Author Topic: Chiropractic care - how to save?  (Read 3482 times)

Gone_Hiking

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Chiropractic care - how to save?
« on: April 06, 2017, 09:08:27 PM »
Dear MMM Community,

I was getting out of a chair three years ago when I realized I was in so much pain I couldn't move anymore.  A visit to urgent care, useless pain medications and muscle relaxants - miracles of modern medicine didn't make much difference and I was not going to spend the rest of my life on a couch.  A neighbor recommended his chiropractor who had put him back together after a fall off a roof.  So I went there and have been going back every 4 to 6 weeks.  The practice is out-of-network for my insurance and I have been paying cash.  The problem?  It's $44 every time I visit - not up to Mustachian standards.

I don't consider the visits waste of time or money.  They make the difference between being mobile or not.  The chiropractor's approach is non-nonsense, which I like: the focus is on the mechanics and positioning, and the practice stresses importance of exercise to strengthen the core and improve range of mobility.

I'm considering asking for a discount.  I would be loath to leave the practice - it is a local, individually-owned business, the kind that nourishes the community.  Have other Mustachians tried this approach with small practices?  What kind of results did you get?

Daisy

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2017, 09:15:15 PM »
I pay $50 for a chiropractic visit and I think it is money well spent. My chiropractor gives electrical stimulation, followed by soft tissue localized massage in tight spots, followed by an adjustment, followed by electrical acupuncture if I need it.

How cheap would you expect to go when a medical professional spends so much time with you and fixes your problem?

Any massage out there would easily cost you $70 or $80.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 12:59:07 AM »
I had a similar-sounding issue two years ago, almost 100% bed bound for a month. The only thing that helped me was some stuff through an acupuncturist (a weird device that scratched at my skin and relaxed the muscles, then acupuncture, plus muscle relaxants and epsom salt baths between appts, etc). When I was physically able to, I took up yoga and swimming to strengthen the flabby muscles that caused the issue.

I needed an appt every two days or I'd have severe pain again.

I didn't get (or ask for) a deal, but my "free medical system" reimbursed me for 1/5th of each appt, and after a month I was good to go. I was out of pocket at least $500 for that aspect of the injury alone, but it was $500 well spent. Appts ranged $60-$120 each, IIRC.

So, I don't know how to get it cheaper, but I would encourage you to continue spending on the thing that works. As you correctly note, mobility is worth it.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 06:33:24 AM »
You can certainly let them know you're paying out of pocket, and see if they might offer a discount. Does your insurance reimburse nothing for out of network?

I've also been seeing an out of network chiropractor, with discount it's $70, and insurance reimburses $55. Best money I've spent this past year.

Giro

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 07:00:28 AM »
every 4-6 weeks....WHOA.

I would recommend an exercise routine with deadlifts and squats.  You need to build up your back not visit a dr every few weeks.  Are you carrying any extra weight?  If so, get rid of that through diet.  I would not recommend running since it's a compacting exercise.  I think you need to work up to running.  Try exercise bike for the heart and lung health. 

But squats and deadlifts will strengthen your back. 

Proud Foot

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 08:24:40 AM »
.....

  So I went there and have been going back every 4 to 6 weeks.  The practice is out-of-network for my insurance and I have been paying cash.  The problem?  It's $44 every time I visit - not up to Mustachian standards.

I don't consider the visits waste of time or money.  They make the difference between being mobile or not.  The chiropractor's approach is non-nonsense, which I like: the focus is on the mechanics and positioning, and the practice stresses importance of exercise to strengthen the core and improve range of mobility.

I'm considering asking for a discount.  I would be loath to leave the practice - it is a local, individually-owned business, the kind that nourishes the community.  Have other Mustachians tried this approach with small practices?  What kind of results did you get?

Do you still have them run it through your insurance so it counts towards your deductible? If you are not running it through your insurance I would definitely ask if they have a discount based upon you paying up front and the frequency you go.  Next time you go in you should ask a lot of questions about your back to try to find out why you are continuing to need to go back. The chiropractor get everything back in line but it sounds like you need strengthening exercises to keep everything lined up.  Since you said the practice emphasizes this, see if they could give you exercises to do on your own or have them give you a referral for Physical Therapy.

As far as the $44 being not up to mustachian standards, if the visits make the difference between being mobile and not, then I think it would be considered mustachian.

