Secondary to how much is a Chiropractic visit…how many visits to a Chiropractor are necessary before I feel better is the most asked question patients have questions about.
Most chiropractic treatment plans are 2-3 visits a week for the first several weeks. Factors such as age, weight, diet, preexisting conditions, occupation and prior episodes of the same condition will affect how many chiropractic visits it will take until you are better.
For example, an overweight male with lower back pain who is diabetic, sits at a desk job all day and rarely exercises will likely need more chiropractic treatments than a 25 year old athlete who exercises and stretches 5 days a week and eats a healthy diet.
Here are some common questions asked by patients regarding how many visits to the Chiropractor will it take:
Can you go to the Chiropractor too much?
Answer: Like anything else you can over do seeing a Chiropractor. Keep in mind that most treatment plans initially begin with recommendations you are seen 2-3 times a week the first 4 weeks. With significant injuries you Chiropractor may want to see you 2 days in a row. With some conditions it is essential to treat more aggressively at first and your Chiropractor may recommend seeing you 2 days in a row. This is the standard of care in more serious injuries. However, if you have gone through your initial treatment plan and your Chiropractor is recommending you continue to come in 3 times a week and you are feeling better….This is a red flag.
Do I need to go the Chiropractor 3 times a week?
The answer depends on what your conditions are. If you have mild upper back pain that comes occasionally then likely no. However, if you have had lower back pain for 10 years or have just been in a horrific car accident and have sciatica the answer may be yes.
How many chiropractic visits after a car accident are recommended?
In most cases after an injury your Chiropractor will recommend seeing you 2-3 times a week for the first 4-8 weeks. If your pain goes away sooner and you are feeling good the treatment should end or be cut back.
How many chiropractic visits do you need for sciatica?
When nerves are involved as in the case of injury to the Sciatic nerve the average chiropractic treatment recommendation is 2-3 times a week for 4 weeks the reevaluate the patient’s progress. From there more treatment may be recommended or not. Many factors will contribute to how fast you feel better such as the severity of a herniated disc, degeneration in the spine, lifestyle factors such as weight age, occupation and your compliance with your Chiropractors recommendation like home exercises.
Why do Chiropractors require so many visits?
Chiropractic is a physical medicine. Chiropractic works by making structure and physiological changes to the body. Think of it like wanting go gain a well defined six pack of abdominal muscles. To make a structural and physiological change to your body it requires frequent input like exercise and diet modification. You would not expect to have a six pack exercising 1 time a week for 4 weeks.
How do you choose the best Chiropractor near you that gets you better faster?
A good Chiropractor should provide instructions to facilitate your treatment plan:
Lifestyle changes such as weight loss or adjustments to work stations.
Things to avoid while you’re in pain like driving or heavy lifting at work.
Correcting poor posture that may be causing your conditions.
The use of back braces or other medical equipment that can help like foot inserts.
Questions To Ask Your Chiropractor About Your Treatment Plan
Some questions to ask your Chiropractor regarding you treatment plan include:
- How many Chiropractic treatments does he/she anticipate it will take until you feel better?
- Does the Chiropractor include additional service besides the chiropractic adjustment? The Chiropractor may include physiotherapies, exercises/stretches, massage, the uses of medical equipment like tens and back braces in conjunction with the chiropractic adjustments.
- Will the Chiropractor make a referral if the treatment is not helping? A good Chiropractor will have a network of other health care providers he refers to when patients are not getting better under the care. This includes referrals to Orthopedic surgeons, massage therapist, physical therapists, Pain Management Specialist, Rheumatologists, Acupuncturists.
- If the chiropractic treatment is not showing some signs of improvement in 6-8 weeks then a good Chiropractor should consider looking at ordering additional imaging if appropriate. These studies may include MRI, CT scan, lab work or nerve studies.
It is important you communicate with your Chiropractor on how many visits are anticipated for your condition to resolve. If you are following the recommendations and not getting better than a discussion should take place about what the plan should be and if any referrals or additional diagnostic studies should be ordered.
If you have any additional questions please feel free to get in touch here.
To book to appointment at our Raleigh, NC chiropractic location, click here.
Dr. Jeffrey Gerdes, D.C.