According to the American Chiropractic Association, approximately 31 million Americans suffer from lower back pain at any given time. Back pain is a widespread issue that can affect people of all ages and may arise suddenly or persist over time. While injuries and accidents are common causes of back pain, poor posture and obesity also contribute to the problem. Fortunately, visiting a chiropractor can provide relief for back pain sufferers. However, the question remains: how often should you go to the chiropractor? The frequency of visits depends on various factors, including the type of pain you are experiencing and your chiropractor’s recommendations. In this article, we will explore visiting the chiropractor and determine how often you should go.
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Common Reasons for Chiropractor Visits
Back pain and neck pain are two common reasons why people seek chiropractic care. While many individuals find relief after only a few sessions, others may require weekly visits. The frequency of visits depends on your condition and how you feel. For example, people who work in office settings often suffer from lower back pain. Notably, low back pain is the leading cause of work-related disability in adults under the age of 45, resulting in significant medical expenses and worker’s compensation costs. Regular visits to a chiropractic office can help alleviate this pain and promote better habits. Other common reasons for chiropractic visits include back adjustments, preventive care, pain relief, and spinal correction.
When Should You Consider Chiropractic Care?
Think of chiropractic care as an additional method of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Similar to how a good diet and regular exercise make you feel stronger and more energized, chiropractic visits can enhance your overall well-being. To reap the most benefits from chiropractic care, it is essential to stay consistent with your appointments. Many people wonder if it is possible to go to the chiropractor too often. However, chiropractic care is not addictive, and individuals often opt for weekly adjustments or preventive care. Ultimately, the frequency of visits depends on your situation and preferences. If you experience any of the symptoms or causes listed below, it may be wise to schedule an appointment for an evaluation:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Sports injuries
- Vehicle accidents
- Pain or fatigue at work
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Chronic pain
In some cases, patients also visit chiropractors preventively. For example, athletes may seek chiropractic care to avoid injuries. Even if you are not currently experiencing pain, there are numerous benefits to visiting a chiropractor.
Weekly and Monthly Visits
The frequency of chiropractic visits that will benefit you the most depends on your health condition and personal preference. If you notice warning signs of upper back pain, it is advisable to schedule an appointment and consult your chiropractor for the best course of action. In certain situations, chiropractors may recommend multiple follow-up visits to address specific issues. It is crucial to attend these follow-up visits consistently to derive the maximum benefit from chiropractic care. There are three types of healthcare: urgent, rehabilitative, and maintenance, which can be applied to chiropractic care as well. Discuss with your chiropractor to determine the most suitable approach for your needs:
- Urgent Care: patients who have recently suffered an injury often require repeat visits during the first few weeks of treatment.
- Rehabilitative Care: individuals recovering from recent injuries or accidents might need to visit the chiropractor a few times per month.
- Maintenance Care: people experiencing chronic pain may only need to visit the chiropractor once or twice a month, or when they experience a pain flare-up.
Addressing Pain Flares
Breakthrough pain, also known as a pain flare-up, refers to temporary but sometimes debilitating episodes of pain. While cancer patients often go through breakthrough pain, it can also occur due to other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, nerve pain, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, shingles, or low back pain. Regular visits to a chiropractor may provide some relief for individuals suffering from chronic pain or pain flares. Additionally, patients can learn techniques to manage pain and develop healthier habits. If you experience chronic pain or pain flares, consult your chiropractor to determine the optimal frequency of visits that suits your situation.
How Can Chiropractors Help?
Now that you have a better understanding of why people visit chiropractors and the conditions they can treat, you may be curious about how it all works. Chiropractors perform spinal manipulation and adjustments to address various issues. These adjustments can be manual, using hands, or mechanical, utilizing specialized instruments. It is worth noting that poor posture can have detrimental effects on your body, affecting your mood and leading to fatigue, neck pain, and back pain. Chiropractic adjustments can improve your spinal functions and reduce stress on your body. After an appointment, you may notice that you feel less tense and more relaxed. This is because chiropractors can help relax tense muscles and enhance circulation. Aside from making adjustments, chiropractors can provide advice on healthier living. You might gain knowledge about improved eating habits, proper posture, pain management techniques, as well as coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety.
What to Expect as a New Patient
If you are new to chiropractic care and feeling apprehensive or unsure about what to expect, gaining insight into the process can help ease your mind. Typically, an initial appointment includes a consultation and filling out necessary forms. During this consultation, take the opportunity to explain any pain you are experiencing and its duration. If you are visiting for preventive reasons, discuss your expectations and ask any questions you may have. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the process and your chiropractor’s techniques. If you feel nervous, your chiropractor can help calm your fears by explaining each technique and its benefits.
How Often Should You Go to the Chiropractor? Visit as Needed
Chiropractors can address common issues like neck and back pain while also assisting you with making healthier lifestyle choices. Most chiropractors prioritize prevention and aim to help you develop better habits. As for how often you should go to the chiropractor, the answer varies for each patient. It is recommended to make appointments as needed, and weekly or monthly visits often yield the most significant benefits. If uncertainty or concerns arise, discuss them with your chiropractor. If you are in Lexington and experiencing pain, consider reaching out to us at 5 WS to request an appointment.