Burning Questions Most Patients Are Afraid To Ask…

What can I expect on my first visit?

The first thing a chiropractor will do is ask you about the health complaints of which you are chiefly concerned.  The DC will also ask about your family history, dietary habits, other care you may have had (chiropractic, osteopathic, medical, etc.), your job, and other questions designed to help determine the nature of your illness and the best way to go about treating the problem.

How long does the initial examination take?

The initial exam will take 15-30 minutes.

Will I have to disrobe? 

We rarely need a patient to expose his or her back.  If you are a male, this means that you may have to take your shirt off.  If you are a female, this means that you may need to wear a gown over your bra that will cover up the front, and only expose the back of your neck, down to your lower back.

What is an Adjustment

In basic terms, adjustment refers to the process in which the doctor of chiropractic skillfully applies controlled force into one or more "subluxated" vertebrae of the spine.  When appropriate adjustments can also be used on most of the bodies other joints, from head and jaw to knees and toes. 

What do spinal adjustments do?

Adjusting helps correct vertebral subluxations.  Correcting subluxations reduces pain and inflammation, reduces muscle spasm and tension, normalizes spinal biomechanics and more importantly, can remove nerve irritation and interference which can improve overall health and wellness of the individual.  Chiropractic adjustments are the only way to eliminate vertebral subluxations and deliver the chiropractic spinal adjustment to correct subluxations.

What's wrong with me?

Accurately identifying the cause of spinal pain or other discomfort almost always requires a thorough consultation and examination.  Individuals should not assume their pain stems from the same problem, for example, their neighbor had... and thus what has helped their neighbor will help them.  Just as every individual is unique and different from the next, so too are the health conditions they suffer and the treatments they require.

Chiropractic doctors are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue injuries and abnormalities common to the spine, extremities and rest of the body.  Rest assured that if you are suffering from back or neck problems, extremity problems or other health related ailments, chiropractic can provide you with effective professional relief you demand.  If your condition is out of the chiropractic scope or would be more appropriately managed by another health care specialist, we will gladly and promptly make the necessary referral.

How long will I have to continue getting treatments?

While treatment lengths vary somewhat from person to person and from condition to condition, there are a few rules of thumb you can follow.

First, new injuries, if treated appropriately and immediately, tend to respond to fewer visits assuming that major tissue injury has not occurred.  Many of these first time injuries can be effectively managed in as little as 3 to 4 visits.  Conditions that have been present for greater than 3 months and recurring conditions are generally more stubborn and difficult to manage.  Resolution may require 12 visits or more.

The only sure way to determine how long your treatment will take is to schedule a consultation and/or examination.

For those of you who believe in just waiting for the problem to "go away" on it's own - understand that the longer your condition has been around, the more treatments it will eventually require to resolve.

How much will it cost?

Costs vary and generally depend on the number of treatments required to effectively treat your condition.  A number of studies have shown that chiropractic care is extremely cost effective when compared to other "medical" forms of care for similar conditions.  According to the 1993 Manga Report, "There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of low-back pain was transferred from physicians to chiropractors.  Users of chiropractic care have substantially lower health care costs, especially inpatient costs, than those who use medical care only".

Note:  We also offer different treatment plans and payment options, placing chiropractic care within reach for all who wish to receive its benefits.

Will my Insurance cover Chiropractic care?

Most insurance polices cover chiropractic care.  These carriers including HMO's and PPO's recognize that chiropractic care effectively treats many conditions!  Recent articles published in the Journal for Managed Care cited Chiropractic care as being more cost effective than conventional medical therapies in treating low back pain.  Dr. Hess is a provider for Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, Medicare, Southern Health, Mamsi/MDIPA, ASHN, VHN, and more.

Auto injuries are typically covered 100% by your auto insurance company.  If your accident was caused by someone else, their insurance will pay for your care.  I accept auto accident liens, and wait for payment when your case settles.

If you've been hurt on the job, Workers Compensation Insurance also covers my services.  Studies show that most on the job injuries respond quicker with Chiropractic Care than any other type of treatment!

If you would like, we can contact your insurance company and let you know what your benefits and limitations are before you commit to care.  Give my office a call at 540-854-6445.

What if I don't have insurance or if my insurance company offers little, or no Chiropractic coverage?

If you have little or no coverage, you are not alone!  That's why I have very affordable, no-interest payment plans that are amazingly low cost and affordable!  After your examination and any necessary diagnostic tests Dr. Hess will determine if he can help you.  A "Recommended Action Plan" that spells out how much treatment and care will cost, how long different phases will take, and what options you have to pay for the care, is then provided to you.  At that time, you can decide if you want to proceed with care.  If not, there is no obligation what-so-ever!  If you're not comfortable with the Recommended Action Plan, or aren't sure about anything I suggest, that just fine.  Whenever you're ready, I'll be ready.  If you decide to take a pass, that's your choice, and I'll respect your decision with the utmost professionalism.

What are the stages of care?

The typical patient will encounter 3 stages of care.  The first stage focuses on symptomatic relief such as reduction of pain and other discomforts.  The following stage addresses tissue healing and function normalization.  The final stage consists of periodic spinal care to prevent the formation of new injures, minimize future flare-ups of old injuries, and prevent degenerative spinal processes from occurring.

Do I have to keep coming back for treatments?

You may have heard the notion that once you go to a chiropractor you have to keep going back.  Before we answer that question, ask yourself how many times you have visited the dentist.  Like most people, you've probably gone dozens of times.  Why?  Quite simply, to prevent your teeth from literally rotting out of your head. 

Once we have eliminated your pain and rehabilitated the injured tissues we do recommend that you maintain a schedule of periodic spinal checkups.  Like your dentist and like many of the medical experts are now recognizing, prevention is the key to reducing recurrences of existing health conditions and minimizing new injuries in the future.

So, the answer is yes, we want you to keep coming back, but just periodically.  Periodic chiropractic care minimizes spinal and nerve stresses, reduces recurrences of old injuries, prevents new injuries from developing and minimizes degenerative processes, which enhances overall health and wellness.

Do Chiropractors prescribe drugs or surgical procedures?

The Doctor of Chiropractic prescribes no drugs, medications, or surgeries.   Doctors of Chiropractic focus on restoring proper function as a way of pain relief and optimal health.  In many cases, drugs are used to cover up your pain but do nothing to “fix” the causes of your problem.

I’ve been to many doctors for my condition. No matter what they do, I don’t get better.  Why would going to a Chiropractor get me better?

A misalignment of one or more of the 24 movable bones or “vertebrae” of your spine can irritate or cause pressure or pinching on spinal nerves and result in a serious health-robbing, damaging interference (irritation or blockage) to normal nerve control of your body.  Since the brain controls all parts of your body through the nervous system, this nerve interference can cause pain and many health problems.  It can also lower your body’s resistance so that you become even more susceptible to contagious and infectious illness and disease.  Therefore, if your problem is caused by a misalignment of one or more of the bones of your spine, only chiropractic care will get you better.