How Do I Get a Chiropractor Referral?

Drs. Jeff Langmaid and Jason Deitch

Founder DCs, The Smart Chiropractor

You’ve been injured, or maybe you’re just looking for a better quality of life.

Whether a friend has given you a recommendation or you’ve looked online, you’re looking for a great chiropractor.

If you’ve never been to a chiropractor before, you may be wondering…

“How do I get a chiropractor referral?”

In most cases, you don’t need a referral to see a chiropractor.

Keep reading to learn more.

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Over the past ten years, chiropractic care has become an essential part of millions of people’s healthcare routines.

Major healthcare organizations and guidelines now recommended chiropractic care as one of the safest and effective ways to recover from injuries, including:

  • Spinal Disc Issues
  • Headaches
  • Neck Pain
  • Low Back Pain
  • Sciatica
  • and More

Aside from just helping people recover from injuries, if you’ve been paying close attention to sports, you may have noticed that chiropractors are a part of the healthcare team for nearly every major pro sports, college, and even some high school teams.

Chiropractors are looked to for their expertise in recovery, movement, injury prevention, and human performance.

It’s estimated that over 15% of the population has seen a chiropractor, so just how does it all work?

While the rules and regulations can vary slightly from country to country or state to state, chiropractors are considered the portal of entry healthcare providers.

That means that in most cases, you can visit a chiropractor without needing a formal referral.

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Like primary care physicians, you can simply call up or visit a chiropractor’s website to schedule an initial appointment and evaluation.

Do Doctors Ever Recommend Chiropractors?

The answer is YES! Most modern, up-to-date doctors regularly work with and refer to chiropractors.

Progressive healthcare institutions such as Crossover Health, the Mayo Clinic, and others now have chiropractors on staff.

In some clinics, the chiropractors actually “quarterbacks” the new cases that come into the practice.

For example, if you present with low back pain due to a disc injury, the chiropractor may be the first healthcare professional you see.

The chiropractor will take a history, perform an evaluation, take imaging as needed, and then decide the most appropriate treatment plan.

There is no “competition” between M.D’.s and D.C’s.

While your medical doctor is primarily responsible for helping you treat disease and symptoms, your chiropractor may place an additional focus on prevention and health promotion.

Part of the reason that chiropractors have become so popular is that they don’t prescribe drugs and medications.

Years ago, an aching back may have resulted in your primary care doctor recommending bed rest and some pills.

We now know that a course of treatment involving rest and medications is probably the worst thing you can do to heal an aching back.

All the leading healthcare journals now recommend movement-based care that is non-pharmacological as the safest and most effective way to take care of your neck and back issues.

Can Chiropractors Make Referrals?

With chiropractors taking care of so many people with neck and back issues, you may be curious to know what happens if the care you need extends beyond a chiropractor’s scope.

In other words, can chiropractors make referrals to different doctors and for imaging like MRIs?

The answer is yes! Chiropractors have the ability, and duty, to refer when needed.

If a chiropractor discovers any red flags during your evaluation, they may choose to make an immediate referral to a medical colleague.

Another common referral that a chiropractor will make is for advanced imaging.

MRIs and CTs are rarely the first things you need if you have back or neck pain, but there are reasons that an advanced image may be required.

Chiropractors can refer and write scripts for all types of imaging, blood tests, and specialty care.

Will My Insurance Cover Chiropractic Care?

Now that you know how important chiropractic care is, you are probably interested in learning if your insurance will cover chiropractic services.

In most cases, the answer is yes.

Nearly all major healthcare insurers cover chiropractic care, but your policy may have restrictions and limitations.

To determine your benefits, first, reach out to your health insurance company and ask if you have chiropractic coverage through your policy.

It’s common to have an associate copay with chiropractic services, just like many of your other doctors.

After you’ve determined your benefits, you can now see if any chiropractors in your area work with your insurance company.

Just because a chiropractor works with your insurance company does not necessarily mean they are the best choice for your care.

Many chiropractors and medical doctors have begun offering direct, affordable, fee-for-service programs due to how difficult insurance companies can work with.

If you have insurance benefits, it’s understandable to want to use them.

Still, you should understand that insurance can hinder your ability to receive the best care option instead of enhancing it.

How Do I Get a Chiropractor Referral?

If you’re ready to start looking for a chiropractor, here are a few tips to find the best doc for you.

Ask for a Recommendation

One of the best ways to find a great chiropractor is to get a recommendation from a friend or colleague.

By asking around, you’ll discover what they liked about the practice, and you’ll be able to ask questions before scheduling your first appointment.

Search online

If you don’t have a recommendation from a friend, then searching online is a great alternative.

Searching Google and Facebook are the two best places to look.

When searching, Google don’t just look for the closest chiropractor.

Take a look at their Google Business page.

  • Is it updated frequently?
  • Are the posts and pictures well designed?
  • How are their reviews compared to the other local practices’?
  • These little details will give you insight into the practice.

The same can be said of Facebook.

If you look on Facebook for a practice- take a look at their page.

  • Is it consistently updated?
  • Is the doctor showing up each day to teach?

If the answer is yes, you have a few clues that this is a great office with a doctor who cares.

Now you know the answer to, “how do I get a chiropractor referral?”

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