Patients can recover from and manage a wide range of conditions using chiropractic care. A standard office consultation visit to a chiropractic clinic may cost anywhere between $60 and $200. These costs can be somewhat higher if you do not have health insurance or have a plan that does not cover chiropractic care. Therefore, it can be essential to review and research the costs of your recommended chiropractic services before deciding on a treatment plan.
The Cost of Chiropractic Care Without Insurance
Compared with other treatment options, chiropractic care is often considered the cheaper alternative. Conditions such as sports injuries or injuries to the spine can typically incur high treatment costs. However, when treated with chiropractic therapies such as spinal decompression or chiropractic adjustments, they may only cost $60 per visit.
Find below a detailed list of out-of-pocket costs typically charged at a chiropractic clinic, based on the data collected from clinics in 4 major U.S. cities in 2022. You will find details about the respective clinics and what they charge for an initial and a follow-up visit. The follow-up visit's cost may or may not vary based on the specific treatments administered. All of the clinics listed below also accept cash as a valid payment method if requested by the patient.
Out of Pocket costs at Chiropractic Clinics in 4 major U.S. cities
|Name of Facility||City, State||Service Costs Without Coverage|
|New York, NY|
$125 for the initial visit
(including consultation and treatments)
$75 for a follow-up visit
(including massage treatment)
$50 for a follow-up visit
(without massage treatment)
*Each visit price covers the consultation cost, as well as the cost of all treatments and tests administered.
|Los Angeles, CA|
$250 for the initial visit
(including consultation and X-rays)
$90 to $135 for a follow-up visit
(varies based on treatment)
*Treatment administered only on the follow-up visit, which also includes a complementary X-ray report.
$75 for the initial visit
(including consultation and treatment)
$60 to $75 for a follow-up visit
(varies based on treatment)
*Each visit includes a 10-minute consultation with an additional 30 to 45 minutes of treatment. The per-visit price is all-inclusive of any treatments administered.
$145 for the initial visit
(including consultation, test reports, and 1st treatment session)
$85 for a follow-up visit
(includes 1 treatment session)
*The initial visit lasts 45 minutes including the treatment session, and the follow-up visit includes a 15 to 25-minute session depending on the treatment.
Medicare Coverage of Chiropractic Treatments
Those covered under Medicare Part B are offered reimbursement for chiropractic treatments such as manual manipulation of the spine. It is required that a licensed chiropractor or qualified provider administers the treatment. Medicare does not offer coverage for services such as X-rays (for chiropractic care), massage therapies, or acupuncture (except when acupuncture is administered for lower back pain).
Paying for Treatment
Typically, patients are asked to pay for their treatments per visit. Patients are not required to pay upfront for all future treatment sessions unless they agree to pay a discounted price which is often accompanied by advance payments. It is essential to carefully review all terms and conditions before agreeing to advance payments. Make sure to ask your provider about the possibility of getting a refund if you are not happy with the services or choose to discontinue treatment.
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Treatments and Services Offered at a Chiropractor Clinic
Every chiropractic clinic offers a range of services, therapies, and tests. Each patient usually requires a unique treatment plan consisting of one or a combination of these services. Chiropractors are trained to administer non-invasive and hands-on techniques, mainly focusing on the spine, muscles, joints, and the nervous system.
Evidence-based chiropractic therapies can heal conditions including back pain, neck pain, arthritis, and even migraines by practicing evidence-based chiropractic therapies. Chiropractors are trained to help their patients without using any surgery or medication, using just their hands and a discipline of carefully regulated movements. They often get a diverse range of patients, from pregnant women to athletes, who may be experiencing unexplained pain or muscular discomfort.
When to Consider Chiropractic Care
Based on a survey in 2021, more than 35 million Americans visit a chiropractor each year. A big reason why so many people utilize chiropractic care is that it offers medication-free treatments to all patients. Therefore, it is especially common among patients who have been experiencing conditions like chronic back or neck pain and no longer want to depend on medicines for pain relief.
