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Choose Wisely

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Are you an informed consumer when it comes to your health and the health of your family?

We see quite a few injured kids come through the practice.  Some parents bring their kids in to get treatment and fix the problem.  Other parents bring their kids in and want to talk about the problem.  Admittedly, I didn’t understand this for the longest time.  I would think to myself “We know what the problem is, let’s get down to business and fix it!”  In retrospect, I will try to give them the benefit of the doubt that they were simply being informed consumers.  The jury is still out on that.

A Myriad of Choices

It did get me thinking about choices.  These days, athletes have a lot of choices regarding the services available for training and also for healthcare.  Since we provide both, I am constantly assessing the marketplace and looking at factors that sway decision-making.  Athletes are “pack” creatures.  They tend to follow each other to the same places; the same trainers, the same retail stores, the same doctors, etc.)  This can be a slippery slope since it is based more on popularity than on good information.  Finances play into the decision as well.  We are constantly shopping for the best bang for the buck.  Most amateur athletes will settle for low cost or even free services, even if it is detrimental to their safety or performance.  Just a while back, we had a recently injured athlete opt to work with their “trainer” to rehabilitate and get back to playing, rather than work with us.  Why? It was free.

You Get What You Pay For-Or Do You?

Infographic courtesy of hitconsultant.net

Infographic courtesy of hitconsultant.net

It reminded me of the old cliché, “You get what you pay for.” Is there value in “free”?  In the case of this athlete, not really.  The risk of working with someone who is not trained in injury assessment and management doesn’t outweigh the reward of getting free services.  Chances are the athlete will suffer performance setbacks and put themselves at significant risk for re-injury.

Athletes, or the parents of youth athletes, have a higher responsibility than just making choices based upon popularity or finances.  Especially when the athlete’s health and performance may be affected.  Here are some simple guidelines for choosing trainers, coaches, and even doctors.

Look at their experience.  How long have they been doing it?

What are their credentials?  Seek out professionals that specialize in the particular service you are looking for.   Trainers will have extra certifications in sports training, conditioning and strength training.  Some physicians often specialize in sports injuries as well.  Just because they have Doctor in their title doesn’t mean that they are qualified to fix your problem.  We see this all the time with chiropractors and family doctors that list “sports injuries” as one of their services.  However, they have no advance training in sports injuries and may not have even played a sport!

What are others saying about them?  Check for reviews online through credible sites such as the Better Business Bureau.  Ask for a referral from a friend or teammate that has had a positive experience.

Ask for a consultation.  This is a great way to gather information and see if they are a good fit for you.  We always offer a FREE consultation in our office–both for chiropractic care and for sports performance.  We strongly believe you have a right to be an informed consumer and want to ensure that you are fully informed with what will be involved in your care.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours–are you exercising your choice wisely?

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