Chiro 101: How Long Do You Need Chiropractic Care?

When it comes to chiropractic care, knowing how long you’re going to need to stay in treatment is a common question to have.

The truth is, that answer is subjective to you and your chiropractor. What are you looking to treat? Are you injured or just taking preventative measures? What the case might be, considering chiropractic treatment is a big commitment that you should understand before undertaking.

Read on to learn everything you need to know before your first appointment.

Understanding Your Diagnosis

The most important part of visiting a chiropractor is ensuring you understand your diagnosis. Before you leave, make sure you ask all the questions you have.

You can even recite your diagnosis back to your doctor so you know you have it all correct. Whether it’s whiplash from a car accident or you’re injured from working out, the point is to ensure that you’re comfortable with the treatment you’re receiving.

Once you’ve been diagnosed, you’re going to need a treatment plan.

Understanding Your Plan

Treatment plans are typically created by your chiropractor to map your journey. Typically, this plan is going to come with a timeline, but it’s important to remember that things can change.

It’s completely possible to stay on schedule, but it’s also easy to veer off the rails. Things can take either a longer or shorter amount of time depending on your injury, and how much you improve. Your chiropractor may refrain from giving you a timeline for this reason alone.

What to Expect Along the Way

Together, you and your chiropractor are going to work to alleviate any immediate or chronic pain you’re feeling. The ultimate goal is to get to a point where you don’t need regular visits to feel your best, and maybe to where you visit on an as-needed basis.

There are different stages to care, and as you progress your needs are going to change. If your injury is severe enough, you may find that you need appointments once or twice a week.

If it’s not a severe or urgent need, you may only visit once a week or less than that if you’re just keeping up with your body’s regular maintenance.

Each of these stages, however, is going to come with its own set of details.

Severe Injuries or Chronic Conditions

Conditions like severe injuries or chronic conditions are going to call for prolonged, more frequent care. While adjustments can help stimulate and move things along with your injury, how you continue in the long run is going to depend upon your condition.

Minor Injuries

Minor injuries can be anything from occasional back pain to minor aches and pain.

Typically, this is going to call for occasional care. Spinal adjustments can help realign your vertebra so your body and the nervous system continue to function properly.

Preventative Care

Preventative care is exactly that. It’s meant to prevent potential aches and pains, and promote healthy alignment in your back.

Some people simply enjoy visiting a chiropractor because it helps them feel better. How long and often you do this is going to, again, be between you and your chiropractor. 

It all depends on how well your body responds to treatment, maintains the adjustments, and just how healthy your body already is. If you’re active, you might require more adjustments.

At Home Instruction

When you start receiving treatment, it’s common to receive a packet with individualized exercises for you to do at home. These often involve certain stretches that are going to help you between visits.

You should, however, be careful if your exercises seem like the same ones given to every other patient. Your treatment should be individual to you, not the entire clinic.

What Are the Red Flags?

While chiropractic care is usually a straightforward process, there are certain things that should be avoided whenever you’re seeking out treatment. Here are a few things to make note of:

  • Pressure to purchase specific things sold exclusively at their clinic
  • The same treatment for all patients
  • Continued treatment after symptoms resolve
  • Negative online reviews

To start, you should always read online reviews before visiting any clinics. If they have a plethora of bad ones, it’s probably smart to avoid them altogether. 

If you feel like they’re treating you the same as every other patient, that means you’re not getting the necessary care that you and your body deserve. Chiropractic care is an individual thing, and your doctor should understand that.

If you find that they’re pushing you to purchase products specific to their clinic, or that they’re continuously bringing you in for treatment even after you’ve healed, those could also be red flags.

You shouldn’t ever have to pay for things that aren’t necessary to your treatment. While some tools might be necessary for your at-home care, you definitely don’t have to buy what your doctor offers. And you certainly don’t have to keep visiting them as you heal.

Understanding Chiropractic Care

Now that we’ve gone over the basics, you’re set for any future chiropractic appointments you may have. The most important thing to remember at your appointments, however, is to make sure you’re communicating.

Whether you have questions or feel like a certain exercise is hurting more than it’s helping, it’s important to let your chiropractor know so changes to your care can be made.

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