MarioMario

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2017, 09:23:15 AM »
Have you tried a good exercise and physical therapy regimen? 

honeybbq

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2017, 10:24:36 AM »
Sounds like it's completely worth it to me. Ask for a discount? But sounds like it's worth ponying up for.

Also, do you have access to an HSA? You can probably still pay for the visits out of that account even if insurance won't pay for it.

spokey doke

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2017, 01:48:34 PM »
this is so idiosyncratic and complex that any view should be taken with a massive grain of salt, but...

In my experience, chiro can be a real help, esp. when you are really laid up, and can help keep you going, but often don't get at the root cause (which is convenient for keeping long term clients).  Exercise and physio can be needed adjuncts (or eventual replacements) for your adjustments.

I'll also mention that a ton of back problems, and other neuro-muscular pain and stiffness, are related to not only lifestyle, but psychology.  Lots of stress over sustained periods of time can do amazing damage, causing real physical ailments.  Things like meditation and yoga often fit especially well into the treatment of such cases.

Hope you get better soon....

twbird18

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2017, 02:25:34 PM »
this is so idiosyncratic and complex that any view should be taken with a massive grain of salt, but...

In my experience, chiro can be a real help, esp. when you are really laid up, and can help keep you going, but often don't get at the root cause (which is convenient for keeping long term clients).  Exercise and physio can be needed adjuncts (or eventual replacements) for your adjustments.


Good chiropractors should recommend these exercises. I even had one that had specialized workout equipment that I had to use 15 min a session. This worked really well for decreasing the number of visits (I have mild scoliosis & was seriously rear ended by an 18 wheeler once).

If going to the chiro makes you feel better then its $44 well spent, but I agree with spokey doke, the number of visits you need should be decreasing unless there is another more serious underlying cause which needs to be found.

MarioMario

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2017, 04:01:55 PM »
this is so idiosyncratic and complex that any view should be taken with a massive grain of salt, but...

In my experience, chiro can be a real help, esp. when you are really laid up, and can help keep you going, but often don't get at the root cause (which is convenient for keeping long term clients).  Exercise and physio can be needed adjuncts (or eventual replacements) for your adjustments.


Good chiropractors should recommend these exercises. I even had one that had specialized workout equipment that I had to use 15 min a session. This worked really well for decreasing the number of visits (I have mild scoliosis & was seriously rear ended by an 18 wheeler once).

If going to the chiro makes you feel better then its $44 well spent, but I agree with spokey doke, the number of visits you need should be decreasing unless there is another more serious underlying cause which needs to be found.
I disagree with the general sentiment that if it makes you feel good then it is money well spent in perpetuy.

The model of chiropractory is to offer some sort of short term relief and then get the customer to come back.  It is inherently antimustacian.

Physical therapy, exercise, meditation, yoga, diet, mindfulness or a combination for many can cure "ailments."

Most people would rather take some magic drug than exercise or do physical therapy sadly.

Chiropractors for the most part peddle snake oil.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2017, 08:06:10 PM »
^ All of my chiropractors over the course of 30 years, and the acupuncturist, held the same model as you advocate, MarioMario. I would go to one of these for 1-8 sessions depending on the issue, they would provide immediate relief, plus movements to implement at home, tips for how to sit and and sleep, set up an exercise plan, and wean me off. Worked awesome for each injury, with little cost over the decades.

twbird18

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2017, 08:29:47 PM »
this is so idiosyncratic and complex that any view should be taken with a massive grain of salt, but...

In my experience, chiro can be a real help, esp. when you are really laid up, and can help keep you going, but often don't get at the root cause (which is convenient for keeping long term clients).  Exercise and physio can be needed adjuncts (or eventual replacements) for your adjustments.


Good chiropractors should recommend these exercises. I even had one that had specialized workout equipment that I had to use 15 min a session. This worked really well for decreasing the number of visits (I have mild scoliosis & was seriously rear ended by an 18 wheeler once).

If going to the chiro makes you feel better then its $44 well spent, but I agree with spokey doke, the number of visits you need should be decreasing unless there is another more serious underlying cause which needs to be found.
I disagree with the general sentiment that if it makes you feel good then it is money well spent in perpetuy.

The model of chiropractory is to offer some sort of short term relief and then get the customer to come back.  It is inherently antimustacian.

