The 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions of Us at KSC

Let's address the 10 most frequently asked questions of us at our clinic in Frederick!
Person with lots of questions
Dr. Alexander Elahi
April 12, 2024

In our experience with our patients, certain questions come up repeatedly. Since so many people seem to have the same questions, we thought it would be helpful to address the 10 most frequently asked questions of us at our clinic in Frederick!

1. What kind of Chiropractor are you?

While there are dozens of “types” of chiropractors, it is important to understand the differences between practicing DCs within the profession. For example, there are plenty of Maximized Living chiropractors who practice via the same business model of quick appointments for massive quantities of patients each day. Some appointments may last only a few minutes and involve chiropractic manipulation/adjustments as the only treatment.

Meanwhile, other, progressive-minded chiropractic physicians follow the latest guidelines for appropriate medical care for musculoskeletal conditions, only after a thorough and comprehensive medical examination. This is the practice philosophy at Key Spine Care. 

Our in-office doctor motto is, “We practice guideline adherent care. Period.” We follow the latest research on physical medicine, nutrition, pain, and many other disciplines. Most of our treatment plans involve the latest scientific data, with most “old school” treatments failing to keep up with these modern medical advances. 

We practice 1-on-1, unrivaled healthcare. We are not a mill-like clinic, simply pushing patients in and out. We establish relationships with our patients and partner with them on their pain journey.

We also recognize the public’s perception of the need for “quick fixes”. We enjoy treating the primary area of concern for our patients, while at the same time, putting together the most logical explanation for the cause of their pain & discomfort.

We feel the medical field is very good at treating the effects, but rather poor at identifying the root cause for a patient's pain. We can identify the root cause, or get you into the office of someone else who can.

We promote a safe progression of physical activity through a positive movement environment. We aren’t the posture police and we certainly won’t X-ray every new patient -unless it is medically relevant (you can read more on X-rays on #6!)

2. Who can go see a chiropractor?

Chiropractic physicians are covered under the Medical Practice Act, and as such, are qualified healthcare providers for the public via direct access. No referrals are necessary to be treated by a chiropractic physician.

3. What actually is a manipulation/adjustment?

When a chiropractic physician, qualified physical therapist, or osteopathic physician (DO) render a spinal manipulation, the goal is to induce a small, controlled movement in a spinal segment. No bones are moving “back into place”, contrary to popular belief. The sound that is made is called a cavitation, which is the result of gas being released into the joint space as a result of the mechanical pressure placed on the joint.

4. What is the benefit of getting an adjustment?

One of the main goals of an adjustment is the restoration of full joint motion. This can be VERY helpful in the treatment of low back and neck pain. While this window of opportunity is narrow after an adjustment, it is also very effective when combined with additional manual therapy, specific rehabilitation exercises, and stretches. It is our stance, as a company, that spinal adjustments within a treatment plan should never be used in isolation or as a stand-alone treatment strategy.

5. What’s the difference between chiropractic and physical therapy?

One of the most frequently asked questions of our team here at Key Spine Care is about the differences between these two professions: Chiro & PT. For some reason, it’s been built up in our culture that these two are mutually exclusive professions! We know several well-qualified and top-notch physical therapists here in Frederick. We also love the chiropractic profession.

However, just like with every other profession - attorneys, teachers, accountants, etc... There are high performers and low performers. We will never speak ill of the PT or DC profession as a result of the low performers. What we can speak to are the facts about the main differences between the two professions. Here are a few:

  • PTs require physician (MD, DO) supervision, Chiropractors do not as they are deemed Primary Medical Degrees in the state of Maryland.
  • PTs are limited to a specific area of pain (cannot treat an additional area with notice from MD/DO), whereas Chiropractors can treat multiple pain points with patients.
  • PTs cannot order laboratory tests, such as blood work, whereas Chiropractic Physicians can order any laboratory study deemed medically necessary for a given patient’s condition.
  • DCs have a primary medical degree in the state of Maryland and can be used as Primary Physicians, while Physical Therapists cannot.
  • DCs, under Maryland law, can perform and routinely do so in other offices, men & women sensitive exams, nutrition & allergy testing (a subgroup of clinical practice called Functional Medicine).
  • DCs can order traditional radiographs (X-rays) and advanced imaging, such as MRI, CT, etc. PTs cannot order imaging.
  • In Maryland, Continuing Medical Education (CME) is required for all professions every 2 years. The different specialties however require different amounts:  DCs are required to obtain 48 hours of CMEs, Physical Therapists are required to obtain 30 hours, and Medical Doctors (e.g. Primary Care Physicians, Surgeons, etc.) are required to obtain 50 hours.

