Can I Get Actual Help From an Online Chiropractor?

By Jack SteinLast Updated Jun 24, 2020 7:19:25 PM ET
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Photo Courtesy: Jesper Aggergaard/Unsplash

Chiropractors use a hands-on alternative treatment method to help you manage conditions like back pain, neck pain, headaches, digestion problems, joint problems and arm and leg pain, among other health issues. The word "chiropractic" means "to be done by hand." For this reason, it seems like it would be difficult to get thorough assistance from a chiropractor online.

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However, with a growing number of medical professionals offering telemedicine and other online options to their patients, many who work in the chiropractic field are providing virtual consultations. Whether or not a chiropractor can help you online depends largely on what your health concerns are and what solutions are available.

What Can a Virtual Consultation With a Chiropractor Offer?

When you set up an online consultation with a chiropractor, you won't receive much in the way of treatment. Instead, you can discuss your signs and symptoms with them. This allows the two of you to come up with a plan of action, whether it's to make an appointment to come into the office or to seek another type of medical treatment. You can talk about your questions and concerns, discuss potential treatment options and, ultimately, decide if you’re a candidate for this type of alternative medical care.

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Photo Courtesy: Mimi Thian/Unsplash

Your consultation will likely only take a few minutes, depending on what you want to discuss, and the goal is to have you wrap up the appointment with a clearer idea of what steps to take next. From there, you might set up an appointment with the chiropractor’s office if that's the plan of action.

A virtual consultation allows you to get some answers from the comfort of your own home, but it does not fix the problem you have; you’ll likely need in-person treatment so the chiropractor can manipulate and adjust your body in the appropriate ways to begin relieving your health issue. These consultations may be conducted via telephone or online video conferencing.

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What Happens If You Do Visit the Office?

If you and the chiropractor determine that you can benefit from chiropractic care during your virtual consultation, you'll schedule an appointment to visit the chiropractor. During your first visit, they may ask you more questions about your pain, look into your medical history and perform a physical examination. You may also receive an adjustment on your first visit, but that depends on your symptoms.

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Photo Courtesy: Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

During the visit, your chiropractor may recommend nutritional changes, stretches or exercises that you can do at home and lifestyle changes that can be beneficial for your condition, such as quitting smoking or improving your posture. They may also offer an ultrasound, soft tissue therapy, spinal traction, supervision of therapeutic exercise and other types of therapy.

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What Else Should You Know About Online Doctor Visits?

Virtual doctor visits are on the rise, especially after the coronavirus pandemic that began in March 2020, and these go far beyond chiropractors. Almost any type of doctor or medical professional can conduct a virtual visit, but some patients do better with them than others.

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Photo Courtesy: National Cancer Institute/Unsplash

If your doctor already knows your medical history, you're only following up, you're seeking mental health services, you require counseling or education on a diagnosis or you need help managing your medications, then you're a great candidate for telehealth. Patients who have devices at home — such as blood glucose monitors, blood pressure cuffs, scales and digital thermometers — can gain even more benefit from seeing their doctors online. These devices help provide information about your condition without the need to visit a doctor for in-person readings.

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Depending on where you live and the type of insurance you have, your virtual visits may even be covered by your health plan. All you need is a high-speed internet connection and a device that you can use for video, like a smartphone, computer or tablet. Some doctors also ask you to download their specific app, and you may need to fill out and submit forms online before your visit.