The cost of chiropractic services in Charleston, SC can vary pretty dramatically.
Similar to all of Charleston’s tasty restaurants, there are all different types and varieties of chiropractors, often each with their own standards and thoughts on care.
While you may be tempted to go with the cheapest care hoping to save a buck or the most expensive care hoping that you will get what you pay for, there is more to the situation that you need to know.
1. Experience: Often seasoned and more experienced chiropractors will charge higher than newly graduates and those who are looking to establish their practice. This can be because the seasoned chiropractor has treated and been exposed more to specific types of injuries as well as undergone continued training of various techniques.
Would you be willing to pay a little more for a chiropractor with 20 years experience, that has worked with professional teams like the Buffalo Bills, Charleston Riverdogs, and who was a treating physician at Ironman Triathlon (the world series of Triathlon) races?
What about one that has treated and resolved thousands of cases of the exact pain, problem or performance issue that YOU have been dealing with? (Even if you have tried other things)
What if that experienced chiropractor can resolve your pain in shorter period of time ( a few visits) as opposed to another practitioners that might take months or years to get comparable results?
What if that experienced chiropractor was recommended by multiple local Orthopedic surgeons and other medical doctors, due to the quality and standard of care (something that is rarely seen or heard of in the chiropractic profession)?
One that had a reputation that had earned him over 15,000 word-of-mouth patients over the past 15 years for resolving injuries that other specialists couldn’t crack in the shortest time possible?
2. Treatment Style and Philosophy: As bizarre as it seems, many chiropractors have different viewpoints on how to treat patients and there are as many techniques as there are chiropractors. Some of these techniques are rooted in science and evidence based practices and some can be rather questionable. Did you read about the chiropractor that lost his license because he was determining treatments and diagnosing based upon the design that the patients face made on the face cradle paper? (Thankfully not all chiros think this way)
Prices for a treatment can vary from $25 a visit all the way up to spinal care correction packages ranging in the $3-5K and everything in between.
On one end of the spectrum, some chiropractors X-ray every single patient that walks through their door and often “treatment plans” can be determined how the spine looks on X-ray. These “treatment plans” can often run in the thousands of dollars out of pocket and take multiple times a week for months as insurances only pay for acute or pain management care and will not cover corrective care as the chiropractor attempts to restore spinal alignment.
An x-ray can be used as a tool for sales in some offices. Too much or too little of a curve in ones spine can be a selling point for need of an extended treatment program. There is little to no supporting medical evidence to back this standard up which is why this is not the standard of care in physical therapy and medicine.
Often the sales pitch will state that the perfect cervical (neck) spinal curve is 42 degrees. Too much or too little means you might be at risk of injury. From here they may offer a corrective care program consisting of multiple visits per week over the course of several months in an effort to restore the spinal curve at a cost of sometimes thousands of dollars to be paid up front by the patient and thus “locking” the patient into care.
You have do decide if a doctor sitting down for a sales pitch and signing contracts is right for you. If not, read on.
On another end of the typical chiropractic spectrum is the franchise model of chiropractic that charges $25-35 per visit on top of x-rays. These visits typically include a chiropractic adjustment (popping the spine) in 5-7 areas over the course of several minutes with profit models based upon higher volume of patients. What could happen to quality of your treatment as quantity of patients goes up? This could be considered the equivalent to the “fast food” of healthcare.
What if there was a whole different end of the spectrum that didn’t revolve around fast food healthcare or sales pitches to sign several thousand dollar contracts?
What if the chiropractor on that spectrum focused on treating the root cause of your neck, back, shoulder, knee, hip, ankle, elbow or foot pain?
What if they didn’t view pain as a “bone out of place” that needs to be cracked back into place like the traditional chiropractic model?
What if that chiropractor’s philosophy was that bones didn’t move out of their place by themselves, that tight and weak muscles were the culprit?
What if that chiropractor focused on specialized, state-of-the-art patented myofascial release techniques that restored range of motion in muscles immediately and had the ability to relief pain in seconds to minutes?
Wouldn’t that be amazing? *wink*wink*
3.) Insurance: Another factor that can affect price of your chiropractic treatment is insurance. While is might be tempting to stick with chiropractors that only accept your insurance, there are some important considerations that you might want to take.
One of the negatives with limiting yourself to doctors that take your insurance is that the insurance can influence your quality of care.
