CF 049: The Palmer/Gallup Poll 2018 Discussion On Chiropractic Marketing

Today we’re going to talk about the 2018 version of the Palmer Gallup poll that has some great info including some chiropractic marketing nuggets for your nugget pouch so stick around as we get into the details

But first, make way for that sweet sweet bumper music

Integrating Chiropractors

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  


You have crumpled into Episode #49. Info to help with your chiropractic marketing. We are moving in on a solid year of Chiropractic Forward episodes and that feels good. Every single week. We haven’t missed one week this past year. There is most certainly a sense of accomplishment and doesn’t it feel good to feel good? Of course, it does. 

The Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedists (DACO)

Let’s talk a bit about the DACO program – Same as last week. Just trudging along. Last week I took classes on benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, poster canal, anterior and horizontal canals, Epley’s maneuver and all that goes along with that. I also had a class on Lumbar spinal stenosis that I learned some new tidbits on. Great stuff. My offer stands, if any of you want to start looking at it, I’d be glad to give you a little guidance in getting yourself started. 


How’s about youse guys head over to and get yourself on our newsletter. I have some cool stuff coming down the pike and I want you to be the first to know about it and I want you to save money because you were cool enough to be on our email list. No more than once a week. That’s my guarantee. It’s just an email address folks. Not a big deal. 

Personal happenings

You have heard my woes and my front desk worries over the past month or two. I told you last week that it appears my wife has herself a new full-time gig and guess what? With her help, we had not only one of the best Octobers we have ever had, but we also had one of the best months (numbers-wise) that we have ever had in 20 years. 

I believe there’s something to this “wife working the front desk” idea people. Something to think about for sure. If you can work with your wife or husband that is. You may have to pee strategically around the office just to mark your territory and let it be known this is your domain but, nobody will work as hard for the office as someone that has a vested interest in it. I’m a firm believer in that. 

Into The Information

We are honored to have you listening. Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall.

This week I want to talk about the Palmer/Gallup poll that has been coming out annually for a couple of years now. I think it’s two years but cannot recall off the top of my head. 

Regardless, let’s talk about the 2018 version. I look forward to its release every year because you can get some chiropractic marketing ideas from it if you’re looking at it the right way. 

The Ideal Patient

Any time you start a new generic chiropractic marketing program, they have you create your ideal avatar or your ideal customer. The customer that not only comes in and you love to see them come through the door but the customer that is coming in and paying good money to see a good doctor. The people that love you and go out into the world to tell everyone every good thing they can about you and the ones that are the first to leave you a great Google review. 

THAT’S the ideal patient, isn’t it? If we could only fill up our offices with that specific, amazing person all day every day. We’d never even think about giving up our practices and moving to an exotic place with umbrellas and funny drinks. Chiropractic marketing would be non-existent. 

Well, we may still think about doing that but it wouldn’t occupy as much brain space if these people were all that ever came through our door. 

Don’t we just love seeing these perfect patients? Smiles, good vibes, and excitement. And sometimes food!! I have one bring us pumpkin spiced cake and sugar cookies last week. We need to work on a nutritional talk for sure but you get the point. 

On To The Poll

I am linking the poll in the show notes so go check it out Episode 49 at

The first thing we really get into here is the Summary and I think that’s really where we are going to stay instead of going too deep in because we’ll wind up with a 4 hour episode and I don’t want that any more than you do so let’s hit the high spots and call it good. 

  1. Neck and back pain is common among adults in the US – yes, we knew that now didn’t we? They say about 2/3 of US adults (62% to be specific) have had neck or back pain that was significant enough that they saw a healthcare professional for care at some point in their lifetime, including 25% who did so in the last 12 months. 
  • 25% of the population sought care in the last year for pain. I bet 25% did not seek care for wellness. 

2. 80% of American adults prefer to see an expert in spine care for neck and back conditions rather than a general medicine professional who treats anything and everything. I think we all know who the experts are right? It’s us….

He’s a problem though, 67% of them prefer to see someone that can prescribe medication or surgery to treat neck or back pain.  Only 28% want to see someone that does not use prescription medication or surgery. That one is a bit of a kick to the nether region. I thought we were making more progress on that front. 

I can’t tell if the next point contradicts the previous one or not. You decide. They say that prescription pain meds aren’t preferred as first-line care for about 79%. I can only guess they are preferring a practitioner that can prescribe just in case it declines to the point of needing it but they don’t necessarily want to start with pills? Maybe…..

3. When it comes to healthcare providers, people say that chiropractic doctors and medical doctors are the top choices for neck or back pain care. In the last year, 62% say a medical doctor while 53% saw a chiropractic doctor. 

Peel Back The Layers

Going a little deeper there, 34% say a PT and 34% visited a massage therapist. 

I think it’s of important note here that half of the people that went to the chiropractor went because they said that chiropractors provide the most effective treatment for their pain. That’s pretty damn awesome right there. We’ll get to the other half here in just a minute. 

The overwhelming feeling in this subsection is the keyword is “EFFECTIVENESS.” Can you say, “Chiropractic Marketing Nugget?” How effectively can you relay your effectiveness? 

