Is Chiropractic Care Covered in My Insurance?
Chiropractic care can be an excellent alternative treatment option for aches and pain throughout the body. Every year, over 20 million Americans visit chiropractors across the nation for various ailments. If you have been injured recently or experience frequent pain in your lower back, you may be considering visiting a chiropractor and wondering about whether your health insurance covers chiropractic care.
Does my insurance cover chiropractic care?
As stated above, seeking chiropractic care is fairly common. Fortunately, most insurance companies cover chiropractic care but do require a co-payment.
Chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans such as workers’ compensation, Medicare, specific Medicaid plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare. It is often also made available to all active-duty members of the armed forces, eligible veterans, and federal employees.
It is important to note that though these companies cover chiropractic care, their coverage may be limited and come with certain restrictions including:
- A referral from your primary care physician stating that care is medically necessary
- A cap how many times you can receive treatment within a month or year
- They may make you use in-network or approved chiropractors
- They may require your doctor to create an active care plan and follow it
Most insurance plans will only cover your short-term care during recovery and will not pay for maintenance visits or long-term care plans.
Due to the unique nature of health insurance and state mandates, we always recommend patients check with their insurance company and specific health plans as each will have different requirements, limits to care, and levels of coverage.
Some policies require that you meet your deductible, or a minimum dollar amount before your benefits will kick in. If your insurance does cover chiropractic treatment and you’ve met their specific requirements, you can expect to pay a portion of the cost of treatment, assuming you’ve met your deductible. If you haven’t met your deductible, you will have to pay the full price until you’ve met the minimum dollar amount for your policy.
Deductibles often reset on January 1st, so if you have met your deductible and are still needing treatment, now is the time to receive care to avoid having to begin paying toward your deductible again after the new year.
Why doesn’t health insurance cover maintenance care?
Coverage is often provided when care is part of an active treatment plan, meaning you are receiving care to treat a specific injury and that the treatment is currently improving your condition and symptoms. When significant treatment can no longer be expected from the care, treatment then becomes supportive rather than corrective, becoming maintenance care. Since most insurance companies only cover care for medically necessary treatments, maintenance care is not considered covered and therefore not payable.
What can I do if my health insurance doesn’t cover my care?
If your insurance doesn’t cover your health plan involving chiropractic care, talk to your doctor to see if they can help. They may be able to reach out to your insurance company on your behalf and explain their referral. You can also reach out to the company yourself and explain your story to them. If they do not cover your care, you may have to pay out of pocket for chiropractic care. Remember to discuss payment plans or other discounts you may be eligible for at our office during your consultation. Another option for those whose insurance doesn’t fully cover chiropractic care is supplemental coverage which can be used in addition to the healthcare you currently have.
Our team is always looking for new ways to help our patients receive quality and affordable chiropractic care. Whether you need an exam for an injury, rehabilitation services, or treatment for a chronic condition, we are here for you and happy to schedule an appointment to get the care you need. For more information on our services and how we can help you, please contact Tuck Chiropractic.
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Chiropractic Care and Fall Prevention
Did you know that one in every four adults over the age of 65 falls at least once every year? With one in every five falls leading to a serious injury, falling can be one of the biggest dangers to your overall health and wellbeing as well as your quality of life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent falling and reduce your risk of injury – and chiropractic care can help.
The Dangers of Falling
As stated above, falls can cause patients pain, injury, and disrupt their overall quality of life. Falls can cause broken bones such as wrist, arm, ankle, and hip fractures. Head injuries are also common injuries from falls especially for those who take certain medications that may act as blood thinners.
Several risk factors that contribute to the risk of falling include:
- Cognitive impairment
- Core and lower body muscle weakness
- Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
- Environmental hazards
- Joint and muscle pain
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Vision problems
Unfortunately, after a fall some patients may fear falling again and begin limiting their activities which may work against them as decreased activity can lead to muscle weakness and increase their chance of falling.
How can chiropractic care help?
If you are injured from a fall and experience back pain, neck pain, or hip pain, chiropractic care can not only help to relieve pain, but also can also offer preventative care! Chiropractic care helps to keep your joints and soft tissue in working order which is important to staying healthy and active as you age.
By restoring proper alignment to your body, we can help patients regain mobility allowing you to stay active. We can also offer nutritional advice to help fuel your body properly and keep your bones strong. Another way we can help is to recommend exercises and lifestyle changes to improve and maintain your sense of balance, muscle strength, and flexibility.
