Cost of Care for an Affordable Chiropractor
Chiropractic care will vary in price based on a few factors. General care costs range from $30 to $200 an office visit. While the national average is around $65 a session, there are other factors that can affect how much you pay. Your chiropractor’s level of experience, treatment plan, and insurance all play a role.
The first, and perhaps the most important factor is your chiropractor’s level of experience. It takes a lot of schooling to become a chiropractor. They must complete 4 years of pre-medical courses then an additional 4 to 5 years to specialize in chiropractic medicine. After graduation they must complete a 1 year internship. Only then can they begin to practice under their own license.
Many chiropractors go on to specialize in other areas of osteopathic medicine. Areas of specialty may include sports medicine, prenatal chiropractic care, and infant adjustments. How they price their services is a reflection of their expertise and the quality of the care they offer. The type of care your case requires will also affect pricing.
Additional Expenses of Chiropractic Care
Certain conditions or structural problems are difficult to diagnose through a physical exam. Imaging such as x-rays and MRIs will aid in the diagnosis process. These types of imaging are expensive and your insurance may not cover it. Affordable chiropractic care is also commonly paired with physical therapy and rehabilitation. The reason being that back pain is often caused by poor posture and lifestyle or injury. This can cause the surrounding muscle groups to become irritated or atrophy. Rehabilitation helps to restore normal strength and function to these muscle groups. This helps to reduce pain and prevent future injury. Your chiropractor may also recommend regenerative medicine applications such as stem cell therapy. The more services you need in addition to chiropractic care, the higher the price tag gets.
Insurance also plays a role in how much your chiropractic care will cost. Many insurance companies still consider chiropractic medicine to be an ‘alternative medical service’. However, many plans will cover at least part of your cost. Workman’s compensation also often covers chiropractic visits as part of rehabilitative care. Coverage may vary so be sure to check with your service provider to determine your share of the cost. For example, some plans will only cover so many visits a year and may not cover imaging. Additionally, your plan may not cover all items your chiropractor prescribes. These include supplements, orthopedic tools, or home physical therapy equipment. Your plan may also require that you see in network providers. If your preferred physician is outside the network you may have a higher deductible or pay out of pocket.
How does chiropractic care compare to the cost of traditional medical management of back and neck pain? A study published in the 2009 Journal of the American Osteopathic Association analyzed the average costs of care. The study compared data from 1556 patients spanning 2030 episodes of care. This includes office visits, prescriptions, referrals, and imaging. The control group included patients seeking care from their primary care doctor. The test group received Osteopathic Medical Treatment (OMT), or chiropractic adjustments. The OMT group had 38% more office visits than the test group. However, they spent 85% less on imaging services, and 26% less on prescriptions. This amounts to an overall 14% reduction in cost of care for OMT patients versus traditional care. While 14% may not seem like much, when compared to the lifetime cost of the treatment, chiropractic care is much more affordable.
When talking about affordable chiropractic care, it is important to look at the hidden costs of traditional medical care. Patients in the OMT group received far fewer x-rays and MRIs, referrals, and prescriptions. At a primary care doctor you may have to wait for imaging and other test results to begin treatment. A chiropractor can often begin treatment on your first visit, getting you back on the road to happy and healthy sooner than with traditional care.
Comparing Affordable Chiropractic Costs with Other Options
Patients seeking chiropractic care report significant improvement in their condition in as little as a few days to a few weeks after beginning treatment. While they may require continued care to maintain a pain free lifestyle, this is a much better prognosis than that of patients seeking traditional care. The findings of the 2009 study supports this, showing that the OMT group received only half as many prescriptions. Most patients reported that they were able to stop taking pain meds after beginning treatment as where most of the control group remained on meds throughout the study.
Over time, this dependency on prescription pain medications significantly increases the cost of care. Prescription pain medications also have many serious and costly side effects. These side effects include long term health issues such as liver, kidney, and heart problems. Even short term use of ibuprofen can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. The risk of dependency and addiction are also high.Additionally, studies show that chronic pain has a cascading negative impact on a patient’s health. For example, as back pain worsens it become difficult to stand or walk for extended periods.
As a person becomes more sedentary to avoid back pain they tend to gain weight. Increased weight leads to other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and worsening back and joint pain. Declining health means more doctor’s visits, more medications, and more lost income. When considering these hidden costs, it becomes less a question of if chiropractic care is affordable and more a question of is it worth it?
Why Choose an Affordable Chiropractor
The answer is simple. An affordable chiropractor focuses on preventing this cascade effect using noninvasive, low risk, drug free methods to provide long term back pain relief. Through the skilled application of pressure on the spine an affordable chiropractor can restore proper alignment to the spine. When the spine is in proper alignment the nerves in the body are able to heal and regain normal function, allowing the body to run more efficiently.
At Freedom Health Centers we are dedicated to providing our patients with the best care to get you back on your feet as soon as possible. We provide four main types of care and mix and match these treatments with other therapies to meet your specific needs. With the help of physical therapy and rehabilitation, your chiropractor can help you to improve your posture and make lifestyle changes to prevent future injury. Depending on the condition of your nerves and connective tissues, your chiropractor will also be able to help you regain lost range of motion or function through the application of regenerative therapies. We pride ourselves on offering affordable chiropractor visits to relive your symptoms without the need for costly surgical intervention or lifelong dependency on pain killers.