A chiropractor is a healthcare professional who diagnoses and treats musculoskeletal issues. A chiropractor can assist you if you experience joint, bone, or muscle problems.
Chiropractic care is a non-invasive treatment. This makes it an attractive option for people who need pain relief or prefer to avoid surgery.
But how much does a chiropractor cost without insurance, and does insurance cover chiropractic fees?
How Much Does A Chiropractor Cost Without Insurance?
If you do not have health coverage, a typical chiropractic session can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 or more.
Prices vary widely depending on several factors, including:
- The chiropractor’s experience. The more experience and years of practice a Chiropractor has, the more they will charge. Chiropractor fees may also increase if they have taken additional courses after their initial training.
- The location of the chiropractor’s practice. In areas where the cost of living is high, expect to pay more for chiropractor fees. Chiropractors need to cover expenses like rent, utilities, and staff salaries.
- Competition in the area. If there is a high concentration of chiropractors in an area, fees may be lower to remain competitive.
- The type of treatment provided. The cost will depend on your condition, the kind of treatment you require, and the number of sessions you need. For example, a chiropractic massage can cost between $30 and $70, whereas a spinal decompression can be as much as $250.
Chiropractic care is generally considered less expensive than other medical treatment options. However, the costs of chiropractic care can still be substantial if you require multiple visits and ongoing treatments.
Does Insurance Cover Chiropractic Costs?
In general, many private insurance plans cover chiropractic fees to some extent. However, how much coverage your insurance plan provides can vary widely depending on:
- the type of treatment
- the insurance provider
- and the state you live in
Some treatments offered by chiropractors, like massage therapy, are considered alternative treatments. As such, they are excluded from health coverage.
Medicare Insurance Part B reimburses chiropractors’ fees for manual spinal manipulation to correct subluxation. However, the insurance does not cover other chiropractic services or tests, such as x-rays, that the chiropractor orders.
If you have an insurance plan, it is best to check with your provider to determine what chiropractic services are covered and how much you will be responsible for paying.
You should also check with your chiropractor if they accept insurance, so you understand treatment costs ahead of time.
Services Offered At A Chiropractor Clinic
Chiropractors treat a wide range of conditions and are trained in multiple procedures. Practitioners primarily use manual adjustment techniques to treat patients. But, they may include treatments using medical devices or offer diagnostic services.
Some professional services include the following:
Spinal Adjustment Or Manipulation
The goal of spinal adjustment is to correct misalignments of the spine, known as subluxations. Misalignments can result in pain, discomfort, and decreased range of motion.
To manipulate the spine, the chiropractor will use their hands to apply a controlled, sudden force to the vertebrae. This helps them to realign. The adjustment is often accompanied by a cracking sound caused by a gas release from the joint.
Spinal adjustments are typically painless. However, some people may experience temporary discomfort after the treatment.
Spinal traction is used to help alleviate back pain and related conditions. This includes herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, and degenerative disc disease.
Traction involves applying tension to the spine to stretch the vertebral column. As a result, it relieves pressure on the discs or nerve root irritation.
Chiropractors often use massage therapy as part of their treatment plans for patients. Massage can help prepare the muscles and tissues for manipulation and adjustments. It also helps improve circulation and promotes healing after treatment.
Electromyography (EMG) is commonly used to diagnose muscle disorders and nerve injuries. Chiropractors can also use EMG to improve the effectiveness of treatments.
EMG is used to assess the electrical activity of muscles by placing electrodes on the skin. When the muscle contracts, the electric signals are amplified by EMG and displayed on a screen. This allows the practitioner to analyze muscle activity and identify abnormalities.
Electrical Muscular Stimulation
Electrical muscular stimulation (EMS) is a treatment that uses electric impulses to activate muscle contractions via electrodes that the chiropractor places on the skin.
EMS is commonly used in sports medicine to help improve muscle strength and recover from injuries. It can also relieve pain and swelling in injured muscles and reduce muscle spasms.
Thermography detects changes in skin temperature that can indicate medical conditions such as inflammation or nerve damage. Thermography is a good alternative for people who cannot be exposed to radiation such as x-rays.
Radiography is a commonly used imaging tool in the chiropractic profession. It provides practitioners with information about the bones, joints, and surrounding tissues. This lets them diagnose various musculoskeletal conditions.