Improving your muscle strength in your core and legs is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of falling and the chance of severe injury. Walking, jogging, yoga, dancing, and Tai Chi are all exercises you can do with no special equipment other than supportive shoes. Even practicing leg extensions from a seated position at home can help keep you centered and on your feet. Exercising at least 20 minutes a day will help to prevent muscle weakness which can make you prone to falling.
On your own or with your family, we recommend you also assess your home around environmental hazards as some falls occur within the home or around the house.
- Ensure handrails are secure on both sides of a staircase
- Install grab bars near the toilet and bathing area
- Keep hallways and pathways clear
- Keep frequently used items within easy reach
- Place rubber mats in the kitchen
- Use non-slip mats around the bathroom both inside and outside the bathing area
With these steps and our treatments, we will work together with you and your health care providers to ensure you can continue living a full and healthy life. For more information on how chiropractic care can help with fall prevention or to schedule an appointment, please contact Tuck Chiropractic today.
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Meet Dr. Michael Ebner
As the autumn leaves are changing and fall is in full swing, we are excited to introduce our newest doctor addition to the Tuck Chiropractic Team! We are pleased to welcome Dr. Michael C. Ebner, DC who will be joining the team in our Cave Spring location in Roanoke. He has been actively practicing chiropractic since 1993 in both NC and SC and has successfully treated thousands of patients throughout that period.
Dr. Ebner feels blessed that he’s been able to practice and help so many people enhance the quality of their lives. Dr. Ebner is a native New Yorker where he attended undergraduate studies at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY. He graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree and then continued his education at Palmer Chiropractic College in Davenport, IA and graduated in 1993 with his Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
Dr. Ebner received his post-graduate certification in Whiplash and Brain Traumatology through the Spine Research Institute of San Diego in 2006. With this special certification, he has been able to help thousands of patients recover from injuries. He has also been able to make an impact using adjunctive physio-therapeutics.
Dr. Ebner is married to his lovely wife, Lisa, and they have six grown children. He enjoys spending his free time traveling with Lisa, riding his motorcycle, skiing, and playing ice hockey.
We are very excited to have Dr. Ebner join us in our Cave Spring location and believe his years of professional experience will be a great addition to our already outstanding clinical team. Be sure to give him a warm welcome the next time you visit our Cave Spring Clinic location!
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What is a Spinal Subluxation?
You may have heard the term “subluxation” many times before, but you may not fully understand what it is or what kind of damage subluxations can cause to your body. This month we would like to provide you with a little more knowledge of spinal subluxations.
A subluxation is a term used to describe a joint that may not work the way it should, whether it is misaligned or not operating properly. Subluxations can occur in any joint within the body including the feet, shoulders, wrists, and knees. One of the most common areas that subluxations can occur is within the spine. These subluxations are known as spinal subluxations.
What is a spinal subluxation?
A spinal subluxation refers to a misaligned vertebrae within the spine from its normal position. When a vertebra becomes misaligned, the pressure put on the nerve roots within the spine can decrease the function of nerve signals between the body and brain. If left untreated, this can cause unbalance within other parts of your body that rely on that vertebra working properly.
If left untreated, spinal subluxations may begin to affect other parts of your general health and wellbeing. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms so you can quickly identify spinal subluxations and seek treatment.
Common signs that could indicate a spinal subluxation include:
- Headaches – Headaches can often occur due to the buildup of pressure from a subluxation without release. This pressure continues to build upward until it reaches the base of the head causing tension headaches that often appear without warning.
- Inability to move – Subluxations may cause muscle stiffness or inflexibility. This may make performing easy tasks more difficult due to an inability to move.
- Pain in the back or neck – This is the most obvious sign of spinal subluxations as the pain spreads upward through the back and neck. Pain severity can range from mild discomfort to sharp, debilitating pain.
Spinal subluxations can also cause muscle tenderness, inflammation, pain, numbness, loss of feeling, limited mobility, and a tingling or burning sensation in the affected area.
The causes of spinal subluxations can vary but they are most commonly caused by trauma. This includes major trauma from an injury or accident. However, micro-trauma from daily habits such as sleeping on your stomach or arm nightly, wearing a heavy bag on one side of your body, or looking down at a computer for a long time can also cause subluxations.
Another common cause of subluxation is stress. Strong feelings of stress and anxiety can cause tension within the body, especially in the neck and upper back. Stress can cause the muscles to become tight and may cause a spinal subluxation.
If you suspect that you may have a spinal subluxation, the most recommended course of treatment is to visit a chiropractor. However, for minor cases relief can be achieved with stretches, over-the-counter pain medication, rest, and cold compresses.
Even if you want to try an at-home approach, we encourage you to come into our office for an official diagnosis. We will work with you to find a treatment that is right for you so that you can be the best healthiest version of yourself. For more information on spinal subluxations or to schedule an appointment, please contact Tuck Chiropractic today.
