People need a good chiropractor like they need a good, honest mechanic. But how do you know a chiropractor is worth trusting with your spine? 

Once upon a time, I was walking down a street in Nashville looking for a chiropractor. I was visiting the city and needed an adjustment, so I looked up the closest chiropractic clinic and walked through the front door. I instantly felt nervous. Was the chiropractor going to be good? Were his adjustments going to be comfortable? What techniques would be used? Would he smell like soup? Then I thought, if I’m this nervous to trust a chiropractor and I’m a chiropractor myself, it must be terrifying for everyone else!

So here’s a couple inside tips to steer you in the right direction. These are things I look for when I choose my chiropractor:

  1. They should be healthy. Practicing what you preach is important to me. If someone is going to tell me to eat well, exercise, have good posture or have a positive mindset, I would like them to be a good example. 
  2. They should want you to get better as quickly as possible. I’ve talked to chiropractors who won’t adjust patients on the first visit because they don’t want to take their pain away before they get the chance to sign them up for a big treatment plan. If your pain magically goes away after the first visit, you should have a high five moment with your chiropractor and be done with that episode of care.  Sometimes it works this way (ask me about my first adjustment on a real patient), but more commonly it takes 4-6 visits for people to feel 50 – 100% improvement. There’s nothing to “believe” in; you will know if it works after 2-3 weeks, not 2-3 months. 
  3. They should have good hands. Chiropractor literally means “hand practitioner” in Greek. In my experience, there is no substitute for the practiced, healing touch of a good chiropractor’s hands. Gentle but confident, intuitive and sensitive. I’ll take that over an instrument, machine or piece of tech any day. I like going to chiropractors whose primary treatment tool is their hands. Also, I prefer chiropractors who have a background in athletics because delivering a great adjustment is a difficult physical skill that takes a lot of practice to develop. Athletes are used to doing this and are good at it. 

So how do you find a healthy chiropractor with good hands who truly wants to help? Online searches are a good place to start, but online reputations can be polished to outshine the in-person experience. That’s where a face-to-face or telephone free consultation can be a great way to go. I am always willing to have a no-pressure chat with potential patients to see if I can help and answer any questions they may have. 

Another good way to find the right chiropractor is to ask your friends for recommendations. On that note, I would like to thank all my patients for trusting me with your spine, and for doing such a good job of referring friends and family. You are the reason I love my job, and you are the reason I have my job! Keep up the good work

If you are not my patient and you have pain you think a chiropractor could help with (and I usually can!), I would love to meet you and I promise to help you be as comfortable as possible throughout the whole process. Don’t be nervous! Call (206) 906-9239 to schedule a 10 min free consultation (in-person or by phone) or book a new patient appointment. Appointments can also be scheduled online at

Take good care,

Joshua Penner, D.C.