I instantly felt a blog post coming on!
Chiropractors have long held the belief that regular monthly follow up treatments even after you have reached maximum improvement are just as helpful for the spine as the regular services you provide for your car.
In a recent study reported in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, after intensive care for one month, thirty long-term back pain patients were randomised to receive either no follow-up care, or maintenance chiropractic treatments at three week intervals for a nine month period.
Both groups continued to have significant improvement in their pain scores throughout the follow-up period. However, only the group receiving maintenance care during the follow-up period retained their improvement in disability nine months later.
In other words, when patients opt for maintenance care they generally notice their pain and stiffness less often and experience fewer flare-ups.
Can maintenance adjustments really help our overall health and well-being? In case studies, patients report improvement in both mental and physical well being when they continue maintenance care. Also, other chiropractic services, such as advice regarding diet, exercise, posture, and stress management, have a more meaningful impact on overall health and well-being when continued during follow-up visits.
In the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics it was reported that based on a seven year period, patients utilising chiropractic maintenance had:
- A 60.2% reduction in hospital admissions
- A 59.0% decrease in hospital days
- A 62.0% drop in outpatient surgeries and procedures
- An 85% decrease in pharmaceutical costs when compared with conventional medicine within the same geography and during the same time frame.
Once per month?
Do patients have to keep coming monthly to get best results? Well, because chiropractors look at their patients as individuals that respond differently to treatment approaches, it does depend on several factors.
There may be some especially older individuals with significant arthritis that get best results when having treatment more often than monthly. On the other hand a younger individual that is fit and has no prior history of problems may be able to return every two or three months for a “tune-up” and still get great results. Still another individual may get great results for a while then get put under a lot of stress, stop exercising and see their problems worsen. They may then need a temporary increase in the frequency of their follow-up care.
No two patients are exactly alike. However, for a lot of patients that have a prior history of significant spinal problems, a monthly treatment seems to provide sustained relief and help prevent recurrence. In fact, I go to my chiropractor in Horsham once per month for maintenance and prevention.
What if it’s not for me?
If you have read through this information and have decided that maintenance care isn’t for you, that’s okay. You can always call us on an ‘as and when’ basis whenever you need us. If you have any questions, please ask.