Do Chiropractors Take Insurance?

Insurance companies are a joke.  One of the most corrupt industries to ever create a stronghold in this country is the private insurance sector, but what is our other option?  Honestly, I don’t have a solid answer for that either.  We have seen socialized medicine fail time and time again in other countries.  Long wait times to see a provider, inconsistent care, and overall tax hikes imposed on the public to pay for “universal healthcare” certainly make it an unappealing option.  Ironically when it comes to chiropractic, the second larges form of healthcare in the United States, every insurance offers coverage.

Chiropractors do take insurance and almost every insurance cover chiropractic care.

Chiropractic coverage with regards to personal health insurance used to be a rarity when shopping and purchasing policies.  Until 20 years ago only 50% of insurance companies offered chiropractic benefits but a recent uptick in peer reviewed research supporting chiropractic treatment for many conditions has led to increased options for coverage when selecting health insurance plans.  In fact many plans incorporate great chiropractic benefits that align with physical therapy benefits often allowing 12-60 chiropractic visits a year. 

How much do chiropractor visits cost?

We have another blog post that covers this in its entirety but the answer is still vague.  Different chiropractors charge more than others mainly based on the amount of care they provide not necessarily the types of service.  On average a new patient visit should cost between $50-$250 including the initial treatment but that can vary way outside that range.  Some clinics will offer new patient specials “$79 initial exam and x-rays!” These types of specials are a great attractant to new patients but should signal that the clinic is new or struggling and cannot rely on referrals from current patients or other health care providers.

The AMA hates chiropractors

The American Medical Association has a duty to its members to lobby and suppress competitive health care options outside those offered by western medicine.  Years of propaganda, slander, libel, and political campaigns funded by the pharmaceutical industry have tarnished the chiropractic profession until the last couple of decades.  Only recently due the availability of the internet and resources for people to understand what we do have patients been able to look past the lobbying and campaigning from the AMA.  

Secondarily the AMA as well as the medical colleges have spewed misinformation while failing to teach medical students even the basic principals of chiropractic care.  Many of my medical colleagues have no idea what I do or why it works.  All they were taught in school is there is “no science”, “its quackery”, “it causes strokes”.  The medical community controls patient perspectives and thankfully the growing Osteopathic community, traditionally trained in spinal manipulation” have been out biggest advocate for advancement. 

Often my colleagues ask, “is chiro care even covered by insurance?” to which I respond Yes, every major insurer, including Medicare and Medicaid cover chiropractic care and often cover it very well! Some are excited and some feel threatened either way we are here to stay because what we do works and provides another option for consumers when facing their health concerns.

Is There a Quick Fix For Disc Bulges?

“Pain” is usually the number one reason a patient presents to our office. Let’s face it. No one ever wants or enjoys pain. Even the elite athletes who claim they enjoy it typically only enjoy the adrenaline rush pain presents but they do not want to live with it. So naturally, as providers, our number one obligation to the patient is to provide pain relief. When it comes to low disc bulges, I am usually tasked with finding the fastest route to relief.

There is no quick fix for a disc bulge. There are only solutions for pain relief caused by the bulge, but these options are limited and usually very temporary.

What is the best for discogenic pain?

First off what is “discogenic pain?” Discogenic pain is any pain caused by the intervertebral disc. More often than not, a disc has bulged or herniated and is applying pressure to one of the spinal nerves causing the pain.

When it comes to pain relief no country is better than the United States. We are the number one consumers of pain medications in the world. In fact, we consume 50% of all the world’s prescription medications, yet we only make up 5% of the world population. WE LOVE OUR PILLS. This has long been the disconnection between immediate pain relief seekers and chiropractors. At this point, the best relief for pain caused by disc bulges is medicine that typically comes with side effects and temporary efficacy. 

However, if a person is in enough discomfort, I have learned that they will typically forgo the risks of injury and side effects for quick pain relief. There are a number of injectable medications that can provide almost instant pain relief. Torodol tends to be the common “go-to” for hospitals and urgent care clinics. For discogenic pain, the relief tends to be moderate at best and never with full resolution. 

What is the best non-drug relief for low back disc pain?

Spinal traction has proven to be the most effective method of relieving discogenic pain in the low back. Even compared to medication, this modality has been the standard of care for physical medicine practitioners such as chiropractors, physical therapists, and even neurosurgeons. Typically sciatica and other radicular pain is caused by compression of a nerve by another source like a bulging disc. Decompressing the area allows the disc to retract away from the nerve and provides instant relief. 

How long does traction relief last?

Traction is typically only effective for a short term, however, repetitious treatment with long axis spinal decompression has been proven to provide lasting relief from low back and neck discogenic pain. Gravity is constantly compressing our spine and it is our worst enemy after a decompression treatment! Repeated treatments over a short course of time provides amazing relief with out the lasting side effects. 

So if someone asks if there is a quick fix for disc bulges, I typically refer them to our Nurse Practitioner for short term relief while we initiate decompression therapy to solve the true nature of their pain.