9 Characteristics to Look For in an Amarillo Chiropractor – Part One

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

I get phone calls, text messages, and emails from friends and associates that live out of town asking me if I know a good chiropractor where they live. And if I don’t know one, then what is the best way to choose a chiropractor?

I think that anytime one decides that they’re going to go to a new doctor, there is a certain amount of apprehension. In choosing a chiropractor, this apprehension can be escalated to a certain extent because all chiropractors are vastly different.

There are some chiropractors that focus on weight loss. There are some chiropractors that only use an instrument to adjust rather than manual adjusting. There are some chiropractors that are more driven by philosophy than other chiropractors. There are some chiropractors that use therapy and extra equipment, while other chiropractors only adjust.

Thinking about all of the differences that one can encounter when going to see a new chiropractor is what finally led me to put this document together. To help you make the best decision that you can possibly make.

I think it’s best if I start out by telling you a bit about Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic Clinic and a brief history of why I became a chiropractor in the first place.

Growing up in the Texas Panhandle, it was common for us to take trips to the mountains considering our proximity to Colorado and New Mexico. One year, I went on a church trip to Colorado skiing with all my buddies. We skied all day long without any incident. At the end of the mountain, down at the bottom, there was a small jump. We had hit that jump all day long at the end of each run. However, on the very last run of the day, I hit the jump wrong and I landed right on top of my head.

Being a big, tough football player, I shook it off and did my best to ignore the pain. I told my mother about it when we returned from the trip and I visited our medical doctor. If I remember correctly, I got some muscle relaxers which were fairly ineffectual. So after a certain amount of time, I was still suffering greatly. I could not sleep very well and I had very little range of motion.

So, I decided to go to our osteopath. The treatment was roughly the same and was ineffectual and the pain continued. After a period of probably six months or so, my mother finally suggested that a chiropractor may be able to help me. I was up for anything at this point so no suggestion was ignored. I made an appointment and went right away. The chiropractor took some x-rays, did an exam on me, and explained to me what he thought was wrong.

Literally, after a period of two weeks or so, he had me pain free. I had suffered for six months and he had me pain free in roughly 2 weeks. That was real power in my eyes and, obviously, had quite an impact on my opinion of what a chiropractor was capable of.

I’m an old college football player so there are certainly some lingering injuries from the old days. One of those things is an injury that I suffered when I was a junior in high school while lifting weights. We can fast forward several years all the way up to 2002.  I’m standing on my front porch and I coughed and felt a “squish” in my back. That’s the only way I can explain it.

I still went to work all day, adjusting patients and doing what I normally do. But, the pain just continued to get worse and worse. Down to the point where I had to crawl if I was going to go to the kitchen or anywhere else in the house. I made an appointment with a chiropractor the next day and was still unable to walk. He saw me the first day and I began to improve within two hours after leaving his office. Then he saw me again the second day. And, after the second day, I was able to walk without pain and was on my way back to a normal life.

The reason I shared those two stories is so they you will know that I have been there. I have been the person trying to find a chiropractor to help me. Heck, I was trying to find ANYBODY that could help me. Anybody at all. I know the desperation that severe pain can cause and I know all about the mental anguish that constant pain can put us through.

After years and years of being a chiropractor, I also know, from my patients, what it can be like to be in severe pain, to be scared, and to be desperate but wind up going to an office that either doesn’t help you or doesn’t have your best interests in mind.

My concern, since the economic downturn in 2008, is that chiropractic has become somewhat of a luxury for a lot of folks rather than an absolute necessity. This is distressing when I know that we have the conservative, natural, non-surgical, non-invasive, answers for so many people that are living in pain and having difficulties.

So, it is in that spirit that I encourage your visit to a chiropractor and that I write what I think are important qualities in a good chiropractor and….really, ANY kind of health provider in general.

  1. Honesty. 

Other than the first topic and the last topic, I have not put these qualities in any specific order. But I put honesty at the top of the pile because I feel that strongly about it. I feel that honesty is of utmost importance in any profession. Especially in the healthcare field.

We’ve heard it said time and time again that if a person doesn’t have his word, then he doesn’t have anything. How do you know if a chiropractor is honest when you first visit their office? That’s hard to answer. It may simply be a “gut” sort of thing. But usually, if we trust our “gut”, then we don’t get steered off of the right track.

You may not be able to develop a “gut” feeling until the second or third visit but you will most likely get a good idea by then.

You have to know that the person giving you recommendations has your best interest in mind and not the interest of his office overhead or his house payment. It’s vital that you know he cares about you and is doing everything possible to get you to hitting your health goals.

I’ll post the remaining 8 characteristics in subsequent posts.

Until then, stay healthy!
Jeff S. Williams, D.C.
Amarillo Chiropractor