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How Many Chiropractic Visits Are Necessary?
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How Many Chiropractic Visits Are Necessary?
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How Many Chiropractic Visits Are Necessary?
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How Many Chiropractic Visits Are Necessary?
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How Many Chiropractic Visits Are Necessary?

May 6, 2022 | Chiropractic, Services, Symptoms

Contents

Scientific studies report that the average person needs about 12 chiropractic sessions during a 6-week cycle to gain the benefits of a treatment plan for spinal health. It is recommended to have at least 2 to 3 visits per week for the first month, adjusting the treatment plan according to how the body responds.
How Many Chiropractic Visits Are Necessary?
According to the American Chiropractic Association, approximately 35 million Americans receive chiropractic care. If you are considering chiropractic care, you might be wondering how many sessions you will need. Although treatment plans are customized to each patient, you will generally need approximately 12 chiropractic sessions during a 6-week cycle. Most treatment plans call for 2 to 3 visits per week for the first month.

The spine is one of the most important structures of the body as it is the foundation that protects the spinal cord. Connected to the brain, this vital section of our anatomy has nerves that transmit signals to the rest of the body and guides the physiology of all organs and muscles. When the spine is out of alignment, various physical and mental health problems arise. Determining how many chiropractic sessions you need is key is maintaining optimal health.

How Many Chiropractic Sessions Are Necessary for Me?

Each individual is as unique as their prescribed chiropractic care plan. The number of sessions, frequency, and length of treatment plan are likely to be determined after an initial assessment.

The condition and goals of the patient will determine how many chiropratic sessions are needed. Some people seek care for injuries while others are simply looking to maintain proper spinal alignment to prevent various health issues.

Will One Chiropractic Session Make a Difference?

Generally, even if you can only commit to one chiropractic session, you will notice some type of relief. Chiropractic care is very hands on and most patients experience immediate results after only one session. However, this is not the case for every person because there could be conditions or injuries that require extensive assessments and special care before the person starts to feel relief.

Although most people feel relief after one session, the body requires consistent maintenance to feel its best. For optimal results, you will want to maintain a consistent treatment plan that integrates other modalities such as exercise and massage. Think of your body as an automobile – it requires ongoing maintenance to prevent major mechanical problems.

Why Are There so Many Chiropractic Visits Required?

The main goal of chiropractic care is to keep the spine in proper alignment. It is a delicate structure that requires careful control and cannot be forced back into place. As the vertebrae become misaligned, the body begins to adapt and muscles support the new position.

To reverse spinal misalignment, neither the muscles nor the spine can be forced back into place. Instead, the spine gradually has be aligned and the muscles contractures relaxed so that the body can once again regain its proper structural position.

Weekly and Monthly Chiropractic Sessions

As with any structure, consistent maintenance is required for optimal function. Weekly or monthly chiropractic sessions provide the most benefit especially for painful conditions and structural issues. Chiropractors design a customized plan of care that provides long-term management. Keeping up with the recommended visits will ensure you receive adequate care for your needs.

It is not wise to wait for pain or other warning signs before you seek help. Ideally, you will use chiropractic care as a preventative measure that ensure your spine maintains proper alignment. With consistent chiropractic care, people of all ages perform better physically, feel mentally at ease, and prevent painful injuries.

What Are the Various Stages of Care?

After an injury or years of bad posture, the spine must go through a specific plan of care to regain proper alignment. Chiropractic care has three general phases:

  • Initial Intensive Care (Initial Phase): Most patients begin their treatment with intensive care to immediately address pain and other symptoms. This phase requires frequent chiropractic sessions. The patient finds immediately relief, but may require repeated sessions over weeks or months to reduce symptoms. Spinal adjustments may be combined with other modalities depending on the condition, lifestyle, age, and other factors.
  • Rehabilitative Care (Corrective Phase): Once acute symptoms are reduced, the patient enters into a phase that improves function. This is where complete healing takes place and the patient continues to progress into a stronger structure less likely to relapse. During this phase, patients are urged to combine chiropractic care with exercise, nutritional changes, and other self-care habits. It is important for patients to engage fully in this phase to gain all the benefits of the process that takes place in the initial phase.
  • Wellness Care (Preventative Phase): This elective stage occurs once the patient is completely free from symptoms. All the progress gained during the first two phases is maintained during this time. Patients who are conscious about maintaining good health choose to make chiropractic care part of their lifestyle. Periodic visits throughout the year help patients feel their best and optimize their physique. It is a practice that saves patients from debilitating conditions and costly medical care.

