When people wonder about the cost of chiropractic treatment, they often want to know details about national averages as well as costs of specific kinds of care, like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and more. It’s important to understand that chiropractors are trained to do many things, and some DC’s (doctors of chiropractic) specialize in certain types of care while others build their practices around a general approach to well-being.
Compared with many other medical services available, chiropractic options tend to cost less and are the only form of medical care that never use drugs or invasive surgery. When it comes to cost, there are numerous things that affect a patient’s total bill. So, what is a ballpark estimate for the cost to see a chiropractor as a new patient?
Most people who visit a DC for the first time end up paying between $30 and $200 for a single visit, but it’s necessary to consider that many doctors offer new patient specials and discounts. Plus, some clients have more comprehensive insurance coverage than others. It’s always wise to check with your insurer to see how chiropractic treatment is covered. Taking everything into account, it’s reasonable to say that one visit with a chiropractor is likely to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $65.
Additional charges might be added to a patient’s bill depending on the city in which the doctor practices, whether advanced types of care are part of the treatment plan, and the number of visits required to alleviate a particular medical condition. Unlike some forms of medical care, chiropractic treatment is typically more effective when the patient sees the doctor several times during a one or two-month period.
The best way to find out about cost estimates is to speak with your chiropractor. That way, it’s possible to learn about rates for all treatment options, insurance coverage, available discounts, and the entire menu of services from which you can choose.
What Affects Cost of Care?
In general, there are five key factors that affect the total cost of chiropractic care for a patient, whether new or established. When attempting to estimate how much you’ll spend for treatment, be sure to take all these factors into account. Of course, the easiest way to get an accurate price is to speak with the chiropractor you intent to see. The office staff will answer all your specific questions about insurance and specific prices of the treatment offered by the practice.
Keep in mind that many DC’s offer low-cost pricing for first visits that include a consultation and physical exam. At that point, the doctor is in an ideal position to explain the kind of treatment plan that’s best for you and what its total price would be. Here are the five factors that go into price, but they are only general guidelines:
- Location: Treatment tends to cost more in large urban areas than in small cities or in rural areas. This is true for all kinds of consumer services, not just medical treatment.
- Experience: The doctor’s experience plays a role in cost. Chiropractors with decades of experience and certification in multiple areas of specialty tend to have higher prices than newer physicians or ones who offer general treatment options.
- Financing: Ask doctors’ offices about financing. Some chiropractic physicians have extensive financing options for new and established patients. That can mean very affordable options for clients who want to spread out the cost of extensive medical treatment.
- Insurance: Most major insurers offer coverage for chiropractic care, but every policy has its own unique characteristics. Check with your insurance carrier about their specific coverage options for chiropractic care.
- Discounts: The majority of chiropractors offer some kind of discount for new or established patients. Some low-cost offerings are related to multiple visits only, while others are low-cost sessions for new patients. Ask your DC’s office staff about permanent or seasonal discounts they might be running.
- Your Physical Condition: The reason you see the DC has a strong effect on cost. If, for example, you simply want a spinal adjustment but are in otherwise excellent health, your cost would be very low. Alternatively, if you have been in a car accident and need multiple kinds of treatment over a long period of time, then your cost would of course be higher.
High-Tech Approaches and Their Average Costs
If you and your doctor decide that you need advanced or high-tech forms of chiropractic care, your total cost for treatment could be higher. Note that some doctors of chiropractic include one or more of the following options within standard treatment packages. In that case, there would be no extra cost to the patient. But as stand-alone procedures that are not included with other treatment packages, here are the average costs of common advanced forms of care:
- Thermography: Measures the amount of energy and/or heat is coming out of body tissues. Costs range from $150 to $250.
- MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging, also called MRI reveals details about the health of tissue and bones. Costs range from $100 to $350.
- Ultrasound: This modality reduces pain in the muscle tissue and loosens the tissue as well. Average cost is $20 per session but is often included in other treatment packages.
- Laser treatment: Fine-tuned laser application is painless and can help relieve swelling, muscle discomfort, and reduce scar tissue. Prices vary depending on length of session and other factors. Ask your doctor about specific costs.
- EMG: Electromyography is a precise way of measuring the electrical activity within muscle tissue. Most EMG sessions cost about $250 or more.
Your Total Cost of Care
What will be your total cost of chiropractic care? The first factor, and probably the most important one, is the reason you intend to visit a DC. Whether you’re suffering from back pain, need help with postural problems, or have been in a vehicle accident will determine how many sessions you’ll need in order to get relief and to fully recover. Most patients see the doctor between three and ten times, but that’s just an average range. When you discuss your care plan with the doctor, you’ll learn more about the exact number of sessions, what the total cost will be, and how frequent the sessions should be.
Assuming you see your DC for a ten-session sequence at $40 per visit, your total would be $400. On the higher end, in larger cities for example, the per-visit charge might be $100, bringing the cost of a ten-session sequence to $1,000. Much depends on your reason for seeking treatment, prevailing rates in the area, the amount of experience of the practitioner, your insurance provider’s coverage, and whether the doctor offers any discounts or special pricing packages.
Getting the Care That’s Right for You
At Delaware Integrative Healthcare, we believe in offering a patient-centered approach to wellness so that our clients can live a pain-free life. If you have questions about costs, treatment options, advanced forms of care, insurance coverage, or anything else related to the price of our services, feel free to contact us directly. We’ll be happy to explain all your options.
A good way to begin is by viewing our website, sending us an email at [email protected], or phoning us at 302-376-5830. We look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions you have about anything related to what we do.