Physical therapy, exercise, meditation, yoga, diet, mindfulness or a combination for many can cure "ailments."

Most people would rather take some magic drug than exercise or do physical therapy sadly.

Chiropractors for the most part peddle snake oil.

I have visited 3 different chiro's in 3 different parts of the country during my life - none of them have ever tried to prolong my treatment. All of them had the goal of weaning me off treatment in 3 month's or less. All of them recommended exercise & stretching, one recommended yoga & one (when I was older & had stopped exercising & gained weight) recommended weight loss as was necessary. I'm sure chiro's are like any other professional. Some are good and some just want your money.

MarioMario

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2017, 08:45:15 PM »


^ All of my chiropractors over the course of 30 years, and the acupuncturist, held the same model as you advocate, MarioMario. I would go to one of these for 1-8 sessions depending on the issue, they would provide immediate relief, plus movements to implement at home, tips for how to sit and and sleep, set up an exercise plan, and wean me off. Worked awesome for each injury, with little cost over the decades.

Glad to hear your experience has been positive.  My anecdotal evidence based on people in my echo chamber has been that they wanted treatment to go on forever; some as frequently as weekly.

Also as far as back pain goes it was my understanding that alot of treatments are placebo.  Ie do nothing it goes away in 4 months.  Take medicine it does away in 4 months.  Go to a chiropractor it goes away in 4 months.

I trust in the benefits of exercise and physical therapy a lot more.

steviesterno

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2017, 10:45:08 AM »
Good chiros teach exercises and will work to transition you to a state where you don't need regular care. Only really "tune ups" if you tweak something and then wean you off again.

A good option is to go to a chiropractic school for care. I'm a staff doc at a school and our prices are much less than you have posted, but you spend more time since an intern does the work. I don't believe there are any chiro schools in your area, so that may limit it.

My suggestion is to actually do the rehab and exercises prescribed. I get patients all the time that don't listen or don't do what we suggest, and then they don't get better and prolong treatment duration. Do the work, get better, keep at it so you go in less frequently.

Providers can't give a cash discount if they take any insurance, but they can provide a "time of service" reduction if you pay that day. Ask about that if you haven't. The other option is use an HSA if it's an option. Many take it and you get work help or tax savings to pay for it. At the very least submit your EOBs to your insurance to help with the deductible.

Long term, healthy living is the cheapest option. Work on dropping some weight if you have some extra, get out and exercise some more if you can, do some good core strength/training/upkeep and stay on top of what you learn.


It's much cheaper to keep a car running with routine care then totally fix it when you blow up the engine...

Feel free to PM if you have questions, I'm happy to help.

Mezzie

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2017, 08:01:44 AM »
Does your insurance cover physical therapy? Maybe that will help you not have to go to the chiro so often.

I've only been to a chiropractor once. After a car accident, I couldn't move my neck at all. Muscle relaxers and painkillers weren't helping, and I had no money, but a friend of a friend offered to give me a free appointment. One adjustment later, I was fully mobile. I've heard stories about chiros that string people along, and I wonder if I would have been too had I been able to pay, but I must say I am convinced that it can be very, very effective.

Gone_Hiking

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2017, 10:52:55 PM »
Thank you, all, for your helpful suggestions!  Looks to me that I should be asking a few questions at the practice.   Switching to as-needed care would definitely help with cost control in this area.  I am pain-free between the treatments and it seems to me that the adjustments are minor at this time, with focus on L-5 tilt and tome tweaks in the upper back and neck.

The practice does treat some people weekly, and I get a sense that the people under this regime are either starting treatment or are dealing with legacy of slipped disks and fused vertebrae.  I just have one tilted L-5.

A few posters mentioned exercise - I do it with the help of elliptical trainer and  free weights.  I was a dedicated runner for over two decades and the back problem prevented me from resuming, even though I would really love to run again.  I also do push ups and stretch the quads and hamstrings.  The chiropractor recommended squats and applauds pushups.  I'm up to 40 fully-extended pushups without stopping - a few years ago I could only do 20 or so; I figure I must be doing something right. 

My next visit is in mid-May - I will report back to you all what I found.

epower

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Re: Chiropractic care - how to save?
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2017, 01:38:49 AM »
I read the book the supple leopard, bought a foam roller and lacrosse ball and have gone from an appointment every 4-6 weeks to one every 4-6 months.