I would offer to you the idea that this podcast is an EXCELLENT way to speak about your effectiveness as well as to back up your effectiveness. You just have to listen and you have to take what you learn and turn that into kick-butt content and marketing material. 

Since not everyone is particularly gifted at chiropractic marketing or creating content, we are working on helping you out in that aspect. Stick with us. It’ll happen. Just go to and get on the email list to stay on top of that. 

Outside of ‘effectiveness,’ SAFETY was another reason people chose chiropractors and PTs for their back and neck pain. In fact, about half of those coming to the chiropractor said safety was why they chose chiropractic.

So, we have the big TWO reasons. Only two. That people go to chiropractors nationwide. They are Effectiveness and Safety. That should be useful information for you guys and gals to take and run with. Chiropractic marketing at its best. 

Next point

4. The fourth point of the summary was types of care. They found a lot of people utilizing self-management at home, as they should. They say 53% of American adults went to get massages to control pain. They say 47% had chiropractic care for their pain. And 42% went to a PT. 

That means we have a lot of people doing more than one thing right? It would make perfect sense to not be a one-trick pony in your practice. For instance, the subluxation guys and gals only adjust. They’ll see a patient 100 times a year and only adjust. Nothing else.

Oh wait, I lie. There’s a local guy here that will pray over each one before using the activator on them all so I guess it’s a little more than just the adjustment. 

I don’t want to make light of prayer. I’m a Christian and am well aware of the power of prayer but when it’s done after joining Body By God type management programs, well, it just seems a bit disingenuous doesn’t it? If we’re being honest?

Anyway, if you have to see someone that many times a year, you’re probably a terrible chiropractor and you’re probably doing more damage than you are doing good.


Back to doing more than one thing: it’s clear that patients are not looking for just an adjustment. It appears they’re looking for chiropractic, they’re looking for massage, they’re looking for some exercise/rehab considering 72% were looking into yoga. 

Although it’s not in this article, I believe many are looking for acupuncture these days. As discussed earlier, they may potentially be looking for meds so why couldn’t you offer anti-inflammatories like turmeric or Boswellia just to name a few. I say this because this poll showed that 73% of people took an over the counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Definitely food for thought. 

5. Patient Experiences

Patients that visited a chiropractor, a PT, or an MD over the last year said they received a high level of care. That’s good news. 

For chiropractors specifically, 9 out of 10 patients said

  • The chiropractor listened to them
  • DCs provided convenient and quick care
  • We demonstrated caring and compassion
  • The chiropractor explained things well
  • And they spent the right amount of time with them

Approximately 90% of patients had all of that to say about chiropractic doctors. That’s outstanding news, folks. That means that we can fight amongst ourselves and, while I would argue the straights are keeping us from full integration, in the eyes of patients, almost ALL of us are doing a good job!

For Physical Therapists, overall, they were hitting around the 83%-86% area. 

For MD’s, they didn’t do too well honestly. But didn’t we expect that? Here’s how they fared:

  • 72% say their MD listens
  • 67% said they often explain things well
  • 66% said they demonstrate care and compassion
  • 53% said they have quick access and are convenient

No surprise there. In fact, the surprise comes when we see that so many are still going to the GP for non-complicated musculoskeletal pains. That’s the real surprise. 

Point 5 Discussion

When you consider that chiropractors hit around 90% for all of those and you see MDs around 64% for the same metrics, well…..that’s not so good, right?

I see A LOT of opportunities here. If you are of the marketing mind, I’m sure you see the same!

This podcast isn’t just for listening to some mindless drivel folks. I am trying to give you stuff that you can use immediately after you listen. If you pay attention to what I’m telling you every week, you can turn around and communicate FACTS to your patients, your staff, and to those in the medical field in your region. 

I’m friends with a neurosurgeon and a vascular surgeon because I’m not freaking crazy. I can communicate research to them in an effective way that they understand. I’ve taught them a ton they didn’t already know. Plus we all like a Cerveza here and there so that works out well for us. 

Research helps you communicate

What I’m saying is that you should be listening to this podcast to learn for sure. But you should also be listening to it with the mindset of, “How am I going to take this information and use it in either my marketing or in my communication with my community?”

Believe me or don’t. I hope you believe me. The information I am bringing to you is the information you should be using. Not the subluxation stuff. Not the philosophy stuff. Literally, straights in our profession are the only people on this Earth that give a damn about that stuff. 

Nobody else knows or cares. Nobody. 

But research, safety, and effectiveness, well…..when you’re talking in those terms, then you are getting somewhere. 

Integrating Chiropractors

The Message

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments.

The literature is clear: research and experience show that, in 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results when compared to usual medical care and it’s safe, less expensive, and decreases chances of surgery and disability. It’s done conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. If done preventatively going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising overall health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.


Send us an email at and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Being the #1 Chiropractic podcast in the world would be pretty darn cool. 

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 


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About the author:

Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

CF 026: Chiropractic Better Than Physical Therapy and Usual Medical Care For Musculoskeletal Issues


CF 034: Chiropractic Information To Help You Form Your Practice


CF 032: How Evidence-Based Chiropractic Can Help Save The Day


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