Chiropractic care can help heal the following conditions:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Headaches or migraines
- Joint or muscle pain
- Spinal Injuries
- Disc issues
Here are some reasons why people prefer chiropractic care:
- Chiropractic techniques are nearly 40 percent more effective than traditional medical care.
- Patients can reduce their pharmaceutical costs by almost 85 percent by using chiropractic care as an alternative.
- Chiropractic care results in a significantly lower rate of injury than primary care in adults aged 66 and over.
- Using chiropractic care can reduce a patient's hospital visits by 60 percent.
Services and Therapies Offered
To treat such a wide range of conditions, chiropractic doctors are trained in a variety of techniques. While each patient might pay the exact cost for a consultation, their total cost varies grossly based on which therapies and tests they require in their treatment plan. Perhaps the most popular one is spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments. Spinal manipulation is a procedure wherein the practitioner uses a sudden force on the impacted area or joint and extends it beyond its normal range of motion. This is very commonly used for spinal realignment and for relieving pain in different areas of the body. However, this is just one of many services that you may be offered at a chiropractor clinic.
Other services and therapies include the following:
- Spinal Decompression
- Massage Therapy
- Injury Treatment
- MRI Scans
- DOT Certified Medical Exams
- Laser Therapy
- Surface Electromyography (SEMG)
- Whiplash Treatment
- Heat and Cold Therapy
- Dietary Management
Affording Chiropractic Care Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some commonly asked questions about chiropractic care and how to afford it.
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What should I expect on my first visit?
On your first visit to a chiropractor clinic, you will typically be asked to share a history of any past or current medical conditions, medications, and treatments. You may be asked to fill out a patient history form, which helps the practitioner better understand your physical health as well as the kind of treatment that would best suit your needs. You may be asked questions about any pain or discomfort you are experiencing or any injuries and what activities might have contributed to the same.
This is usually followed by the Chiropractic Exam, which a nurse or a licensed practitioner administers. The exam may include general tests such as blood pressure, pulse, reflexes, and respiration. The last step before treatment is diagnostic testing. Most chiropractor clinics have X-ray and MRI machines available at their facility. These scans may or may not add to the total cost of your visit; this usually depends on the payment structure of each clinic. For the majority of chiropractor clinics, the cost of X-ray scans is covered within the cost of the initial visit.
How can I make my chiropractor visits more affordable?
Paying for chiropractic care can get expensive, especially if you are someone who needs recurring treatment sessions. If you don't have health insurance or have a plan that does not cover your chiropractor's costs, you can try the following options to make your care more affordable.
- Find a chiropractor clinic that offers package deals or discounted prices for patients who need frequent sessions. You can search for the clinic on the internet to find out more about special pricing or give them a call for more questions.
- Find virtual coupons for chiropractic care on websites such as Groupon, which often have deals available for specific select clinics. If you are open to trying new clinics, this can be an excellent option.
- In addition to package deals, many chiropractor clinics may also offer unique payment plans to their patients based on the patient's needs. Try talking to your provider and ask if they are willing to provide any flexibility around payments.
Why does my insurance not cover chiropractic treatments?
Treatments such as massage therapy, acupuncture, and many others typically offered at a chiropractor are often considered "alternative" treatments. While health insurance plans cover many conventional medical services, they might not provide coverage for alternative treatments. Insurance plans might require the treatment to be determined "medically necessary" by your primary care physician to be considered for reimbursement.
Most patients find chiropractic care to be a great affordable alternative to conventional medicine. Even those without insurance are able to find clinics that offer prices that fit their budget. It is always a good practice to call your clinic ahead of time and get a rough estimate of how much it costs for consultation and treatment visits.
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Girisha is a second-year graduate student at Columbia University, pursuing a Master's in Public Health. She is excited to combine her passion for Public Health and writing with the hopes of delivering quality health information, one article at a time!