Shopping for new appliances is stressful — you are making a fairly large investment, and you are going to have to live with the results of your decision for several years. You don’t want to mess up!
Despite the stress associated with buying a new refrigerator, it’s unlikely that anyone’s health will suffer if you make the wrong choice. How much more difficult then, is it to choose a new tool for providing your patients with adjustments?
Doctors of chiropractic who perform instrument adjustments often find that the techniques are better for both the patients and themselves, and so end up using the instrument more often than they originally expected to. Since instrument adjusting is less physically demanding than manual adjusting, the fact that many DCs use instruments is a positive thing for their careers.
However, purchasing the wrong tool can be detrimental. A tool that is uncomfortable, difficult to use, awkward, or otherwise inappropriate can lead to less successful outcomes for patients and frustration for practitioners. Just as with purchasing new appliances, the decision about what to buy is important. Taking some time to research prior to making a purchase can help avoid costly mistakes.
Survey the market
Find out what is available, and at what price. Read product descriptions and research papers. Watch videos. Open yourself to all the sales pitches that arrive in your inbox and mailbox.
Once you see what manufacturers have to say about their products, find out what practitioners have to say. Try to find reviews from a number of sources, and try to read reviews that are positive, negative, and middle-of-the-road.
Ask for recommendations
If you have colleagues who love (or hate) instrument adjusting, find out what tools they use, and why. Compare the list of recommendations you get to the reviews you read. You are probably already narrowing down your list.
Attend seminars related to various instrument adjusting techniques and products
Manufacturers often offer continuing education units. You may be able to learn more about the products you are considering and get in those CEUs.
Observe the tool being used
If at all possible, visit the office of a colleague who uses the instrument(s) under consideration and observe.
Instrument adjusting has existed long enough for there to be a significant body of research available that attests to the efficiency and effectiveness of the technique. Between reviewing the research, accessing your network, and observing tools being used, you have plenty of resources to help you make the best decision for you, your practice, and your patients.