This is a common question we get from new patients. The answer is of course that - while we can offer some generic guidelines – the number of treatments will vary from patient to patient. The number of treatments you need will depend on your overall health and lifestyle, the specific musculoskeletal problem you present with, plus your degree of commitment to the treatment program created by your chiropractor.
To get an idea of the approximate frequency and duration of treatment sessions which would best help you it first helps to have a basic understanding of how chiropractic treatment works. Let’s explore below.
How does Chiropractic Treatment Work?
If you go to see your GP with a bacterial infection, it’s likely they’ll put you on a course of antibiotics and – assuming the antibiotics work - you won’t need to visit your GP again (well, not until the next time you’re sick!)
Chiropractic treatment does not work like this; there’s no ‘magic pill’ – instead it’s a process of improvement. In your first consultation your chiropractor will diagnose any musculoskeletal problems using a hands-on examination, visual inspection of your spine and potentially X-rays. If your pain or discomfort is found have a potential musculoskeletal origin, your chiropractor will then undertake precise and practiced manipulation of the spine and pelvis.
The manipulation of your spine is designed to restore optimal nervous system functioning in your spinal cord. As a result patients can then experience improved tissue and organ function.
Most patients will not experience optimal results after just one treatment. This is why we say chiropractic treatment is a process. If your spine and pelvis have maintained a certain alignment for many, many years, it takes time to adjust them to a new alignment.
So we’ve established you’ll benefit most if you undertake multiple chiropractic treatments, but how many treatments are we talking?
How Many Treatments do I Need?
This is something you’ll need to talk through with your chiropractor, but as a general guide:
- For minor but chronic complaints stemming from lifestyle factors (like being hunched over a computer all day for instance) – you may want to see your chiropractor once a month or even once every two weeks depending on the severity of your discomfort.
- For more serious conditions and injuries – you might benefit from a couple of treatment sessions per week at least for the first few weeks, with session frequency decreasing as your pain levels decrease in response to treatment
- For sporadic pain – your chiropractor might simply suggest you make an appointment when/if the pain returns. This could mean you receive treatment three times per year or once per year depending on the signals your body is giving you
You Can Influence How Much Treatment You Need
Chiropractors are trained to do more than restore optimal functioning, they can also advise you about changes you can make to your lifestyle to reduce your need for chiropractic treatment
This advice can include:
- How to exercise and strengthen specific muscle groups
- What steps you can take to improve your posture (particularly while sitting at a computer)
- The types of modifications you can make to your diet and overall lifestyle to reduce your risk of re-injury and your susceptibility to chronic back/neck and head pain
So when you ask how many treatment sessions you’ll need, remember the ball is partly in your court too!
We hope this blog has helped answer some of your questions regarding chiropractic treatment.
Contact Sports & Family Chiropractic anytime if you have any questions, or would like to book an appointment.