You are currently viewing 5 Chiropractic Scam Strategies

5 Chiropractic Scam Strategies

 Are you curious if your chiropractor is scamming you? Check out these 5 common chiropractic scam strategies and find out. 

Scam Strategies
Remember this scene from Matilda?

Imagine moving across the country to a new city. As you grab the last of the moving boxes off the truck, you aggravate your lower back. You are in desperate need of a chiropractor so you can feel better and finish the move. Like anyone would in 2020, you scroll through Google and Facebook and see some ads for local chiropractors that are close to you but you are having trouble deciding what office would be best. Some of the ads have great offers but seem a little used car salesmen-like. The last thing you want to do after the big move is to get scammed by a chiropractor.

5 Chiropractic Scam Strategies Exposed:

1. Big Bucks Upfront

Beware of any office that asks for large sums of money prior to initiating care. Classic chiropractic scam 101.  In the event you plan to use insurance, then this is straight-up insurance fraud. An office cannot legally ask for large amounts of money prior to initiating care other than a co-pay or co-insurance. If electing to not use insurance, then I would just caution you. Would you buy an expensive vehicle without test driving it first? How hard is this chiropractor going to work to get you better if he/she has already made the sale? 

2. Fear-Based Sales Tactics

Pain can be scary. With that being said, most back pain and neck pain is not related to serious pathology. If you feel like your new chiropractor is all doom and gloom then you should look somewhere else. Fear is an extremely powerful motivator and many chiropractor scammers use this to their advantage. When it comes to musculoskeletal pain it is important to stay positive and stay moving. Find a chiropractor that is optimistic and knowledgeable enough they don’t need scare tactics.

3. No History or Examination

Did your chiropractor examine you? Did this include a proper history in addition to a physical examination? If not, then I would run for the hills or at least a different office. Just because most back pain is not due to serious pathology does not mean that a proper history and physical examination is not warranted. At best they are guessing, at worst they are reckless. The trouble is that a proper examination and history takes time, and most chiropractic scam artists move too quickly to take the time to do it right. No history or exam means they are probably going to do the same thing to you as the other five people in the waiting room, you deserve better.

4. Bait and Switch

When looking for a new chiropractor, I generally recommend staying away from Group On or Facebook ads touting prices that seem too good to be true.  You may get lucky and find a good one but theses places are crawling with chiropractic scammers. Oftentimes, the ad is the bait, and the switch happens using points 1, 2, and/or 3.


5. Subluxations, Innate Intelligence, and the Almighty Nervous System

Chiropractic scamming practices have long occurred under the guise of ‘Chiropractic Philosophy’ because it’s not something the layperson has any previous encounter with. If the language of your chiropractor involves subluxations, innate intelligence, and the almighty nervous system…..RUN! I realize that’s a lot to digest so let’s dive in a bit.

 Subluxation is a term coined by chiropractic historians that is, fortunately, falling out of favor with the majority of the profession who are pushing chiropractic forward into a mainstream and evidence-based profession.  Essentially, a subluxation proposes that ‘spinal misalignments’ put pressure on spinal nerves resulting in decreased function and/or pain.

 Next, the idea of innate intelligence is that there is a ‘life force’ within your body that is self-regulating and self-healing. Although your body is resilient and adaptable, the whole idea of innate intelligence and chiropractors allowing it to flow fully and freely after manipulating the spine is complete and utter nonsense.

 Lastly, the almighty nervous system. I am not going to argue that the nervous system isn’t incredibly important, it clearly is. The problem lies in how this has allowed generations of chiropractors to believe they can treat conditions that are outside of their scope of practice. For example, with the recent coronavirus many unethical chiropractors are claiming adjustments can boost immune system function by 200 percent. Simply put, chiropractors’ scope of practice is limited to musculoskeletal conditions.


Importantly, chiropractic scammers are in the minority. The trouble is that a few bad apples can spoil the whole bunch. Finding an evidence-based, musculoskeletal chiropractor has never been easier as many in the profession are hungry to continue moving the profession forward. With that being said, I am happy to help you find a trusted colleague in the event of a move or relocation. I may be biased but a good place to start is the MPI Referral Network, as these are chiropractors with similar training to our clinic. 

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Great Post!! I have read your blog, it’s very informative.

  2. Sono Fiori

    Thank you for this article. I recently visited a chiro for the first time and, while the adjustment helped temporarily relieve the issue, this chiro is using all three of these techniques. I went twice and after the second time felt like I was dealing with a used car salesman, so I started googling around to see if other people had experienced this. She also refused my request of when to come in. She wanted me to continue to schedule visits closely together and I wasn’t comfortable with that as I wanted to give my back time to react to the adjustment, etc. When I tried to push out the next visit, she pushed back, so I cancelled the visit and finding a new chiro.

  3. Jace Peters

    I am glad you found it helpful. Thanks for following along.

  4. Jace Peters

    Thank you!

  5. Ben

    Interesting read, I just cancelled all appointments with my chiropractor. They wanted $3125 for 3 moths of adjustments saying I had subluxation and phase 1 degenerative issues.

  6. Joanmarie

    Thank you!
    Just had a narrow escape with a Chiro who introduced me to 4 of the five scam targets you mentioned. Since this was my first ever visit to one, I let him do the first treatment- the next day was when the red flags stated waving. Worse, He never took a proper history of my health status! I never got to mention I have Sclerederma. Beware everybody ! There are good ethical ones out there and I finally found one who truly cares. Do your research

  7. Clare Manning

    I ve just read your article after being quoted $2400 Australian dollars for 37 adjustments, three times a week for 12 weeks.

    I got a little suspicious of how he knew it would take so long to sort out my issues. After reading your article, I see that he was using many of the techniques you mentioned. I do find chiropractic care useful but just a few appointments is usually enough. I’ll pay outright for the appointments I attend, probably 2 or 3 and evaluate how I am feeling.

    Thank you once again for your article. I’m glad I found it as I was so close to handing over the lump sum.

  8. Jace Peters

    I can tell from your response that you do not appear to have a growth mindset. Evolution in any profession comes from those questioning the way things have always been done. My goal when writing this article was to warn people of chiropractic jargon and sales tactic. I am sorry you did not find it useful. Hope you find what you are looking for.

Leave a Reply