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The Activator Method
One of the best aspects of chiropractic care is the variety of approaches chiropractors can utilize to treat your condition and improve your overall quality of life. The goal of chiropractic care is to use the manipulation of the musculoskeletal system, primarily the spine, to improve function, reduce pain and inflammation, and help your body to function at its best.
For some patients, chiropractors may choose to use their hands to manually deliver treatment, while other cases may require specialized tools and equipment for the desired results and are known as instrument-assisted adjustments. One of the most common instrument-assisted adjustment techniques is the Activator method.
What is the Activator Method?
The Activator method is a form of instrument-assisted spinal and joint manipulation, where a chiropractor uses a small hand-held device known as an Activator Adjustment Instrument, or more simply, an Activator.
This device works as an extension of the chiropractor’s hands to provide a gentle force without needing to twist and turn the patient’s body to correct misalignments. The nature of the device allows for precise adjustment, even to small localized areas. This method is commonly used to treat back pain, neck pain, chronic headaches, inflammation of joints, and spinal disc conditions.
This method is ideal for those who require gentler methods of manipulation such as those who are pregnant, have arthritis, or may be more hesitant to try traditional forms of manual manipulation.
It can be used as an alternative to traditional manipulation or in conjunction with other treatment options.
How does the activator method work?
Prior to the treatment, a physical evaluation is conducted often including reflex testing and possibly leg length testing to identify specific dysfunctions within the spine.
During treatment, the patient can lie down comfortably on an adjustment table and each area of the spine will be worked on individually with the Activator instrument.
The Activator, as mentioned previously, is a hand-held device that can be spring-loaded or electronic and is designed to mimic the effects of hand spinal manipulation. Using high-velocity low amplitude thrust, this instrument can gently realign your spine, relieve pressure from spinal nerves, and eliminate strain on nearby muscles.
The targeted area is gently tapped by the device with a small amount of pressure, followed by a single quick thrust. Due to the Activator’s speed, the muscles treated are less likely to tense making the patient more receptive to treatment. Following treatment, the patient is often re-evaluated to look for signs of correction. A typical treatment plan consists of a series of visits with routine evaluations.
There is no twisting or repositioning required during treatment making this technique preferable to other forms of manual manipulation.
What are the benefits of the Activator method?
By correcting spinal subluxations, or misalignments, the Activator method can provide the following benefits:
- Restore proper function, motion, and sensation to the affected area
- Reduce inflammation and stiffness in joints
- Alleviate pain
- Remove nerve blockages
Compared to other forms of manipulation, the Activator method can also provide localized treatment to specific areas of the body.
We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach that can address your needs and conditions and we will work with you to determine which treatment option is the right one for you. For more information on the Activator method or to schedule an appointment, please contact Tuck Chiropractic Clinic today.
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Meet Dr. DJ McAninch
Dr. DJ McAninch makes his way down to Blacksburg, Virginia from a town on the Erie canal called Lockport. It is a suburb of Buffalo, known as “the city of good neighbors”. Growing up he developed a love for athletics, getting involved in baseball, hockey and football at a young age. Dr. DJ earned the highest rank in scouting, the Eagle Scout award, so when he gets a chance you can find him hiking or camping out in the woods in Montgomery County.
Joining the diving team in grade school led to a division I collegiate career at the University at Buffalo where Dr. DJ won a Mid-American Conference championship with the Men’s Swimming and Diving team. Needless to say, he learned a lot about body mechanics. His first experience with Chiropractic came after landing awkwardly with a dive at practice one day and had some sharp pains in his back that would not resolve. After a week of this pain a friend on the team recommended Chiropractic. Following his first adjustment, his pain had significantly improved and before long, he was getting adjusted on a regular basis. Chiropractic had gotten him back to doing what he loved, and he wanted to give back. He graduated from UB in 2015 and started at New York Chiropractic College that fall.
While earning his doctorate of Chiropractic, Dr. DJ discovered the amazing world of Chinese medicine and the variety of conditions that it can treat. He has treated patients for headaches, sleep disturbances, stress/anxiety, digestion and so much more and they have improved significantly with acupuncture treatments. While enrolled in the Fingerlakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine he developed skills in acupuncture, Tuina/Chinese medical massage, Qi gong/Chinese therapeutic movements, and fire cupping. He graduated with a Masters degree in acupuncture in the summer of 2020.
Dr. McAninch has a passion for helping people first and foremost. He uses a combination of Chiropractic and Acupuncture to get people back to doing what they love! He is so excited to share this with the people of southwest Virginia and patients that choose Tuck Clinic in Blacksburg, VA!
