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Dr. Joe Symes: Fears Of Chiropractic Care


Are you afraid of visiting a chiropractor? Does the thought of someone turning your neck give you the heebie-jeebies? Are you concerned that the treatment could hurt, or make you feel uncomfortable? Have you heard that once you go to a chiropractor, you will always have to go to a chiropractor? If this sounds like you, you are not alone! As a chiropractor, it’s very common for a new patient to let me know they are feeling nervous, whenever I first consult with them.

Overcoming Fears Of Chiropractic Care

Overcoming these fears and misconceptions is the first step to consulting with a chiropractor. Taking that step can then lead to receiving the treatment you need, for your pain. Below you will find some of these common concerns, and the reality associated with those concerns as I see them in my office, every single day.

1. Treatment is going to hurt

It is certainly understandable that you may be nervous about treatments that are physical, or hands-on, in nature, which chiropractors specialize in (adjustments, myofascial release therapy, decompression are some of the common treatments). The most important step to overcoming these concerns is the first visit. During this visit, generally, I am meeting with you for the first time, reviewing your history, discussing how your problem affects you, and gathering information on the issue with tests. My goal with this visit is always to ensure I understand what is causing the issue and what options you may have to help alleviate the problem, leading to your pain. This is also a great time for you to ask any questions, or express any concerns you may have.

The type of care you will receive will be dependent on your condition, your age, and any factors that may come up in the exam. The care that I provide is safe, effective, and comfortable. In fact, most people find that treatment feels great, and often have immediate relief of their painful problem! If an adjustment is ever painful, it is only because I often have to push on sensitive, painful areas, in order to get them well. This pressure is usually over in a second, and many of my patients comment about how much they love the treatment, and how good it feels to them.

Oftentimes, patients tell me, or it’s apparent, that they are concerned that they may tense up during the treatment, which may cause an adjustment to hurt-I most often hear this about a neck adjustment. I always let them know that if they are feeling tense, I am able to recognize that, and I would never force an adjustment on someone who is resisting the care. I would, instead, talk them through some tips on relaxing, and treat them only when they are ready.

I also hear from patients that they were afraid they’d feel awkward with their care. This should never be the case-if you have a good chiropractor! A good doctor will be professional, caring, and approachable, and eager to help you with your concerns. I let all of my patients know that if there is ever any treatment that feels uncomfortable, or if the way I have them positioned feels awkward, to just let me know and we can try another treatment, or another way of positioning them, to help them out. Communication is key, in this regard.

2. I don’t like the noise

Many times, adjustments themselves lead to a popping, or cracking sound when performed. This is simply dissolved carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas that is stored in your synovial fluid (in your joint) that is released when pressed on. I compare this to “popping” open a can of soda-gas is released. The sound may bother some people, if that is the case, there are methods I can incorporate to reduce, or eliminate, the sound.

3. Once I go to a chiropractor, I’ll always have to go

You’ve heard that before, right? This is a common mantra I hear anytime Chiropractorchiropractic care is discussed. I think there are lots of misconceptions leading to this phrase being repeated over the years. Most importantly, I strive for all of my patients to be educated on what is causing their pain or concern, how long it will take to improve it, and if it is correctable, or only able to be temporarily relieved. If you have a correctable condition, my goal is to correct it, and then teach you how to maintain that correction so the problem doesn’t return. I wouldn’t be considered very good at my job if the problem continues to return, over and over again, would I? Some conditions can not be corrected, if that’s the case, I’d want to let you know that up front, and let you know how much relief you could expect from my care, and what other options you may have. Once we know how often we’d likely have to see you, we have a plan in place.

Next, I think it’s important to state that many of my patients choose to return for care even if
I don’t explicitly recommend it. This is because they generally feel better with treatment, even if they are not in a lot of pain, or because they feel the treatments help prevent the issue from returning, in conjunction with their home care (exercises, stretches, etc.). Many people would consider this similar to brushing your teeth to prevent cavities.I will never say to someone that they should continue to come in, forever. There is always a treatment plan, and they can vary in length, and we re-evaluate along the way. If you are improving, we will get you to the point that you are as good as you can be. If you are not improving as much as I’d expect, I will let you know that, and we may have to shift gears, or get other providers, or tests, involved.


4. It’s going to cost a lot

Chiropractic care is covered under almost any health insurance plan, and we always verify insurance coverage for those that have it, prior to the first treatment being done. Oftentimes, people have deductibles to meet, or copayments to make each visit, or they may not have insurance. We pride ourselves on reviewing the cost of care with each person, up front, so they are aware of any costs they may incur. If the costs are going to accumulate because you may need a series of treatments, we have affordable payment options where we can spread out the costs over a period of time, interest-free. Remember, chiropractic care is an investment in your health, and can save you time, money, and recovery, in the long run.

Ultimately, the best way for you to alleviate your concerns is to schedule your first visit with our office. You and I will review your health history, I will get you examined, we can discuss any questions you may have, and we can get you on the road to a healthier, happier, you!


Dr. Joe SDr. Joe Symes Chiropractorymes is a doctor of chiropractic medicine at Rejuvenate Mind-Body Wellness Center in Lee’s Summit. He is keenly aware of many of the fears that may have prevent you from coming to treatment. He urges you to stop living in pain, come in and see for yourself how chiropractic medicine can get you on the road to better health.