Imaging can also help chiropractors determine any underlying medical conditions, such as osteoporosis or arthritis, that may impact treatment options.
While x-rays are the most commonly used form of radiology, imaging methods can also include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computerized tomography CT scans
Ultrasound therapy uses high-frequency sound waves to generate heat deep within the body’s tissues. It promotes healing by increasing blood flow and relaxing tight muscles.
Chiropractors may utilize ultrasound therapy as a supplement to manual adjustments. Ultrasound therapy is painless and performed on the affected area for several minutes.
Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy is also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT). In chiropractic care, LLLT is a non-invasive therapy that reduces pain and inflammation in joints and soft tissue. The therapy is performed by holding a laser device over the affected area for a few minutes.
Low-level laser works by emitting light at specific wavelengths absorbed by the affected area cells. The light triggers a series of biological reactions in the cells, reducing pain and inflammation and accelerating the healing process.
Hydrotherapy, also known as aqua therapy, is a physical therapy that uses water to aid in the rehabilitation and treatment of various musculoskeletal conditions. Chiropractors sometimes use hydrotherapy as a complementary therapy to help manage pain and improve mobility.
Water buoyancy reduces joint stress and allows patients to perform exercises that might be painful on land. The resistance provided by the water can also help improve strength and flexibility.
Diet And Nutritional Counseling
Chiropractors often incorporate diet and nutrition counseling to promote overall health and wellness. Good nutrition plays a crucial role in preventing health problems and healing.
During a diet and nutrition counseling session, your chiropractor may assess your current eating habits, discuss your health goals and provide recommendations for healthier food choices.
When Should You Go To A Chiropractor?
It is estimated that chiropractors treat more than 35 million American adults and children each year.
Chiropractic care is popular because it offers medication-free treatments to patients. Chiropractic treatment is also suitable for people with chronic back or neck pain who do not want to depend on medication for pain relief.
Chiropractic treatment can help with numerous muscle and joint-associated conditions. For example:
- Back pain. Chiropractors treat back pain caused by herniated discs, sciatica, and spinal stenosis.
- Neck pain. Conditions such as degenerative disc disease, whiplash, and sports injuries can be treated by a chiropractor.
- Headaches. Chronic headaches and migraines can often be relieved through chiropractic adjustments.
- Joint Pain. If you are experiencing pain or limited mobility in your joints, a chiropractor can help alleviate the symptoms and improve your range of motion.
- Sports injuries. Athletes often seek chiropractors to help treat sports-related injuries and improve performance.
Chiropractor Cost Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Make My Chiropractor Visits More Affordable?
While it is typically more affordable to consult a chiropractor than traditional medical practitioners, treatment can be expensive. This is especially true if you require multiple sessions and aren’t covered by health insurance.
Here’s how you can reduce the cost of visiting a chiropractor:
- Look for discounts. Some chiropractors offer discounts to patients who pay in advance or bring referrals. Ask your chiropractor if they have any special promotions going on.
- Find virtual coupons. Many chiropractors offer coupons on their business websites. You may also find coupons on sites like Groupon.
- Look for low-cost clinic options. Some chiropractic clinics provide care based on a reduced fee or a sliding scale based on income.
- Ask about payment plans. Some chiropractors offer payment plans that make it easier to budget for your care. You can spread the cost of care over a series of visits or set up a monthly payment plan.
- Find health coverage that covers chiropractic services. Many insurance policies include coverage for chiropractic treatment.
Why Does My Insurance Not Cover Chiropractic Treatments?
Chiropractic treatment is typically considered an alternative therapy. As such, it is not recognized as a conventional medical service. In such cases, the insurance company may require additional documentation to support the medical necessity for treatment.
The most affordable way to get chiropractic care is to have health insurance coverage that includes chiropractic care as part of their benefits.
At Enhance Health, we understand that navigating health coverage options can be time-consuming and confusing. Our expert agents can help you review your options and understand the fine print.
Signing up for health coverage does not need to be a stressful process. If you are looking for health coverage with chiropractic benefits, we will help you find the options that best fit your needs. When you have selected the health coverage you need, our highly trained agents will guide you through the enrollment process from start to finish.