Dr. McAninch sees patients in our Blacksburg location.
- Doctorate of Chiropractic – New York Chiropractic College
- Master of Science: Acupuncture – Fingerlakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
- Bachelor of Science: Health and Human Services – University at Buffalo
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High and Low Impact Activities Everyone Can Do
Many of us know staying active is vital to living a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise is proven to reduce stress levels, improve sleep quality, boost your immune system, and prevent weight gain.
As we continue to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, you may be finding it difficult to exercise or maintain your exercise routine. However, exercise is more important than ever during these stressful times. We’ve provided some high and low impact activities as well as a few tips to help you get your body moving while following the CDC guidelines.
High Impact Activities
High impact activities are exercises that often require both feet to come off the ground while working out. These activities are called high impact because once your body leaves the ground, gravity forces you back down. This causes your feet to hit the ground with pressure often similar to carrying twice your bodyweight.
Some of the benefits of high impact exercises include an increased heart rate, improved bone density and cardiovascular strength, better balance and stability, and increased stamina.
High impact activities may not be ideal for those who have pre-existing injuries, have joint conditions, or have excess weight. This doesn’t mean that people with these conditions should not do high impact activities, but that they should be added into exercise routines in moderation. Incorporating a few high impact activities into a low impact routine is a great starting point that will help strengthen your body and burn calories. Some high impact workouts include:
- Jumping Jacks
- Jumping Lunges
- Jumping Rope
- Squat Jumps
Low Impact Activities
Low impact activities are exercises that often keep at least one foot on the ground while you are working out. Your joints absorb far less of an impact during these workouts making them ideal for those with pre-existing injuries, chronic inflammatory conditions, or beginners.
Don’t be fooled by the term “low-impact.” You can still achieve an excellent workout with low impact activities, but you may have to work a little harder. Some low impact exercises include:
- Exercises on Elliptical Machines
- Strength Training
By adding a mixture of low and high impact activities to your workout routine, you will be able to strengthen various muscle groups and provide your joints with rest when needed. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to exercising, so it may take time to find the right combination of activities that work for you. Remember, the key is to sit less and move more so that you can live a healthy life.
Tips for Exercising During The Pandemic
Right now, it can be tempting to skip your workouts or feel unmotivated due to closures of gyms and fitness centers. However, there are a lot of great resources and activities for you to utilize during these times.
Get outside if you can while practicing social distancing. Go for a walk, run, bike ride, or hike on a nearby trail and get some much-need fresh air and sunshine. It will not only get your blood pumping but also benefit your mental health.
For those who are missing the atmosphere of the gym, consider taking advantage of virtual classes or looking up some online exercise routines to regain the community feel and keep you motivated.
Though it is recommended that adults get at least 35-60 minutes of exercise a day, that doesn’t mean it has to be all at once. Consider breaking up your workouts so that you can fit them into your schedule better. Remember to follow a routine to maintain a sense of normalcy and listen to your body.
For more information on how to stay active and the benefits of regular exercise, contact Tuck Clinic today.
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Meet Dr. Phillip Brown
Of all the different ways to get into Chiropractic, it was a bit of a happy accident for Dr. Phillip Brown. His brother has Cerebral Palsy, so he developed a joy in helping his parents care for him. He initially studied genetic research in school, with the hopes of indirectly helping others with Cerebral Palsy. However, over time he realized that he wanted to help people in a more direct, personal way. He also didn’t particularly care for the research papers!
He reached a turning point after his father came to his school to see him. They discussed Dr. Brown’s future, spitballing ideas and thinking of the different possible paths he could take. But one field in particular stood out: Chiropractic.
He had heard of chiropractors before, but like many people, he didn’t know what they were nor had he even been to see one.
After some research though, Dr. Brown discovered that Chiropractic spoke to him in an impactful way.
In Dr. Brown’s words, he feels that “It’s unrealistic to think that we in healthcare can heal the body, but often we can eliminate the problems that are inhibiting our body from healing itself.” This idea is what Chiropractic is built upon. Within a matter of months, he enrolled in chiropractic school, shadowed a chiropractor, and got his first adjustment! Ever since, he has never had a second thought about what to do with his life and career.
In practicing Chiropractic, Dr. Brown has developed a love for his community and the people he works alongside. The warm welcome he received from the Tuck Chiropractic family was significant to him, “Even in the first two weeks of me being here, everybody was kind, generous, and friendly. I have never been so welcomed to a community as I have been in the Salem-Roanoke area so much so that it already feels like home.”