Doctors accept insurances in the hopes of seeing more patients and make more money. Insurances enter into contracts with doctors to make money. The way they do this is lowering the fees paid to doctors (in private practice) as much as possible. To compensate, the doctor is forced to spend less time listening to, treating and evaluating the patient. This is the quality vs. quantity conundrum again.
Have you ever seen a primary care doctor or specialist that spends five minutes with you not really listening to what you truly have to say before they make a cookie cutter suggestion that involves treating only your symptoms? Did you feel that you were seen and heard?
Other factors that affect how much you are paying for a chiropractic visit with insurance is
a.) Do you even have chiropractic benefits on your plan? Chiropractic care falls under alternative medicine and you may or not have chiropractic benefits.
b.) Do you have a deductible? Insurances only begin to cover care when you meet your out of pocket deductible. Meaning, if you have a $2K or $3K (or more) deductible, the insurance only begins to pay part of your treatment after you have paid that $2K or $3K money out of your pocket.
c.) What is your copay? If you have a chiropractic benefit and you have met your deductible and the chiropractor accepts your insurance, you still need to pay for your copay which can range anywhere from %10 of the treatment cost all the way up to the actual treatment price (yes for your copay)
d.) Number of treatments. Assuming that you have benefits, met your deductible, paid your copay. How many visits does the insurance even pay? Some insurances only cover a handful of insurances before, you guessed it, you’re forced to pay out of pocket for the rest of your treatments anyways.
Tell me more
At Elite Performance and Pain center, Dr. Jimerson’s goal is to not just treat the injured area, but to resolve the reason why the injury happened in the first place in the shortest time possible.
Our goal is to treat, educate and empower the patient with the knowledge of how the injury occurred and the most minimal effort maximum benefit ways of preventing it from reoccurring in the future.
While traditionally, chiropractic is centered around a bone out of place in the spine and using a chiropractic manipulation to “pop it” back into place over and over again for a series of months hoping the adjustment “will hold…”
Our view is that bones don’t move out of place by themselves and that it’s the muscles that pulls bones out of place and that weaknesses and imbalances around the body will cause the tight muscles in the first place.
While traditional chiropractic focuses on spinal injuries, Dr. Jimerson treats all manner of musculoskeletal injuries across the body from rotator cuff injuries and shoulder pain, to meniscus injuries, knee arthritis and knee pain, ankle sprains and ankle pain, medial and lateral epicondylitis and elbow pains, plantar fasciitis and foot pain as well as all of the typical spinal and back pains, neck pains, headaches, jaw pain and more. (Please see our list of commonly treated conditions or feel free to call us to see if Dr. Jimerson can help you).
Dr. Jimerson doesn’t use X-rays unless clinically warranted (often an accident or trauma or an injury that doesn’t resolve after the several visits). If Dr. Jimerson DOES feel that an X-ray IS
warranted, he refers out to one of Charleston’s Diagnostic Imaging Centers for an X-ray or an MRI including a report from one of Charleston’s top radiologists.
Diagnosis’ are often based on a biomechanical exam that Dr. Jimerson performs on every new patient. He evaluates the way each patient walks, their posture as well as through a Selective Functional Movement Assessment exam (the gold standard of Biomechanics exam to determine root cause of injuries).
At Elite Performance and Pain, we do accept Blue Cross Insurances as well as Medicare Health Insurances but payment with these insurances also depends if the patient has a chiropractic benefit, how much they have paid into their deductible as well as copays all which can vary.
If patients don’t have chiropractic benefits or we don’t accept their insurance, we offer a cash discount for our services.
New patients meeting deductible or cash patients pay $160 for the first visit which includes the full biomechanical exam as well as treatment, which may include Active Release Technique, a patented myofascial release that breaks down scar tissue in muscles, tendons, ligaments and around nerves, chiropractic manipulation (if necessary – not every patient needs this on top of soft tissue manipulation), decompression, nerve flossing, Dr. Jimerson’s proprietary pain technique that turns off pain in seconds, review of minimal effort maximum benefit Physical Therapy exercises and stretches to be done at home as well as ergonomic and posture suggestions.
Subsequent visits, if needed, are $80.
No matter what, our goal is to resolve your injury(ies) and increase your performance in the shortest time possible while receiving the highest level of service and education.