I was excited to go to a chiropractor for the first time. I saw an ad on Facebook for one close to home who was offering a $300 free voucher that included an adjustment, X-rays, total exam, physical therapy and provides an ongoing treatment plan. What a perfect opportunity!
For my first appointment I had to fill out a million forms about my diet and health history; then I got a tour of the facility. When I got to meet the doctor, he began by explaining vertebral subluxation, of which I never had heard. Basically, it is the result of vertebrae that do not move properly, or are out of position, which causes a breakdown of nerve communications between your brain and your body. He said we all need adjustments, or tune-ups, much like an automobile. Almost everything that has moving parts needs maintenance or repairs at some point.
After some X-rays, we talked a little more about the results. He said he definitely could help me. My hips weren’t aligned and my neck didn’t have any curvature. My shoulders were a mess, too. I would need aggressive treatments, but I would feel so much better in a few weeks. He was surprised more people with fibromyalgia don’t get treatment from a chiropractor because of the relief the adjustments can provide. He had me run through some quick exercises with a physical therapist, and I was given a handout of the exercises so I could do them at home.
They had me come back for the treatment plan and one adjustment. When I went back a week later, the doctor showed me the X-rays and explained my issues more in depth. He told me I would need to come in three times a week for four weeks, and twice a week for three weeks. Treatments included chiropractic adjustments along with physical therapy.
Then it was time to find out how much this was going to cost. I checked into my insurance coverage, and I would have to meet the $2,000 deductible before they would cover up to $500 per year!
He had his assistant come in. She broke the news to me. To do the entire plan he had mentioned would cost me only $5,400. I was floored! Not at all what I was expecting. That price included my insurance. If I didn’t go through insurance, I could buy a supplement plan for $49 a year through their office, and the bill would go down to $2,400. I said that was more than I was planning to pay. We “negotiated” to just the four weeks of three treatments per week for $580 paid in three easy payments. I told him that I would have to think it over and discuss it with my husband.
After that shock, the doctor came back in and did a quick adjustment. Getting an adjustment for the first time can be downright scary. Between the sensations and the popping and cracking noises, I can see where it could be intimidating to some. He worked on my shoulders and lower back for a total of four different adjustments. I felt some relief right away, which made me want to come back to see what a full appointment could bring.
After discussing the treatment plan and cost with my husband, we both checked with our friends and co-workers to see what they thought. Everyone thought the same as we did — too expensive. However, my husband found out the wellness center his employer runs provides free chiropractic care for people on the insurance plan. So, guess where I went?
Getting to meet the new chiropractor was a wonderful experience. No pressure at all. He felt I only needed once-a-week adjustments and he cautioned me that it could cause me to go into a flare. The other doctor did not mention that possibility at all. His aggressive treatment plan could have been disastrous for me.
Stay tuned for next week’s column, where I will discuss more about how it went with my new chiropractor, and my experience with chiropractic care in general.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.