Why Finding An Evidence-Based Chiropractor Is So Important

Not All Chiropractors Are Built The Same


As of 2018 low back and neck pain costs the US healthcare system over $134 billion per year, but the estimated total economic impact is closer to $625 billion annually. That includes the impact on people like you who may have to take time off work, file for disability, or may not be able to enjoy the life that you want to live with your family and friends.

Opioid prescriptions, and the subsequent treatment for their addictive properties, contributed to some of the highest costs related to this low back pain and neck pain care over the past few decades. Thankfully modern clinical guidelines no longer recommend opioid prescriptions for front line care, and instead recommend conservative care such as spinal manipulative therapy.

In a recently published research study Whedon et al found that within the chiropractic profession chiropractors that met a set standard of “best-practices” (listed below) had a significantly lower cost burden on the healthcare system. This means that in most cases, these chiropractors were able to help their patients get better, faster than chiropractors that didn’t meet these criteria. Lower healthcare costs and high-quality, patient-focused care is not only what our patients deserve but also what our entire healthcare system needs.

An infographic from the American chiropractic association demonstrating the difference in care modalities between chiropractors and primary care MD's

What makes a "good" chiropractor?

(1) Provide evidence-based quality care
(2) Use a comprehensive history and intake process
(3) Apply shared decision making with the patient to identify measurable treatment goals
(4) Address any identified external and lifestyle factors that can impact care
(5) Take a comprehensive exam
(6) Conservative use of plain film imaging (not taking unnecessary films to justify their treatment plans)
(7) Provide and demonstrate active care exercises
(8) Well-established clinic processes for referrals and coordination of care between other health care providers
(9) Patients are given home instructions
(10) Patients are educated to empower self-efficacy
(11) Patients are given wellness and further injury prevention instructions

Are you still unsure if you’re being treated by a “good” chiropractor?

Check out our previous blog post: 5 Questions To Ask Your Chiropractor Before Your First Visit

So How Do You Find A "Good" Chiropractor?

If you’re in the Bellingham area you’re in luck! 

At Summit Sports Chiropractic we pride ourselves on meeting all of the criteria noted in the Whedon study and work very closely in an integrative setting with other allied healthcare providers within the Prime Sports Institute. If you are dealing with any kind of pain we will work closely and thoroughly with you to address any of your concerns and get you back to living your best life possible.

If you’re not in the Bellingham area, fear not. There’s a growing map of like-minded evidence based chiropractors that pride themselves on meeting the criteria of being “aggressively ethical” in their care. Click the FTCA logo and you will find a map of trustworthy providers all over the world that can help you break free from pain.

Whedon, J.M., Bezdjian, S., Dennis, P. et al. Cost comparison of two approaches to chiropractic care for patients with acute and sub-acute low Back pain care episodes: a cohort study. Chiropr Man Therap 28, 68 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12998-020-00356-z