How is Spinal Care different from every other chiropractic office I have been to?
- We think there are many ways, but the two biggest differences we hear involve the speed and process with which we tend to fix injuries. We don’t subscribe to the “long term care” plan. We want you fixed and back out living your life. You won’t be seeing us 3x/week for 12 weeks. It’s more likely you will see us 4-5x and you’ll be finished.
- In addition, we don’t “just crack the back”. We find that joint health and repair comes down to the mobility of not just the joint, but the soft tissue supporting the joint. Most patients tell us about how they have “gotten cracked” and sent on their way in other offices. That might help some patients, but we feel that most pain is more fully (permanently) resolved if the soft tissue is mobilized and then strengthened and stabilized. In most cases, there is no “cracking” (called an adjustment) to be had. The adjustment is just another tool we have to help mobilize a joint. Some patients respond very well to an adjustment and others cringe at the thought. Either way, we discuss your options with you and if the adjustment has been helpful, we can use it. If you’d sooner have a tooth pulled than have a joint adjusted, we simply don’t do it.
- We think one additional feature that sets us apart from other office is our team. Daily we hear comments on how incredibly helpful our staff is. We understand that when you are in pain, the last thing you need is people who don’t go out of their way to help. You need a place to get answers and people who return your calls. The Spinal Care team is a fantastic group of people who are focused on you and your well-being. We never forget that we are here for you……and we like to have fun, so expect to laugh while you recover.
What should I expect on my first visit?
- Expect to be asked a number of questions about your injury. We ask that you complete our new patient health history form available on our website and bring that in with you. This way you have some time before your appointment to organize your thoughts about your injury and your overall health history (If you can’t access a computer or printer, come in 20 mins early for your first visit and you can do it in our office). If you have multiple areas of pain, decide on which area you want to address first (see question 3 below).
- Expect to move. We will have you move a good deal to test range of motion, reflexes, muscle tone etc. The more we see you move, the more we can determine about your injury. With this in mind, we ask that you come wearing LOOSE FITTING, comfortable clothes. If the injury involves the low back, hips, legs or feet –wear or bring a pair of loose fitting shorts. If the injury involves the neck or shoulders, we ask our female patients to wear a tank top, camisole or sports bra to allow us to see how the shoulders move. If you forget, we have plenty of gowns and shorts available for you, but you are usually more comfortable in your own.
- Expect to be educated. Once we know what is involved with your injury, we will let you know what we find and how we are going to fix it. If it is an injury we cannot fix, we will explain that to you and offer you some options that might help: whether that is another type of doctor or therapy, or some other course of action.
Why do we only work on one area at a time when I have pain in multiple regions?
- With limited time allowed for each visit, we want to focus on one area of pain and eliminate it. We find that if we spread our focus on multiple regions in one appointment, we see less significant improvements overall. We find the results are better when we concentrate on one area, fix it and then move on. When you have multiple areas of complaint, pick the one that is most impactful to you and we can start there.
How long does a visit take?
- The first visit is usually about 45 minutes. We need that time to do a thorough exam and explain the findings to you. If your injury is one we can help, we will start treatment right away and explain your home care. This also applies if we haven’t seen you in a while or if you have a new injury.
- Each additional visit takes about 30 minutes which is spent one-on-one with the doctor.
How often should I schedule my appointments?
- We generally schedule follow up appointments 3-5 days apart. We like to give you about 2-3 days to let the treatment take effect and then a few more days to give you time to go and test it. We don’t like to have too much time in between treatments as we want you better as soon as possible and each treatment builds on previous improvements.
Do you take my insurance?
- We take many insurances. There are too many to list here, but it’s best to call our office (610-489-8800) and one of our team members will get your insurance info and find out what is covered for you. We will let you know what your co-pay is or where your deductible stands. For those who do not have insurance or your insurance does not cover our care, we have self-pay/cash rates as well.
How many visits will each injury take?
- That’s a tough question to answer without seeing you and its part of the reason we do the full assessment. Most injuries are resolved pretty quickly – in about 4 visits. Generally, the more acute an injury, the faster it can be resolved. The more chronic an injury is; it might take a little longer.
Can I keep working out, training, playing?
- Again, this answer is patient and injury specific, but under most circumstances: YES! Unless we find something unstable, you can usually maintain your activity levels. Often we want you to keep up with your routine and pay close attention to how you feel. Often patients are shocked about how good they feel with previously painful motions. The more you test an area, are aware of how you feel and what limits you, the better idea we have of how to direct your treatment.
Do you only work on the spine or can you help with other areas too?
- About 40% of our patients come in with back or neck issues. That remaining 60% of injuries involve shoulders, elbow, hands, feet, ankle and knees. The general rule of thumb is that if it hurts when you move it, we can likely fix it. We have treated everything from rotator cuff injuries and frozen shoulder, to tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis.
Why do we have to reschedule if I’m late?
- We have to juggle a pretty packed schedule with the need to spend as much time as possible with each patient. When you are even 5-10 mins late, that cuts into the amount of time we have to spend with you and how you recover. In addition, it affects each patient that comes in after you. Unlike many other doctors’ offices, we tend to stay on time and we get to spend a good deal of time with each patient. This only works however if we all stay on time. We understand that things come up, but we ask you to please call us as soon as you know of any schedule change or issue. We often have a wait list and we hate to have people in pain when we could have gotten them in for care.
Do you take x-rays?
- Not as a matter of course. We only order imagining (x-rays, MRI, CT etc.) if there is a specific need for it. Otherwise we feel there is no need to expose you to possible radiation, waste your time or to add to health care costs if we don’t need it to resolve an injury.If an injury is not improving or we suspect fracture or other issue, we can order the appropriate imaging for you but we do not do it in office. We can refer you to a number of excellent imaging centers and once the images/reports are sent back to us we will review them with you.
Once my injury is resolved, do you recommend “maintenance” treatments?
- Again, every patient is different so it depends on the injury. Most of the time, if you are consistently doing mobility and stability work on your own, you shouldn’t need us. We highly recommend massage work to maintain soft tissue mobility. While the lighter more relaxing spa massages are great for relaxing, we feel that a deeper more therapeutic massage is more helpful for keeping you fully mobile. We offer massage therapy here at Spinal Care with a specific focus on deeper and more therapeutic work. See the “Staff” page on our website to learn more about our licensed massage therapists which have been described as “the best ever” “massage ninjas”. Try them out and see for yourself- see if you can come up with a better term than “massage ninja”.