One of the biggest myths about chiropractic care is that once you start visiting a chiropractor, you need to go forever. Some people believe that if they stop getting chiropractic adjustments, their spine will suddenly revert back to a state of disrepair and they will continue to feel pain and discomfort again. This isn’t the case.
Chiropractic is about getting your spine back into alignment, then helping you develop the good habits to maintaining long lasting pain relief. This doesn’t mean you will become dependent on chiropractic care.
The main reason many get confused about having to see a chiropractor “forever” comes from misunderstanding the types of care chiropractors offer. There are 3 stages of care:
- Pain relieving stage
- Stabilisation stage
- Maintenance or preventative care
Pain relief stage
People often begin seeing a chiropractor because they are in pain. When a chiropractor is treating a person who is in pain, that person is receiving what most chiropractors call “Relief Care”. The purpose of relief care is to get you out of pain as quick as possible. The first stage of care is intensive care to help relieve symptoms. During this time, it is not uncommon to see a person 1-2 times a week to try to accomplish the pain relief as fast as possible.
The second level is stability care in order to stabilize and strengthen the spine. Once a person’s pain has been eliminated (or at least reduced greatly), it is their choice whether or not to move on to “Stabilization Care”. In this phase of care, the doctor and patient work together to stabilize the corrections they’ve made during relief care so that the corrections last. More adjustments and exercises are given so the pain doesn’t return as soon as the chiropractic care stops.
In this stage the aim is to do more work so that your body develops a new, healthier “habit”. That new habit involves improving the movement of your joints and muscles along with normalizing your posture so that it is less likely that your pain comes back.
Maintenance or preventative care
Finally, there is “Maintenance Care” or “Preventive Care”. Once you are out of pain and your condition has stabilized, your chiropractor will offer you the chance to come into the office at some interval to get checked and get adjusted as a means of maintaining your spine and preventing problems from returning. The idea is to fix small problems before they become big ones. How often a person needs maintenance depends on the person – the most common frequency is once a month, but someone who has a job or hobby that puts a lot of stress on their spine and other joints may respond best by coming every two weeks. It all depends on the person.
In Conclusion, you don´t need to continue visiting your chiropractor forever
How fast a person progresses through different levels of care can vary. It can be due to age and compliance of exercises or care. It is important that your chiropractor is preforming some kind of analysis to monitor the progression of your care, as well as sitting down and discussing your results with you.
In conclusion, your health is your own journey. Continuing care is always up to the patient. Once you start chiropractic care, you will not become dependant. However, hopefully you will see the value in maintaining a healthy, happy spine the rest of your life!
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