How to Build a Successful Chiropractic Practice - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

How to Build a Successful Chiropractic Practice


1. Find the Source of New Patients

Lower back pain (LBP) is now the leading cause of disability world-wide

The last Global Burden of Disease Study linked low back pain as the main cause of over 77% of all disability conditions, making LBP the number one cause of disability in the whole world!

More than 40% of chiropractic patient visits are for the purpose of disease prevention and/or health enhancement

People are often referred to chiropractors to treat their back problems. There is strong evidence supporting that doctors of chiropractic are well sited to diagnose, treat, co-manage and manage the treatment of patients with LBP disorders [1].

Chiropractic practices are a small portion of the total out-of-pocket spending of adults on complementary practitioner visits

In 2012, 29 million adults in the U.S. paid $14.1 billion for office visits to complementary health practitioners including practitioners of acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and massage therapy [2]. Offering chiropractic services alone will limit your exposure to this market, so learn about becoming a multidisciplinary clinic by integrating complementary and alternative medicine therapies with your practice to capture new patients and effectively increase your market size.

In 2018, multidisciplinary clinics received 54% more new patients than DC only clinics

A multidisciplinary clinic is defined as having a practicing DC and any other complementary medicine practitioner on staff (e.g. acupuncturist, PT, LMT). In a survey of 5,000 practices conducted by the Chiropractic Economics in 2018, multidisciplinary clinics reported a 54% higher new patients/week rate compared to DC only practices [4].

“Your skill in treating patients with regular adjustments can undoubtedly position you well for a comfortable career. But if you face stagnation and are looking for new paths to explore, year after year our survey demonstrates that joining forces with complementary specialists is a surefire way to expand
your practice and boost your bottom line. ”— CHIROPRACTIC ECONOMICS, 2018

2. Retain Existing Patients

Define and optimize your patient visit average (PVA)

The key to growing any chiropractic practice is not just the acquisition of new patients but the retention of established patients as well. A key metric that measures the performance of your practice is the patient visit average (PVA).


The industry average PVA is 16.6

Not all chiropractic practices perform the same. A patient satisfaction survey of 150 random patients concluded that the rate of return of patients to the same chiropractic office was 44% [3]. In 2018 practices welcomed an average of 9 new patients per week and saw a total of 139 patients per week with a PVA of 16.6 [4].

Learn how to increase your PVA

Even though PVA is a number, it’s best to think of it as a relationship indicator. The higher the PVA, the better your relationship with your patients. Increase your PVA and improve your relationship with your patients by doing the following:

  • Maintain a healthy level of communication with your patients. Send welcome letters, thank you and birthday cards, and follow up with them on a regular basis.
  • Pay attention to and cater to your patient’s needs. Cultivate your patient’s trust in you by educating him or her on the benefits of complimentary and alternative medicine therapies. Increasing your patient’s trust in you will create competitive advantages for your practice.

Tip: when you introduce new services, your existing patients will visit you more often and your PVA will increase.

3. Build a Better System of Care


Integrate cold therapy with your practice and help your patients achieve greater results from chiropractic therapy

Cryotherapy (cold therapy) combined with chiropractic adjustments has proved to significantly reduce low back pain. A study of 36 subjects that applied cold therapy in addition to chiropractic adjustments, concluded that cold therapy combined with chiropractic therapy showed significant reduction in LBP [5]. Your patients might already know this and expect you to know it as well. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to give them the best treatment possible!

When your existing patients subscribe to your new services, they increase the average visit value (AVV) of your practice.


4. Use Search Engine and Social Media Marketing

Create new marketing packages

Successful chiropractic practices engage in effective marketing. Create email, SMS, and website marketing campaigns and advertise your new services. Adding new services will increase the traffic you receive from search engines through search engine optimization (SEO), since you will be able to include new keywords on your web pages. Create new marketing packages and attract new patients.

Promote your new services on your Social Media channels and the Internet

Your followers on social media are tired of seeing the same redundant posts. Freshen up your image, create posts about your new cryotherapy packages, educate your patients about the benefits of cryotherapy, and invite them to try it out for themselves. Social media is a great way for chiropractors to keep in touch with their patients, especially if they have an updated list of services that they offer.

Find potential patients that are currently looking for cryotherapy services

By offering cryotherapy, you can engage with new prospects on social media and the rest of the internet. You can join cryotherapy, fitness, and athletics groups online and find people interested in cryotherapy to then invite them to your practice. You can also use popular Q&A (questions and answers) websites such as YahooAnswers, Quora and Fluther to educate people and build your practice’s brand.

The more you increase your PVA and AVV, the higher your total patient revenue (TPR) will be and the more money you will make!

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