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How Much Does a Chiropractor Cost?

a male chiropractor sits on a massage table, smiling while holding a clipboard

Chiropractors work with patients suffering from pain and discomfort due to misalignment of the spine. They can either provide adjustments, behavioral advice, or prescribe exercises to help patients manage their back problems. In other words, they can help people enjoy a better quality of life. But these benefits come with a price. How much does a chiropractor cost?

An Overview

In general, a patient could spend at least $29 for a single session with a chiropractor. This amount most likely covers the basics, such as spinal manipulation. Usually, the average cost is at least $65, according to Cost Helper. But patients may need to prepare for a much higher price. Some spend hundreds per visit or throughout their treatment plan.

It’s because many factors can affect these figures:

1. Geographical Location Can affect Cost

a chiropractor presses the pressure points of a male patient lying prone on a massage table

The cost of chiropractic services depends on where you live. The national average is $33 for a simple adjustment, but some states have an average that is much higher. In New England and the Midwest, for example, an appointment averages at least $60 to $65 each time. In Hawaii, you might need to pay up to $130 while Illinois residents shell out an average of $100.

Geography may also correlate to the demand and supply of chiropractors. The more clinics there are, the cheaper the services get. Chiropractors need to keep their prices competitive to attract new patients and keep the existing ones.

It may also depend on the cost of living in the area. Take, for example, a chiropractic clinic that operates in a rural community. They might be the sole practitioner, but they cannot ask for an exorbitant price because the patients might no longer be able to afford their services.

2. Cost of Training and Experience

Because of the nature of their job, chiropractors need to go through extensive education and training, depending on the state where they plan to practice. Usually, their schooling begins with four years of bachelor’s degree, specifically science-related such as biology.

Then, they have to spend around three years completing more specific types of training and gaining clinical experience. Chiropractors also have to pass the national boards, so they will receive their license and be eligible to practice.

For this reason, the more trained and experienced the chiropractor is, the more likely they will charge more to match their level of knowledge.

3. Additional Services

male chiropractor pointing to the acupuncture points on the face of a dummy

Chiropractors are famous for spinal manipulation techniques, but they can also offer so much more. Some of these services may be included in the base cost, and some will be additional add-ons that can be added to your treatment plan. 

  • Acupuncture – This is a traditional Chinese treatment in which a practitioner inserts thin needles into the skin along meridians. The main goal is to encourage the energy flow in your body, leading to relief from pain and an improved immune system. Acupuncture usually costs $40 to $75 per session.
  • Advanced Care Plans – Some chiropractic clinics offer long-term treatment packages for their patients. A plan might entail six to twelve visits per year and could be used for a specific condition or regular care. These plans can help you save money, but they may cost $5,000 or more.
  • Massage Therapy – People go to chiropractors for back and neck pain, but these specialists can also help relieve muscle tension. For example, a session of myofascial release could cost $45 or more.
  • Ozone Therapy – This is another form of alternative treatment, but it is often used in combination with traditional chiropractic care. During an ozone therapy session, the patient receives injections of oxygen-enriched ozone into specific areas to reduce inflammation and ease the pain. Ozone therapy could cost $200 or more per visit.
  • Physical Therapy – Chiropractors are trained to screen patients to see if they need physical therapy sessions. If so, the cost of the rehabilitation program depends on numerous factors such as the length and type of treatment needed, whether you have one or multiple visits per month, or if there are additional costs such as equipment and medications. Chiropractic physical therapy usually begins with $35 or more per visit.
  • Electric Stimulation –  A chiropractor uses electric stimulation to reduce pain and spasms, relax muscles, and increase blood flow. For this reason, these sessions are often performed before a spinal manipulation treatment.
  • Decompression –  This therapy is used for people who have back pain caused by a herniated disc. The decompression table applies negative pressure to the spine, which can help relieve the pressure on the discs.

4. Diagnostics

a female radiologist in front of a screen while performing a CT scan on a patient as part of chiropractic care

Not all chiropractic clinics can perform diagnostics, which means patients need to take these tests somewhere else. When they visit the doctor, their results should already be available.

However, to generate more revenues, more chiropractic clinics are expanding. Some of the well-known diagnostics include:

  • X-ray – This simple test is used to analyze bones and tissues. It usually costs $55 or more per view, but it also depends on the extent of the survey.
  • MRI – This medical imaging technique provides detailed pictures of soft tissues like muscles, tendons, ligaments, and discs between vertebrae. Aside from the cost of MRI itself (which can range from $300 to $1,700 or more), there will also be the cost of radiologist report (which ranges from $100 to $200) and anesthesiology services (up to $300).
  • CT-Scan – This test uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology for cross-sectional imaging. The price will vary by provider, geographic location, equipment used, and the patient’s type of insurance.

5. Insurance Coverage

Fortunately, in the United States, many health insurance plans cover chiropractic treatment. These include Medicare and Medicaid. This way, patients pay significantly less or even none at all per visit or treatment, depending on their deductible and co-pay.

However, there are caveats. First, not all states may include chiropractic care in the government healthcare insurance program. Second, the services obtained must be necessary to the patient. It might be recommended by the primary care provider, for example. Third, the plan may not cover all services and exams. For instance, it might pay for spinal manipulation but not for ozone therapy.

6. Number of Visits

a young female chiropractor visits an old Asian woman dealing with chronic arm pain

Most chiropractic patients only require a few visits to the doctor to resolve their health issues.

However, others might need continuous care for an indefinite period. Take, for example, pain caused by chronic inflammation. This problem is already complex, and the damage to the tissues may already be extensive. Usually, patients undergo a six-month treatment plan.

The chiropractic cost for chronic pain may be higher if the work is more comprehensive, but the chiropractor can spread it out during the course of the treatment. It can also vary according to factors such as the number of visits, the type of treatment, and the patient’s response to therapies.

So how much does a chiropractor cost? The final figures depend on the factors mentioned above. A safe bet would be to calculate at least $200 or more just to be safe. If the patient believes they would need this service at some point, they can begin looking for insurance that covers it to reduce the cost.

If you’re in Logan, Utah, and the surrounding areas, you can get the all the essential services at one low price. Jace Ferguson, at Rocky Mountain Pain and Joint Center, aka. Logan Chiropractor offers you this reasonable rate that already includes services such as spinal adjustments, electric stimulation, decompression, and roller massage. Book an appointment with us today to stop managing the pain on your own.