How Many Chiropractor Sessions Are Appropriate for Lower Back Pain?

As reported by the Global Burden of Disease Study, 80% of Americans will experience back pain during some point in their lives. The standard chiropractic prescription for acute low back pain is 6 to 12 sessions during a 2 to 4-week cycle. Initial treatments focus on passive therapies that include manual adjustments to relieve pain and gain function. As soon as the patient is able to, active therapies such as exercise is introduced to further the progress of treatment.

How Many Chiropractic Sessions Are Required for Herniated Discs?

Herniated discs are treated in 1 to 3 sessions every 2 to 4 weeks. Symptoms are generally treated with pelvic blocking techniques implemented by the chiropractor. Relieving excrutiating pain is frequently a priority and treated on a case-by-case basis. The number of visits will depend on the unique condition of the patient.

How Many Chiropractic Sessions Are Best for Sciatica?

Sciatica-related pain can be extremely debilitating. It is generally relieved in four visits or less depending on the condition of the person. The treatment plan includes spinal exercises the patient can implement at home for immediate relieve and prevention of relapse.

How Many Chiropractic Sessions Are Necessary for Whiplash?

Patients involved in a car accident must seek immediate care. It is recommended not to wait longer than three days to see a chiropractor. Although you may not notice symptoms, whiplash can have a delayed onset of spinal issues. Chiropractors are able to properly assess whiplash injuries and prevent painful conditions. A medical journal report mentions that a treatment plan for whiplash may include multiple weekly sessions for 6 weeks to 6 months.

Finishing the treatment plan fully is key in achieving a complete recovery. Abandoning the prescribed sessions can interfere with the healing process and may create unwanted future symptoms.

How Many Chiropractic Sessions Are Best for Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder, otherwise known as adhesive capsulitis, often have a slow onset. Symptoms start slowly and gradually worsen over a period of one to three years. The main symptom is a great reduction in range of motion. Patients are unable to perform normal daily activities involving the affected shoulder.

Weekly sessions are recommended to regain full range of motion. Patients also engage in active therapies that include stretching and other exercises. The shoulder joint will gradually regain full function as the patient consistently completes the plan of care and maintains a steady exercise routine. The chiropractor addresses posture and repetitive motions that can contribute to a relapse.

How Many Chiropractic Sessions Are Necessary for Migraine Headaches?

Chiropractic care has been proven to be an effective therapy for migraine headaches. It helps patients find relief without the use or pharmaceuticals. Depending on your particular case, weekly or monthly visits are recommended. Chiropractic care uses a holistic approach, which assesses the patient’s lifestyle, genetic predispositions, and other factors that can contribute to migraines.

Is it Possible to Go to the Chiropractor Too Often?

The suitable frequency of your chiropractic sessions depends on your unique condition. It is common for initial treatment to include spinal adjustments multiples times per week. Once your body starts to respond to treatment and symptoms are relieved, you may only need adjustments once weekly. Those that have no symptoms and want to prevent health issues and maintain spinal alignment may only need adjustments once or twice per month.

A licensed chiropractor or chiropractic neurologist will safely determine the appropriate frequency of spinal manipulations for each patient. Some experts suggest that too many manipulations may loosen and destabilize spinal bones (Science-Based Medicine 2022).

What is Involved in Maintenance Care?

Once you are free from symptoms due to injuries or years of bad posture, it is recommended to receive maintenance chiropractic care. It is a great way to prevent injuries and other health conditions while feeling and performing your best. Through maintenance care, your spinal health is optimized as your chiropractor has the opportunity to detect spinal misalignment early. This prevents painful symptoms from developing.

Maintenance care involves chiropractic adjustments along with various modalities, exercise, and a nutritional plan geared toward long-term wellness.

Chiropractic Recovery vs Management

Recovery involves immediate treatment of a symptomatic acute condition. There are patients that require prompt relief from symptoms, usually pain and stiffness due to chronic spinal misalignment or an injury. During the recovery process chiropractic sessions are more frequent until the symptoms subside.

Once the patient finds relief from acute symptoms, the management phase can begin to maintain the progress achieved and prevent symptoms from returning. A consistent management care plan is just as important because the body as with any other mechanical structure requires constant maintenance. Our daily activities cause wear and tear on the body and spinal misalignment can occur once again. If left untreated, it can cause recurring symptoms.

