By Amelia Mazgaloff, owner and chiropractor at Chiro-Health, Inc.
When it comes to finding a great chiropractor it isn’t easy. San Francisco especially has over 300 chiropractors just in the financial district, and with so many choices it becomes confusing who to trust. Most people who look for a chiropractor Google or Yelp the word chiropractor and hope they found the right one. What we see in our office Chiro-Health, Inc in San Francisco is patients coming to seek a second opinion for treatment from other offices. Most commonly they feel that the other chiropractor did not take the time to evaluate them, or listen, just cracked and popped few joints, laid them down on a massage table and told them to come back. Those patients did not know their diagnosis and the cause of their condition, and they felt that chiropractic didn’t help them in any way, as well as they felt that the treatment plan presented to them was excessive. There are few things that one should look for when choosing a chiropractor.
The first thing that a great chiropractor does is listen to your explanation on why do you think you have the symptoms you are presenting with. Dr. Mazgaloff , a founder and a chiropractor in San Francisco at Chiro-Health, Inc states ” After I listen to the patients history, I always ask: do they sit or stand at work, what sports they play, what do they do at the gym, do they have children they lift at home, how they sleep, do they commute? Yes it takes time to go through this conversation, but this is a valuable information that helps me understand the lifestyle of the patient. Most back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, wrist pain are caused due to lifestyle. Adjustments and therapy will help but if the doctor does not advise on lifestyle change, the treatment will be prolonged, the symptoms will return, and the patient will perceive that chiropractic did not work. ”
The second thing that a patient should look for is that the chiropractor not only adjusts the joints, but also do an adjunctive therapies such as manual work-focused massage to prepare the area to be adjusted, so that she/he can deliver the best adjustment with the least amount of force and resistance from the soft tissue, in most case muscle spasm. Using technology is another way to evaluate the chiropractor. Dr. Mazgaloff explains, “In our office the doctors, not only do a specialized muscle work such as ART (Active Release Technique), myofacial release and trigger point massage, but we also use electrical muscle stimulation, cupping, flexion distraction therapy to passively stretch the back and neck. We use an impulse instrument which conveys the information to the brain in what direction the joints will be adjusted, so that once again the body is prepared. All those things in combination lead to comfortable and effective adjustment. I know too many chiropractors who are still working on an wooden bench, cracking and popping joints with unnecessary force making an adjustment uncomfortable or painful. ”
Now that you are well adjusted, a great chiropractor will teach you the proper exercises that you help you retain the benefits of the adjustment for years to come. Most chiropractors send you home with a piece of paper with exercises. It’s great to do exercise, but are these exercises the one that will support your adjustments? “At Chiro-Health, out chiropractors give individual exercises to prevent patients from falling back into a misaligned pattern. In most cases to retain balanced position of the spine, or shoulder, or hip, or knee one side needs to be stretched more, while the other side needs to be strengthened. All our patients know their patterns of misalignment and that makes learning and doing their exercises easier. During a visit patients practice those exercises in the office which is quite different from getting a paper in your hand. Combining traditional chiropractic adjustment with massage, exercise and lifestyle changes not only makes sense, but modern research supports it and practice proves it. Our patient’s symptoms resolve in the quickest amount of time possible, the cause of the pain is permanently fixed and they are able to maintain on their own for years. ” sais Dr. Mazgaloff
A great chiropractor is the one who will listen, spend the time to get to know you as a person, use technology and is concerned about your comfort and fears. A great chiropractor will not only relief your pain quickly, but also get to the root of the problem and teach you how to use exercise and lifestyle changes to put you in charge of your condition.