When they prepare for their first chiropractic appointment, many patients wonder: how long does it take until I am healed? Will I have to see a chiropractor for a few treatment sessions or for the long term? There is no standard answer for this question. Even Western medicine doctors can’t tell you clearly how many appointments you need. A surgery, for instance, may be a one-time event, but you still need to go for a few follow-up appointments allowing the doctor to see how the surgery site healed and how you feel.
How Do You Know You Need Chiropractic Appointments?
Some patients go to a chiropractor as soon as they are in pain or suffered a trauma (car accident, slip and fall, sports accident, etc.). Other people struggle with various painful conditions for years before they decide to try chiropractic. When people come for their first chiropractic appointments, they are not even sure what the doctor will do to them. They have vague notions that chiropractors will pull at their spine until it pops. In reality, chiropractic relies on varied techniques, such as: • adjustments, • massage, • dry needling • electric muscle stimulation (EMS). In general, if you feel pain in your neck, back, arms or legs, a chiropractor most likely can help you solve your health problem in a safe and non-invasive manner. You are not going to have to take painkillers or go through a risky surgery. Instead, chiropractic appointments will evolve from identifying the core problem that causes your pain and healing it.
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How Often Do You Need to Go to Chiropractic Appointments?
Now, let us explain how frequently you may need to see your chiropractor until you are healed and can return to your regular life prior to the accident or condition that causes pain. The key factors that determine your schedule for chiropractic adjustments and other therapies are:
If you suffered an accident, you are suffering from acute pain. This is the name given to pain caused by sudden trauma to a muscle or joint. If it was not a serious accident (such as a car crash), you are probably suffering from minor to mild pain. In this case, you will have a succession of chiropractic appointments a few days apart at the beginning of the treatment plan. After one or two weeks, the chiropractor will recommend weekly appointments, until you are no longer experiencing pain.
Chronic Pain or Intense Acute Pain
Chronic pain is the result of repetitive effort leading to wear and tear to a joint or ligament. In this case, you may need to schedule chiropractic appointments for several months. During the first few weeks, you will have frequent appointments, because the chiropractor has to be very careful about manipulating an area subject to long term strain and inflammation. You may nor experience improvements during the first treatment sessions, but do not lose hope. Your body will eventually respond to the correction of your misalignment or inflammation and you will no longer be in pain. The same type of schedule applies to intense acute pain, caused by a severe accident.
Some people, especially when they are approaching their golden years, choose chiropractic maintenance. During these chiropractic appointments, the practitioner usually applies massage and light adjustments. The purpose of chiropractic massage is to prevent subluxations and maintain the joints and muscles in good condition – flexible and strong. A monthly appointment is quite sufficient for chiropractic maintenance.
No professional chiropractor will tell you precisely how many chiropractic appointments you need until you are healed. Each person responds differently to chiropractic adjustments. Also, depending on your pain tolerance, the chiropractor may have to use gentler techniques, which take longer to be effective. However, you will always receive progress report charts, where you can detail how you feel after several chiropractic appointments. Depending on your self-evaluation, the chiropractor will adjust the schedule of your appointments. The sooner you decide to try chiropractic, the sooner you may recover full control over your body and live free of pain. Look for a chiropractor near you in our online registry and book your first appointment!