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How to Talk with Your Family about Chiropractic Care

by Dr. David Packer

FamilyHaving conversations about your healthcare with family is probably not your favorite thing to do. However, if you have chronic neck or back problems, chances are your pain is interfering with your activities of daily living. And no matter how much you may try to put on your best face for your loved ones, they know you are not your best self.

You probably wouldn’t buy a car without consulting your loved ones; and you probably wouldn’t have major surgery or treatment without including your family in the conversation. After all, your family and loved ones most likely will help you during and after your treatment.

I have been practicing NUCCA Chiropractic in Chesapeake since 2002. I am board certified in NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association), which is a safe and painless, evidence-based approach to correct spinal problems. Pinpointing and alleviating the cause of your neck and back pain is our goal.

At Precision Spinal Care, we use the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 5th Edition. This manual gives precise guidance to measurements and quantifies the “loss of motion segment integrity” when spinal ligaments are compromised. I use evidence-based evaluation to pinpoint the cause of your pain. And I go over the evaluation of your initial examination with you and your loved one so you both know exactly what to expect.

When considering any sort of chiropractic treatment plan for yourself, it is important to get the support of your loved ones. After all, your healthcare decisions will not only affect you, but also your relationship with loved ones, and ultimately the success of your recovery.

This article will give you four basic steps you should consider when planning your chiropractic care.

  1. Prepare to have the conversation with your family members.
  2. Communicate with your family members: Bring a family member with you to the doctor so you both understand what your treatment will look like and you can both ask the doctor questions.
  3. Have a plan: During treatment, you may need loved ones to help with certain activities in order for you to make appointments with the doctor, get proper rest, and maintain prescribed diet and exercise.
  4. Take action: You are an active partner in your healthcare and recovery. Make sure you have people who can support you through the process.

Getting well is a process. If your family and friends understand your treatment, it will be easier for them to help you along the way.

Preparing to Have the Conversation

We all find it difficult to ask for help. It’s especially difficult if you are used to being the rock. You may find it uncomfortable to talk about your condition and the reasons why you have chosen chiropractic treatment.

Before you have any conversations with loved ones, think about the following:

  • With whom should you start the conversation?
  • What are your biggest concerns once you start treatment?
  • What will be the easiest parts of the conversation?
  • What will be the hardest parts of the conversation?
  • How do you think your spouse or family member might react?
  • How does your family usually respond when healthcare decisions are discussed?
  • How can you explain why chiropractic treatment is important to you?
  • What will you need from your family other than emotional support?

Think carefully about each of these questions and be prepared to have an open, honest, and non-confrontational conversation.

Make sure your family understands the extent of your pain and how it’s interfering with your life. Encourage them to try to see through your eyes and feel what you are experiencing.

Be very clear about your choice of chiropractic treatment and invite them to visit your doctor with you so they can ask questions. In order to assuage some of their fears, encourage them to look at the medical studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health on the benefits, safety, and efficacy of chiropractic care.

Be open. Listen carefully to the concerns of your family and/or spouse. They are most likely coming from a place of caring and not from trying to tell you what to do. If they have concerns about chiropractic care, write them down and share them with your chiropractor so he/she can help address those concerns.


I often speak with patients and their spouses together. After your initial evaluation and examination, I will go over the results of your tests and x-rays with you and your loved one. I am happy to answer any questions you or your family members may have about your care. Any doctor you consult should freely do the same.

The majority of the time family members are not trying to control your care; they are trying to keep you safe. That’s a good thing!


Once you, your loved ones, and your doctor are all on the same page about your treatment and recovery, have a frank discussion about:

  • your condition,
  • treatment options,
  • how much it will cost,
  • and how long will it take.

Making these decisions with your spouse or loved one is typically the best way to move forward. You want your spouse to understand what you are going through. You also need to be assured that you will have the care and support at home for a full and successful recovery.

Make sure you consider all of your activities of daily living, like shopping, picking up the kids from school, and going to work and meetings. Some scheduling adjustments may need to be made until you are back to yourself.

Work with your family members to create a list of the chores and other activities for which you are normally responsible. Determine who will do what and for how long. Remember, if you have a plan in place for loved ones and family members to help you through this period, your recovery will be much easier.

Take Action

You are an active partner in your healthcare and your family is a partner in your health. You probably wouldn’t allow your child to start treatment with a physician without asking lots of questions. But as caring adults, we often forget to ask these same questions when it comes to our own healthcare. Including a spouse or loved one in the process ensures all of the questions you both may have about your care and recovery are addressed and answered.

Getting Ready to Speak with Your Family about Your Chiropractic Care

  • Prepare to have the conversation and listen to their concerns. They are most likely coming from a place of caring and not controlling.
  • Communicate! The more they understand about your care and your needs, the more they can help you with your recovery.
  • Have a Plan! Make sure you discuss your care plan with your family and loved ones and everyone knows what to expect throughout the process for treatment and recovery.
  • Take Action! Be proactive in your healthcare and include your family in the process. Educate yourself and them about chiropractic treatment and what it will look like for you.

Remember, opinions cannot take the place of proper examination and evaluation.

  • Educate yourself and your family members on the options that are available to take care of your neck and back pain.
  • Make a list of questions that you and your family members have about the various options and which ones are best for your condition.
  • Bring your spouse or loved one to talk to a credentialed spine care specialist after your initial evaluation so you both understand exactly what to expect.

At Precision Spinal Care, I will perform a thorough examination of you before any treatment is performed or prescribed. I will sit with you and your spouse or loved one and answer all of your questions after the initial examination and evaluation.

If it is determined that chiropractic is not the best solution, I will explain your condition and recommend the type of specialist who is most appropriate for you.

We understand that you need to explore all your options when you look for expert chiropractic care. At Precision Spinal Care, we are happy to help you determine the best way to address your specific needs and discuss all your options with you and your family.

Call our office at (757) 382-5555 to speak to the doctor or set up a consultation. You can also set up an appointment through our webpage.

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