Regular chiropractic visits – what is the benefit?
For those after a quick summary
There is now some pretty good evidence to suggest that periodic check-ups with a chiropractor can help prevent episodes of low back pain
In order to recommend maintenance visits, patients should have responded well to an initial course of chiropractic treatment first.
Maintenance care can be recommended for patients with persistent or recurrent low back pain
Chiropractic treatment should include a combination of hands on treatment like manipulation, mobilization and/or massage as well as home exercises such as stretching and strengthening.
Our chiropractors at Latrobe Health Centre tailor a treatment plan to suit each individual and only recommended ongoing care when it is combined with a variety of self-management strategies.
The idea of maintenance treatment is not new to chiropractic profession. In fact, the concept of maintenance treatments or periodic check-ups is commonplace in many health fields. We’ve all heard about regular dental check-ups to prevent or manage cavities, periodic reviews with a gym instructor or PT to modify your exercise program and regular reviews with the GP to manage blood pressure or cholesterol levels. So the question is, Is there any benefit to having periodic check-ups with your chiropractor?
To be honest, until recently there hasn’t been a lot of strong scientific evidence to support the idea of regular chiropractic check-ups. Which is why, our chiropractors haven’t recommended it for most patients, instead our chiropractors have promoted a self-management approach to musculoskeletal aches and pains (that just means we recommend exercises and lifestyle advice to prevent episodes of pain and recommend you come and see us if things get sore again!)
Recently published research has meant that our chiropractors may need to change the recommendations given to some of their patients. A well designed, large study conducted over a 12-month periods compared 2 groups – 1 group received periodic check-ups with their chiropractor (monthly) and the other just visited the chiropractor when their back pain flared up on them. The results demonstrated that monthly maintenance visits to a chiropractor did a better job at preventing the number of days during the year that patients would experience back pain.
No study is every perfect, so there are a couple of important points to bear in mind here
- The study was conducted on patients who had recurrent or persistent low back pain, so we don’t know if they result would be the same for people with neck pain or mid back pain
- The trial was conducted on patients who responded well to an initial trial of chiropractic care – so if you haven’t got relief after the first 4 treatments you may not benefit from ongoing care.
- Maintenance care wasn’t just cracking your back – the trial was a pragmatic one which means the chiropractors treated their usual way which was to include hands on treatment like manipulation and massage as well as home exercises and lifestyle advice
- Although maintenance treatment in this trial was monthly visits, we don’t know if seeing patients more frequently (say, every 3 weeks) would be more beneficial or not. Nor do we know yet if spacing the maintenance visits further apart (say, every 2 months) would give the same benefits.
Our chiropractors are trained to provide tailored treatment programs for our clients. We use a combination of hands on care and rehabilitation exercises to achieve the best results for our patients.
If you would like an assessment so that we can come up with an individual management plan for you, then you can book an appointment with one of our practitioners.
Contact the clinic on (03) 5222 6868 to book an appointment today, or
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