If you would like to see a chiropractor, no matter the reason, it is important to know how often you will be visiting the chiropractor’s office. Mainly associated with treating neck and back pain, chiropractic adjustments can make a difference in helping patients. They can help rehabilitate patients after severe injuries and traumatic experiences. According to the American Chiropractic Association, 80% of people suffer from back pain each year. While it would be nice to think that one visit alone will be enough to fix all of your ailments, oftentimes this simply isn’t the case. In this blog post, we will discuss how often you should see a chiropractor.
Determine What Your Goal Is When You See a Chiropractor
Finding out how often you should see a chiropractor depends on your situation. Every patient is different when it comes to handling the neck and back pain they have. Chiropractors work individually with patients. And, they will offer a custom care plan that is tailored to the needs of patients.
If you are looking to have chiropractic adjustments to treat your neck and back pain, then you must first consult with your chiropractor for the best schedule. The chiropractor will often recommend two chiropractic sessions every two to three weeks for severe back pain. Patients who visit chiropractors for sprains, strains and muscle spasms may need one adjustment per week.
For a schedule that involves preventative maintenance chiropractic adjustments, it will still depend on what your goals are. Preventative maintenance works for those who want to prevent pain from occurring. Preventative maintenance is just as it sounds, much like maintaining a moving part, like a vehicle engine or an appliance.
Chiropractic Treatment Plans
Part of a chiropractor’s job is to specifically design a treatment plan for a patient using either spinal manipulation or mobilization. They also may incorporate extremity joint manual therapies whenever necessary to reduce pain, restore motion, and prevent another occurrence. Other forms of treatment may be implemented by a chiropractor depending on your condition.
One of these forms of treatment includes the Graston Technique, a form of manual therapy also known as soft-tissue instrument-assisted mobilization. The goals of this technique are to reduce a patient’s pain and increase function. This is done by breaking down the scar tissue and fascia restrictions. These are often linked to some kind of trauma to the soft tissue. This technique also reduces restrictions by stretching the connective tissue, hence attempting to rearrange the structure of the targeted soft tissue.
In general terms, unless your condition worsens progressively during chiropractic care, a common treatment program is three times per week for two to four weeks, followed by a single re-evaluation. If the chiropractor notes that your condition has improved, adjusting the frequency of your treatment plan would be appropriate while self-help and home-based recommendations can be done.
Do Chiropractors Adjust on Your First Visit?
When you see a chiropractor for the first time, you can expect an adjustment or exam to occur. However, there is no need to worry. It is recommended that you get in contact with the chiropractor first before making a visit. Conduct an interview with the chiropractor and ask the appropriate questions concerning his practice, expertise and daily operations at the office.
The first visit to the chiropractor involves three key steps. The first step is to fill out a form regarding your medical history. This form will include how and when the pain started. Additionally, it includes how it currently feels, where your body has the most pain and the circumstances that may make it worse. The second step involves a chiropractic exam, which thoroughly evaluates the state of your condition. They will test general pulse, blood pressure, respiration and reflexes.
The point of this exam is to assess your range of motion in the regions where you have pain. Depending on the results of this exam, they will take the third step. This step involves diagnostic studies that will examine the pathology of the muscles and tissues and identify anything out of the ordinary.
When all steps are taken, the chiropractor will explain your diagnosis. Then, they will explain the treatment plan, and the estimated period of time the treatment program will take. If your first visit to the chiropractor includes the start of your treatment, that session may last around 45 minutes. Though this first appointment will take considerable time, all follow-up appointments will be shorter, taking only 10 to 20 minutes.
When Should My Next Visit to the Chiropractor Be?
Regardless of what kind of adjustments chiropractors perform, the number of times you see a chiropractor will depend specifically on your case. For example, if you have acute lower back pain, you will need around six to 12 adjustments throughout the course of two to four weeks. Any pain you have will usually subside within the first four weeks of treatment. However, pain may still linger for up to 12 weeks. Since this pain is considered to be chronic, you might need six more adjustments within the two to four weeks plan.
Your chiropractor will determine your next appointment date. And, you will receive a schedule of how many adjustments you should get to achieve the desired benefits. They should conduct a re-evaluation every two to four weeks to determine how well the treatment is going. They should also see if they should increase or decrease the number of adjustments you receive each month.
Is It Possible to See a Chiropractor Too Much?
It technically isn’t possible to overdo any form of chiropractic treatment. Three times a week is generally the standard frequency for treating acute conditions. It heavily depends on why you are seeing a chiropractor to begin with. If you were in a car accident, or if you are experiencing a great amount of pain, you can receive treatment daily for an entire week if you prefer to do so. Some conditions may require this much treatment.
However, for longer periods of time, chiropractors will most likely not recommend heavy amounts of frequent treatment. Unless, of course, there is a clear clinical explanation for having it. At the end of the day, it is up to how you feel. It is important to listen to your body before and after you receive treatment. If you feel like your body isn’t improving after one course of treatment, then consider re-evaluating your treatment plan. Also, be sure to share how you feel with your chiropractor.
Why So Many Visits to the Chiropractor?
There is a good reason why patients have to visit chiropractors multiple times within the span of a few weeks. Unknowingly people tend to cause more damage to their bodies by waiting too long before they start receiving chiropractic adjustments. The more damage a person suffers, the longer amount of time it will take for that person to recover.
If your line of work also calls for you to receive regularly scheduled chiropractic adjustments, then you should plan accordingly. For the most basic pains that you suffer from, you generally need around two to four weeks to heal. However, there is no limit to the amount of preventative maintenance adjustments you can receive as that is completely up to you.
Advice on Avoiding Future Problems
While having conversations with your chiropractor, they will offer some tips on what you can do to avoid experiencing similar issues with neck and back pain in the future. One recommendation from the chiropractor will most likely be a home exercise program. Exercises and stretches that are specific to a patient’s case often begin early in the treatment plan. This is usually within the first three visits. According to multiple studies, spinal manipulation along with exercise often produces the best outcomes.
Another good tip from by a chiropractor is the use of ergonomics. Various back supports, belts, or pillows provide the spine with more support, depending on your case, thanks to their design. Along with these devices, a chiropractor may give you instructions on how to bend, lift, pull and push in ways that are ergonomically correct.
Other Tips For Avoiding Issues
Your chiropractor can evaluate your sitting posture and standing posture, which will allow them to better assess your condition. Using a foam roller to perform stretches and massages, and exercising with elastic bands can be methods to apply when trying to improve posture.
Orthotics focuses on the stability of your feet and will detect any postural imbalances. Using specialized shoe insoles and/or a heel lift can help combat the uncomfortable imbalances your feet may have. Mechanical problems in the feet can lead to strain on the lower back over time. If you develop foot problems such as plantar fascitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome (foot nerve pain or numbness) or bunions you should see a chiropractor.
Contact Us to See a Chiropractor in Pensacola
Whether you have never seen a chiropractor before or you haven’t seen a chiropractor in a long time, you can contact our office if you are interested in scheduling chiropractic appointments. Having more than 20 years of experience treating patients, Dr. Derek Finger will offer the best tips and advice that you need to treat your condition. Whatever the cause may be for your neck or back pain, Dr. Finger will provide a proper evaluation and will help you rehabilitate through chiropractic adjustments.