6. Do you take X-rays of each patient?

X-rays are ordered when the patient presents with a medical need. Most frequently this will involve incidents of trauma such as a fall or a contact sports injury. Key Spine Care uses sound clinical judgment when to order imaging and (more importantly) when NOT to. If you are considering a chiropractor for the treatment of low back, head/neck pain & stiffness and the doctor insists on shooting X-rays on the first visit to “identify the vertebrae that are misaligned”,  please find another chiropractor!

7. Do you offer $29 exams?

While we do not offer $29 exams & treatment as some larger chiropractic chains do, you can apply for a Free Discovery Visit with us. This is a simple Q&A session with us to identify if we are the appropriate place to solve your pain problem and if you prefer to choose us as your healthcare provider. Remember, healthcare is a choice! You can always choose another doctor.

Most of the chiropractic marketing groups teach their clients (aka chiropractic clinic owners) to offer $29 to get you into their office, then UPSELL you on a massive treatment plan. These treatment plans are typically accompanied by a contract and a rigid treatment protocol, such as 3X’s a week for a year. 

We don’t operate that way. Rather, we charge our rates, give you a realistic expectation of when to see results, and how to manage your discomfort for years to come on your own. In fact, every patient of ours has learned the following from us:

  1. What is the cause of their pain.
  2. How can they PREVENT their pain from coming back in the future.
  3. What is the realistic timeframe for recovery.
  4. What will be the treatment plan cost.

8. Do you offer free consultations?

Yes, our office allows prospective clients & patients to apply for a New Patient Discovery Visit with our chiropractic physician. Please call (240) 206-0655 to apply.

9. What should I expect from a Discovery Visit?

Our unique “entry point” into our office is what we have called our Discovery Visit. This is a two-way conversation, in which you (the patient) get to discover if we (the provider) are a good fit for your specific needs. Additionally, we get to establish if we feel comfortable taking on your case.

Rather than wasting valuable time and money, we have found that this simple 30-minute appointment establishes whether we are a good fit for one another. And if we both agree that we are NOT a good fit, then we feel it is our responsibility to find another facility, clinic, or provider nearby that IS. We recognize that we cannot help everyone in our community, so we refer to our colleagues who specialize in areas we do not. 

We feel that this is the highest form of “patient-centered” care, whereby we recognize that there are other providers readily and more skilled to treat certain conditions than we are. Severe concussions, for example, is a condition in which our office lacks the latest medical technology to sufficiently evaluate and treat patients with visual, vestibular, or intense headaches. Our office refers to the concussion experts in Frederick for these cases for good reason! They are the experts on the treatment for concussion and head trauma, not us.

We specialize in musculoskeletal pain conditions and optimizing athletic performance potential. Period. We know what we are good at and are aiming to become the best in the world in our lane. If you want to reduce pain, improve performance, and get back to “the best version of yourself”, then we have good news for you: This clinic IS for you.

10. Will I need to come in for “wellness” or “maintenance” visits?

We have yet to offer any type of “wellness” or “maintenance” in the traditional chiropractic way. We do not offer monthly adjustments & massages as a maintenance program. What we do offer is a Medical Supervised Exercise program, which includes individualized exercises in a “workout” type setting. This is our version of “wellness”.

We also discuss sleep, nutrition, hydration, and movement as a part of our modern maintenance program. Please note: this is only offered to our patients AFTER completion of their agreed-upon treatment plan of care.

Bonus Question

11. How do I book an appointment?

We prefer you contact us directly to book your New Patient appointment. This way, we can properly onboard you into our system in addition to you having all your initial questions answered. Call here - (240) 206-0655.

Do this next!

  1. Share this article with a friend or family member who has been dealing with constant back, neck, shoulder, hip, or knee pain that we could help!
  2. Call our office TODAY at (240) 206-0655 to book your Assessment today.
  3. Keep an eye out for our next article!

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