How to Choose a Chiropractor

Medically Reviewed

According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractors treat not only back pain but also a variety of health conditions, including neck pain; headaches; and muscle, ligament, and joint injuries and disorders. Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) undergo extensive training to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal problems.

Before you go …

If you’re suffering from back pain, it’s important to first see your primary care doctor for a diagnosis and possible treatment. If needed, your doctor can refer you to a chiropractor.

If you decide to seek chiropractic treatment, find out beforehand whether your health insurance will cover it; Medicare covers medically necessary chiropractic services.

What to look for in a chiropractor

When choosing a chiropractor, look for someone who:

Provides advice on home treatment and exercises

Arrives at a diagnosis through a thorough physical exam and interview, ordering X-rays only in specific cases

Is willing to refer you to a specialist when warranted

Avoid a chiropractor who:

Uses X-rays as a standard diagnostic test

Uses manipulation to treat such ailments as respiratory infections, skin conditions, and eye problems

Promotes regular manipulation as a means to prevent an unrealistic list of health problems

Advises against flu or pneumonia vaccines

Wants to run a hair or fingernail analysis or other unproven methods to detect allergies, deficiencies, or “unhealthy body chemistry”