study). The Chiropractic student’s last year is spent in a clinical internship (similar to M.D. or D.O. “rotations”). During this time the Chiropractic intern, under the supervision of a licensed D.C., will consult, examine and treat patients in a clinic setting. Upon graduation and earning the Doctor of Chiropractic degree, national boards as well as a state licensing exam must be passed in order to practice.

Chiropractic students study many of the same textbooks as Medical and Osteopathic students. As a matter of fact, a Chiropractic student accumulates more course hours in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics (how the body moves), neurology, and nutrition than their Medical and Osteopathic colleagues.

2. Do you take x-rays if necessary?

Be sure to seek a chiropractor who takes X-rays to rule out fractures or a gross pathology (English translation – some other serious problem) as indicated by the consultation, health history, and examination. X-rays help us determine the health of your joints and discs, gives us an estimate of how long it will take before you improve, as well as what specific chiropractic techniques will likely be the most effective for you. Caring for a patient without X-rays is like flying in the dark without radar: it’s dangerous if you don’t know where you are going. There are some life-and-death conditions that can first express themselves with back, neck, or bone pain. If the doctor you’re consulting with doesn’t take X-rays BEFORE recommending treatment, then you should probably consider talking to another doctor who can provide you with the care and treatment you need and deserve.

Do you take x-rays if necessary?

  • If the patient has sustained a significant traumatic injury
  • If the patient has experienced any type of trauma (even a minor one) if over age 50
  • For most patients over 70 years of age, especially if the patient’s history and examination suggests a possible bone disease (such as arthritis or osteoporosis)
  • If the patient has a long-standing pain that has not responded to conservative care

3. Do you have criteria for determining how many visits I need?

Some doctors do not have an objective method to determine how many visits are necessary to relieve your pain and to maintain your new found state of excellent health. They make subjective guesses about your initial treatment and progress. At Pittsburgh Spine and Injury, we progress examinations along the way to make sure we are on track toward your recovery. This procedure tells us exactly where we are, when we are done with the initial pain relief care, and how we are doing in maintaining the relief so that your pain doesn’t return in the future. This method ensures that you are not receiving more visits than you actually need, and thus, saving you money in the long-run. Make sure to find out how the doctor you’re talking to measures progress, and whether or not it’s routine.

4. Will you show me ways of preventing what you are treating?


I saw a sign the other day at my dentist’s office that read, “Support your dentist, eat more candy!” Although I know he’s joking, I spend a considerable amount of time customizing simple and easy ways for you to stay healthy, no matter what caused your problem to begin with. You’ll be thrilled to find out how quick and easy it is to prevent your pain from coming back without the use of drugs or surgery. This prolongs the benefits of the care you’ve received and helps prevent you from re-injuring yourself in the future. I’ve always strived for effective methods to heal and treat your pain and injuries naturally.

You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical care will cost Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the bill for medical items and services.

5. How do I know if I can afford treatment?

I think everyone can agree that in a perfect world we have unlimited time and money to take care of ourselves, unfortunately it’s difficult to take care of ourselves sometimes, even though we know we should. In your 30 and 40’s you gripe about the first steps out of bed in the morning, in your 50’s you can’t believe what you said in your 30’s! It only takes a few mins of consistency every week.

You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency items or services. This includes related costs like medical tests, prescription drugs, equipment and hospital fees. Make sure your health care provider gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing at least 1 business day before your medical service or item. You can also ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule an item or service. If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill. Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate. For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit the CMS Website.