Dr. Zach here today to talk about some common chiropractic questions we hear from patients.
Before I get into the questions, this blog covers the topic of chiropractic maintenance care.
Chiropractic maintenance care focuses on long-term treatment plans that aim to help patients manage their back pain and help prevent future occurences.
People often have many questions when it comes to how often they should see their chiropractor. It is a question that truly varies from clinic to clinic, and we hope to provide some transparency on what maintenance care is in our office and how we utilize it!
Today, I look to answer the questions of:
"How often should I get adjusted?"
"Why does my chiropractor keep making me come back all the time?"
These are great questions, and one's that we want to make sure our patients have answers to!
One of the biggest gripes/complaints we often hear about chiropractors is they make you come in too frequently. To be honest, I don't blame people for thinking that way.
With any healthcare profession, there seems to be a lack of emphasis on proper communication between practitioner and patient. Whether it is the doctor explaining what they're doing, why they're doing it, or why they're making you come back in multiple times for multiple weeks.
Your curiousities aren't unfounded, and in our office, we want to be completely transparent with our patients.
Our treatment plans are never the same for any two patients. We make sure that our treatment plans are tailored to our patient's conditions. We also frequently update our treatment plans as necessary.
Now, maybe I should finally answer the question: "How often should I get adjusted?"
The simple answer? It depends.
I know, not what anyone wants to hear, but unfortunately in healthcare, not every patient is the same. Each patient presents with their own problems, needs and desires for how they invision their care to go.
When determining your treatment plan and how often you should get adjusted, we take a multitude of factors into play. We first determine a working diagnosis through our consultation and exam. We then determine the best course of treatment based upon our working diagnosis. Lastly, we find out what preferences you have.
We will never set you up with a treatment plan that our patient doesn't feel comfortable with. We encourage our patients to be active members of their health and encourage them to always voice their preferences and opinions with us.
"Okay, so now will you actually answer the question?" - everyone
Well, let's take a look at what the evidence has to say on getting adjusted regularly regardless of symptoms (maintenance care).
The Nordic Maintenace Care Program released their findings in September 2018 into the Journal of Chiropractic and Manual Therapies that compared different subgroups of patients who received maintenance care from a chiropractor.
The paper isolated three different subgroups and found that those in a "dysfunctional" subgroup (high pain intensity, marked interference of daily life, low activity levels) had experienced less days in pain and more days in between pain while receiving chiropractic maintenance care.
In short, here are the criteria for those individuals who may see great results from maintenance care:
Recurrent pain episodes
More than 30 days of pain in the last 12 months
Report significant initial improvement by 4th visit
It is important to keep in mind, that our evidence can sometimes be limited, and that other patients might equally benefit from regular adjustments.
It is our job as clinicians to decipher what patients are likely to benefit from more long-term treatment plans. We will always provide thorough explanations to our decisions in your health.
For now, this data provides Dr. Brynn and I with very useful information for those individuals who may benefit from a longer treatment plan.
"Why does my chiropractor keep making me come in?"
I can't answer that question for every single person, but I can answer it for the patients in our office.
First off, every patient that comes into our office will present with different conditions that require different treatment plans. Not every patient will receive the same amount of treatments or even the same treatments themselves.
That is one thing we take a great deal of pride in our office. We don't treat you like a number or dollar sign. We are in this profession to truly make a positive impact in people's lives through chiropractic care.
Dr. Brynn and I look to establish open communication lines between our patients and ourselves. We set up treatment plans for each patient based on our clinical experience, what the evidence says, and what is best for you.
Spinal conditions are often times multi-factorial and require time to heal. They often times also require a change in lifestyle habits. We offer recommendations based on what we think will get you out of pain as quickly as possible. We want you to get back to doing the things you love.
We love our patients. If we could see each of you every day... okay, that may be a bit far, but patients are the reason we open our doors (soon) everyday, and we want every experience to be a positive one for you.
Establishing trust with our patients is such an important role in the healing process, and we can't wait to see you in our clinic soon.
So, now you have more knowledge on the reasoning behind our treatment plans and why we set them up the way we do.
We always love hearing your responses to our blogs, so please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have.
Have a great Wurth Wednesday, everyone!