In this blog we will be answering some of the most popular asked questions that we all hear in our office, so please enjoy. These might be some of the questions you've been dying to ask, but just haven't had the opportunity to yet!
Hey everybody! Dr. Bob here at Lowcountry Chiropractic. I hope you've been doing well. This blog is going to be dedicated to answering some of our frequently asked questions. Have you been wondering about chiropractic, what we do, and how it works? Then you've come to the right place. That is exactly what we will be discussing today. So, let's get started!
QUESTION ONE: Are Chiropractors real Doctors?
Believe it or not, I do hear this question sometimes. Not as much as I used to, thankfully. I believe people are really starting to understand that YES we are real doctors. To get your doctorate in chiropractic, you have to go through three to five years of schooling, sometimes more, after you've completed all of your prerequisite classes. It is a very rigorous course of schooling, very similar to what a medical student would go through in terms of hours needed to complete your classes. It's very similar to medical school, except, we focus more on spinal anatomy and neurology whereas medical students focus on pharmacology and diagnosis. So, the focus is different. The number of hours and intensity of the classes is pretty similar. In school, chiropractors have to be in the clinic and take care of patients. Then when you graduate, you have to pass four national exams (written, practical, and oral) before you can practice and before you get a license. So yes, we are real doctors. We are called Doctors of Chiropractic or DC for short.
QUESTION TWO: Are there some stretches that you can teach me that I can do at home to take away my problems and pain?
I hear this question a lot. Patients come in and want to know if I can show them stretches that will fix their issues. Yes, we encourage that you stretch as much you can! It will keep the muscles loose and the tendons and ligaments limber. But, if you have a chiropractic problem, like a subluxation of your spine (spinal vertebrae that are misaligned) chiropractors are the only trained professionals that can remove those issues. Stretching won't help correct those issues. You need to go to a chiropractor for that!
QUESTION THREE: Is chiropractic care safe and effective for pregnant women?
It is absolutely! I would recommend any woman who is pregnant to get into chiropractic. As a pregnant woman grows and the baby gets bigger, sometimes the baby can sit on nerves on the low back and create a lot of painful problems. Chiropractic care can help with that. Chiropractic care can help keep the spine aligned, help keep pressure off the nerves and keep pain at a minimum. Chiropractic care is also proven to help reduce the time of labor and the amount of pain in labor. Chiropractors help keep the pelvis open, which helps the baby properly go through the birth canal. Another great reason to go to a chiropractor during your pregnancy is that your baby is getting all of their nutrients from you. If your body isn't optimally healthy, you're not passing 100% of health through your nutrition along to the baby. If you want your baby to be healthy, you want to stay healthy. I am also trained to help with any breech presentation, helping to keep the baby in proper alignment for a healthy and safe birth for both you and the baby. This can help if you want a natural birth and it helps avoid an emergency C-Section.
QUESTION FOUR: What conditions can be helped with chiropractic care?
The obvious ones that patients come in with are pain, like headaches, neck pain, and low back pain. These issues are the most common that we see. However, remember this. The nerves that come off your spine send messages and control every function in your body. When you have a subluxation on these nerves, things can go very wrong. For example, you can get acid reflux, you can develop high blood pressure, diabetes, and other digestive problems. You can experience a lack of energy or insomnia. Chiropractic care can help with these conditions as well, as long as they're being caused by a subluxation.
QUESTION FIVE: Is chiropractic care covered by insurance?
This is a big question. Most insurance plans do cover chiropractic care. Some don't, which is why when we get a new patient in the office, we check their insurance information right away. We will call your insurance company and make sure if it is covered or not, how much is covered, how many visits are covered, and how much the co-pay will be. We've started to see a trend recently with Obama Care in place that deductibles have grown a lot. This means how much you have to satisfy as a patient out of your pocket before the insurance will start to pay. While an insurance company may say they cover chiropractic, your deductible could be extraordinarily high and you will have to meet it before your insurance kicks in and starts paying for the care you want.
QUESTION SIX: Is Chiropractic care expensive?
Chiropractic care can be extremely affordable. If you take care of the maintenance of your spine now, you'll be avoiding issues down the road that could be extremely costly. For example, injections, surgeries, and things you don't want to do. Chiropractic care is all about prevention. We focus on what we can do for your spine now to prevent big issues down the road as you get older. It's very affordable because it's a maintenance model. Also, in our offices, we work with our patients. We will work with patients who have financial issues, and make sure that they get the care they need, not just what they can afford.
QUESTION SEVEN: Is it true if you get into chiropractic care, you will have to go for the rest of your life?
I would say if you want to remain optimally healthy, then yes you should continue with treatments throughout your life. Chiropractic care is like brushing your teeth, exercising, or eating properly. These are all healthy habits you do in your life to stay healthier. Normally how it works in chiropractic care is that you come in more frequently, in the beginning, to retrain everything in your body. Once everything's set, we put you on a maintenance program to make sure those problems we corrected don't come back. That's why we highly recommend that you stay on a maintenance program to maintain the work that we've done.