Outside of the office, some may call Dr. Brown a nerdy nature lover. He enjoys video games and epic games of Dungeons & Dragons, but also enjoys getting out in nature, hiking and kayaking. He also has a goal of jogging and exercising more frequently, so that he can enjoy the beauty of Salem and the Roanoke Valley as much as possible.
More than anything, Dr. Brown’s goal as a part of the Tuck Chiropractic family is to become more entrenched in the community, serving others, and creating a fun and inviting atmosphere where people are receiving the very best care and feel like family.
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Sleep Better with Chiropractic Care
Getting enough sleep at night is vital to helping us make it through the next day. As you sleep, your body uses the time to rejuvenate itself, allowing you to feel well-rested in the morning. Having trouble sleeping is one of the most common complaints in adults. As a society, we get far less sleep than we need. This can result in excessive fatigue, poor concentration, and other negative side effects. Though you may not look to a chiropractor for sleep improvement, many patients report immediate sleep improvement after just a single adjustment. What’s even better is that sleep quality tends to improve even more with subsequent treatments.
Benefits of Quality Sleep
People aren’t commonly educated about the benefits and importance of quality sleep. Sleep can have a major impact on your health and overall quality of life as it is instrumental in maintaining a healthy immune system. During our deepest periods of sleep, our body is repaired and rejuvenated. Getting a consistent good night’s rest can lead to a decrease in depression and anxiety, reduction of chronic inflammation, and lower stress levels as well as lowering the risk for heart disease and other illnesses.
Side Effects of Poor Sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body can struggle beyond just being a little drowsy or cranky the following day. Some consequences of chronic sleep deprivation may include:
- Weight gain
- Memory problems
- Poor motor control
- Difficulty focusing
- High blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- Weakened immune system
- Mood swings
- Accelerated aging
We Are Here For You
Sleep issues are rarely an independent occurrence. Though chiropractors are not sleep experts, chiropractors can correct any misalignments that may be keeping you awake at night while restoring proper nerve function throughout the body to reduce any tension or restlessness. Not only can they diagnose and treat any misalignments, but chiropractors can also offer lifestyle recommendations to help you improve your quality of sleep.
How can you improve your quality of sleep tonight? Here are some suggestions to help you get a better night’s rest tonight:
Many people don’t realize that how you fall asleep and what positions you might find yourself in during the night can affect your quality of sleep. Certain positions can put pressure and strain on parts of your body making you feel restless at night and stiff in the morning. Sleeping on your back or side can help you maintain proper spinal alignment during sleep. Remember to keep your neck and spine aligned with the right number of pillows. Adding pillows between your legs or under the small of your back can also help to reduce stress on the spine while you sleep.
Check Your Mattress
If you have a stiff mattress or one that is too soft, you may have some sleepless nights. Softer mattresses can sag and allow the spine to shift creating strain, while a firm mattress can make your body ache with pressure applied to your joints. Search for mattresses, mattress toppers, and pillows that will support your body. Good pillows should keep your head and neck in place while sleeping.
Relax Before Bed
Avoid all electronic devices at least one hour before going to bed. Instead spend the hour winding down with mediation, reading a book, or listening to soft music. Even though exercising regularly is beneficial to helping you sleep better, do not exercise before bed as it will raise your heart rate and make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Restrain from consuming any caffeine or eating a large meal before going to bed.
Create a Restful Environment
Darken the room with blackout curtains or blinds and remove any night lights that may keep you from falling asleep. Close your door and use a white noise machine to reduce any distractions that may keep your mind awake as you try to wind down. Lowering the temperature can also help to provide you with restful slumber.
Make a Schedule
Adults should get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Make a sleep schedule and stick to it. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can help your body establish a routine and help you function at your best.
Regular chiropractic care can resolve several problems that may be preventing you from getting the sleep you need. For more information on how chiropractic care can improve your quality of sleep, contact Tuck Chiropractic today.
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An Update from Tuck Chiropractic Clinic on COVID-19
Tuck Chiropractic doctors are, first and foremost, focused on the health and well-being of our patients, doctors, and staff.
We want to assure you that we are following health and safety guidelines, as prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as local public health departments. We are keeping our employees and patients safe and securing a healthy environment by:
- Screening the health of our employees and patients
- Actively encouraging sick employees to stay home
- Deep cleaning and disinfecting our business including high-touch surfaces
We recommend patients follow guidelines issued by the CDC, and if you are feeling unwell, please take steps to safeguard others and remain at home.
We will continue to monitor updates regarding the virus while maintaining the level of patient-center care our patients expect.
Follow the links below to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Steps to Prevent Illness
- What To Do If You Are Sick
- Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Follow the links below to the World Health Organization:
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