Benefits from a Chiropractic Treatment Plan has a Cumulative Effect

Besides sudden injuries, spinal misalignment is often caused by years of repetitive motions, lack of fitness, and bad postural habits. To regain proper alignment, it takes the cumulative effect of ongoing chiropractic sessions. To maintain alignment, consistency is key. The body is a machine that must be maintained on a continual basis. The more consistent you are with treatments that relieve muscle tension and put the skeleton back into alignment, the greater the long-term benefits will be.

How Long Can I Expect a Chiropractic Adjustment to Take?

Each chiropractic visit is usually completed within 30 minutes. The initial assessment will take longer, but thereafter, you can expect your chiropractor to make spinal adjustments and ongoing assessments during brief sessions. Modalities that are combined with your treatment such as massage, ultrasound, laser therapy, and others will make your visit longer.

Can I Expect my First Chiropractic Treatment to Hurt?

Chiropractic adjustments should not be painful unless you arrive with pain already. An area that is injured or inflamed may produce discomfort during a chiropractic adjustment. If you present with pain, be sure to let your chiropractor know to ensure the best course of action. Sometimes, the chiropractor will wait until the inflammation or pain has decreased before attempting an adjustment.

During a chiropractic adjustment, most patients feel a popping sensation or slight discomfort as the spine is aligned. Slight soreness may be possible, but significant pain should never be produced during or after the visit.

When Should I See a Chiropractor?

The best time to see a chiropractor is before you have any symptoms. Receiving consistent adjustments along with exercising regularly, and practicing good posture are the best ways to prevent injuries or experience symptoms. Also, see a chiropractor if you are experiencing any of the conditions below:

  • Decreased flexibility
  • Headaches
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • After accidents and injuries
  • When experiencing signs of pinched nerves such as shooting pain in the legs or tingling sensations
  • When you notice uneven wear on your shoes
  • Symptoms of arthritis

Everyone can benefit from chiropractic care. It doesn’t matter if they are highly active or sedentary. The best time to see a chiropractor is before any symptoms start. Preventative chiropractic care can help you avoid debilitating conditions that interfere with your daily activities.

When Should I NOT Go to a Chiropractor?

There are certain times when seeing a chiropractor is not appropriate such as when you are suffering from fractures. Bones will have to heal completely before getting chiropractic adjustments. There are also certain medical conditions that affect the joints and spine. Although chiropractic care can relieve some symptoms, in these cases, it will not treat the root cause. Chiropractic care, however, can be a great place to start if you are experiencing symptoms of any kind. You will receive x-rays and other assessments that help your healthcare team determine what is causing your symptoms so that you can be referred to the right specialist.

What Are Common Reasons for Receiving Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic patients often seek care for the following top reasons:

  • Chronic Back Pain
  • Persistent Neck Pain
  • Recovery After Automobile Accidents
  • General Relaxation and Wellness
  • Greater Physical Performance and Preventative Care

Questions

How many chiropractic visits does it take to feel better?

The answer to this question is unique according to the individual’s symptoms, health condition, and lifestyle. Generally, people experience immediate relieve after the first visit with continual improvement thereafter.

How many times a week should you see a chiropractor?

It depends on your particular case. The chiropractor will prescribe a plan of care that may include multiple sessions per week at the beginning, tapering off gradually as you progress.

Is my chiropractor scamming me?

When choosing to work with any professional, it is important that you choose a licensed person that has a good reputation in the community. Chiropractic care is an essential part of health, but when in doubt, it is best to seek a second opinion. Something to keep in mind is that patients that receive chiropractic care experience a 30% decrease in pain compared to those that only seek basic medical care (Spine 2015).

Why do chiropractors require so many visits?

Chiropractic care has a long-term cummulative effect. Your body has to gradually get back into proper alignment. In addition, maintenance care is the key to prevent a relapse or symptoms from appearing in the first place.

How to know if chiropractic is working?

The most effective way to know if your chiropractic care is giving you results is to assess the way you feel. Plus, follow-up assessments such as x-rays will provide an accurate measure as you progress.

How often should you have your neck adjusted?

The cervical spine should be adjusted at the same frequency as your back. The whole spine must be adjusted at a frequency determined by your chiropractor that takes into account your unique condition.

How many chiropractic visits do I need for sciatica?

Pain associated with sciatica starts to improve after approximately four chiropractic sessions. At-home exercises are prescribed as part of the treatment plan. It is essential that these basic exercises are performed consistently to prevent painful symptoms from coming back.

How many visits to chiropractor before I feel better?

Each individual is as unique as their prescribed chiropractic care plan. The number of sessions, frequency, and length of treatment plan are likely to be determined after the initial assessment.