I hope that these answers helped you understand a little more about chiropractic care and what we do every day. If any of this resonates with you and you've got some problems with pain, please come visit us. Please come in for a consultation to see if we are the right fit for you and your health journey.
I'm Dr. Bob, and I've got your back covered! Until next time, stay well!
Insurance can be intimidating when you're not sure how much it's going to cover your care or not. Don't let insurance woes stand in the way of getting your chiropractic care. Your health will always come first with Dr. Bob!
There has been a question that keeps circling our offices at Lowcountry Chiropractic and we want to address and ease our patients and future patient's minds with the best answer we can. We are going to go off-topic from our normal blog topics, but an important question needs to be addressed immediately. That question is "Does insurance cover chiropractic care"? Take a deep breath - we understand the stress that can come with insurance and having to pay out of pocket expenses before you meet your deductible. In general, yes, insurance does cover chiropractic care. A lot of popular insurance companies cover the care including Aetna, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Cigna, and Medicare. But paying for chiropractic care with these companies and with many others does come with a few distinct caveats that you need to be aware of.
Insurance policies have changed dramatically since Obama Care was put into action. More people needed insurance due to Obama Care, so insurance cost went up. In turn, insurance companies raised their costs. Ever since this change, many companies that offered insurance to their employees had to change the insurance they offered because the cost became so high. Companies are choosing to offer their employees insurance plans that have higher deductibles to deal with this change in cost. Your deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in and pays for the rest of your expenses. In a lot of cases, the plans many companies used to offer their employees had much lower deductibles - and some of them had no deductibles at all. When you went to the doctor, all you needed to worry about was the co-pay and your insurance would cover the rest. Today it is a much different story. Many people are paying more out of pocket than they ever have for insurance. Deductibles can now reach upwards to $6000, which is really intimidating. Insurance today is now consistently covering less than it ever has before.
In many cases, a lot of patients, including those that come into the offices here at Lowcountry Chiropractic, don't get sick enough to even get close to reaching their high deductibles. Which of course, hits the issue of "will my insurance cover my chiropractic care". There are a lot of plans out there that do have lower deductibles that make it easier on you and your wallet when dealing with your medical expenses. Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state Blue Cross and Blue Shield for Teachers, and Medicare for seniors are some of the best options out there with lower deductibles. But with so many insurance companies out there it's understandable and very easy to get confused about what your plan is, what it offers to you, and not knowing how much you will end up having to pay at the end of the day. If your deductible is just too high - it might be time to do a little research to see if what your company is offering you is the best option, or if there is something out there that is better for you. If you're confused about what your plan is, call into the office and we will check your insurance plan right away and see what kind of deductible you have, where you are in reaching it, and how much insurance will or will not be covering your next visit.
But don't panic yet. If you haven't hit that deductible, or your insurance that you have just flat out doesn't cover chiropractic care, don't fret. First off, you don't know how much it costs until you ask. Come in and have your appointment with Dr. Bob and get diagnosed with what care you need to get better, and then see what the cost is. Don't just say it's too expensive and you can't afford it. Your health is more important to Dr. Bob than anything. The biggest thing we want our patients to know is that one of our main goals outside of keeping you healthy is not letting finances become a barrier between you and getting treatment. If you come in and you need a certain amount of treatments, but can't afford the initial out of pocket expense, that's okay. The office will work with you and put you on a budget or payment plan to help you get the care that you need.
Let's think about the bigger picture here. If you have serious back pain and you get 2 to 3 spinal injections to care for that pain, the same amount of money for those injections can pay for a year of chiropractic care with Dr. Bob. So really, it's not as expensive as you think. It is also amazing preventative care. If you are a candidate for chiropractic care and you do the right thing for your back and come and get your treatments regularly and when it is needed, you are avoiding serious pain and spending tons of money later down the line. Consistent chiropractic check-ups and treatments can help you avoid getting MRIs, pain medications, injections, and even surgeries. These forms of care can be REALLY expensive - especially if you don't have insurance. So if you take care of your back now and get the chiropractic care that you need, you're going to be much healthier and in much better shape than if you let the idea of cost get in the way of not getting the care you need.
Unfortunately, Tricare, the insurance the military offers those in service does not cover chiropractic care. As much as we have been trying to work with them and get it covered, it still isn't covered. So, we offer a very nice discount for those who do have Tricare. We recognize the service and want to make sure you are taken care of.
We hope that has answered and helped some of your questions and fears of dealing with your insurance at the Chiropractor. Don't let it ever stand in the way of getting the help you need, we are here to help. If you have any questions or are still not understanding your insurance, don't hesitate to call. We are here to help you figure it out. We look forward to seeing you in the office the next time you come in!
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