Ask A Chiropractor – How often should you see a chiropractor?

If you have decided to see a chiropractor, it is essential to determine the frequency of your visits. Chiropractic adjustments carry well-researched therapeutic and health benefits but are mostly associated with treating neck and back pain. It is also a healthy practice you can consider to prevent neck and back pain or align your body for the best form and posture. For instance, if you sit on a desk for many hours, work in a workshop lifting heavy objects or spend time bent in a garden, chiropractic adjustments can help you maintain a healthy posture. Each person has a unique requirement, so there’s no one-fit-for-all schedule. Here’s a quick overview of how the frequency of your chiropractic adjustments is determined.

What’s Your Goal?

Chiropractic adjustments are designed to treat back pain, neck pain and other pains in the musculoskeletal system or as preventative maintenance to help you fulfill routine activities and achieve personal goals. If you seek chiropractic adjustments for back and neck pain care, it is essential to consult your doctor or chiropractor for the best schedule. In most cases, they will recommend two chiropractic sessions for two to three weeks for severe back pain or something disc related. Patients visiting chiropractors for muscle spasms, strain, sprain and other typical cases may only need one adjustment per week. The chiropractor may also recommend two sessions for the first week and once a week for all subsequent weeks.

If you consider preventative maintenance chiropractic adjustments, the schedule will still depend on your goals and unique situation. You can opt for chiropractic care following your finished treatment to boost recovery. Preventative maintenance also suits those who want to prevent the occurrence of pain. Like back and neck pain adjustments, preventative maintenance adjustments have no single prescription for everyone. It is more like maintaining a moving part, like an engine or HVAC unit. Obviously, some systems are subjected to more work than others and require frequent maintenance. Similarly, some people will naturally require more sessions to maintain good health and the full potential of chiropractic care.

Office workers won’t require the same sessions as construction workers that bend and lift heavy tools and objects or security officers and guards who spend most standing posture. You should focus on understanding your goals and unique requirements based on your lifestyle and medical history.

Do Chiropractors Adjust on The First Visit?

Since most cases are unique, chiropractors must finish the examination and determine the ideal schedule based on your requirements. You can expect various things on your first time visiting the chiropractor. However, there’s nothing to worry about. It is recommended to contact the chiropractor via phone or email and ask about their expertise, philosophy and other aspects before the actual visit. This interview can help you distinguished trusted and experienced chiropractors. The visit will involve three main steps, as follows:

  1. 1. Patient history and symptoms – If you want chiropractic adjustments for back pain, sciatica, or neck pain, you will receive a form to fill your medical history. This includes how and when the pain started, how it feels, where it is most painful and circumstances that make it worse. Information about pre-existing medical conditions, previous injuries and current treatments are also crucial.
  2. 2. Chiropractic exam – The chiropractor may recommend a thorough exam, including general pulse, blood pressure, respiration and reflex tests, as well as orthopedic and neurological tests. These exams’ goal is to assess the range of motion in affected regions, muscle strength and tone, and neurological integrity. More studies may be needed to evaluate the affected areas further.
  3. 3. Diagnostic studies – This is based on the results of the chiropractic exam. The doctor may recommend diagnostic studies to examine the pathology of the muscles and tissues and identify any abnormalities. X-ray and MRI are the two common diagnostic studies. X-rays should only be taken when medically necessary and help to view the bones. MRIs are more complicated imaging procedures that enable doctors to examine soft tissues.

At the end of the examination, the doctor will explain the diagnosed conditions, customized chiropractic treatment plan, and anticipated treatment period. Your first visit to the chiropractor may also be the start of your treatment and last around 45 minutes. After this long appointment, follow-ups will be much shorter, taking 10 to 20 minutes.

When Is My Next Visit to The Chiropractor?

The number of times you visit a chiropractor for adjustments will depend on your unique case. You need around six to twelve adjustments spread across 2 – 4 weeks for acute lower back pain. Pain symptoms will usually subside within the first 4-week trial period. However, pain may persist for up to 12 weeks, making it chronic. This might call for up to six more adjustments within the 2 – 4 weeks plan. Your chiropractor will determine the next appointment date and give you a schedule of how many adjustments you need to achieve the anticipated benefits. A re-evaluation is also done every two to four weeks to determine the treatment’s efficacy and whether to increase or reduce the number of adjustments.

Why Do Chiropractors Require So Many Visits?

Chiropractors are known to require many visits and there’s a good reason for that. Most people wait until it is late to start their adjustments. Naturally, the more damage you suffer, the longer it will take to recover. Also, if your need for chiropractic adjustments is directly related to your line of work, you will probably need adjustments for your employment period. However, when it comes to chiropractic adjustments, there’s no sense of urgency or mandatory requirement. The doctor establishes a treatment plan customized to your unique needs. Seeking help early will significantly reduce the total number of adjustments required. Healthy lifestyle habits can also reduce your need for the service, so it all boils down to your unique requirements. In general, you need around two to four weeks to heal the pain. However, you can take preventative maintenance adjustments for as long as you need.

Let Us Help You

Starkwood Chiropractic is Southeast Portland’s leading chiropractic clinic with dedicated services and treatment plans for all patients and clients in need of chiropractic care. We can help you determine the potential benefits of chiropractic treatment and establish the ideal program that defines how often you will receive adjustments. Contact us today to find out more.