Many people wonder why chiropractors recommend that their patients come in periodically for evaluation and treatment of their spines. Once the spine pain that initially brought you in is gone, why are further visits necessary?
I call this kind of thinking “medicine cabinet” mentality. You go to the medicine cabinet to get pills to deal with headaches, sinus problems, indigestion, or whatever, and when the symptoms subside you may think the problem is corrected. But you’ve only treated the symptoms. Why do the problems keep recurring? It’s because the cause of the symptoms was never addressed with those pills.
With chiropractic care, the spine pain may be relieved after relatively few treatments, sometimes only one. But the same stresses and strains of life that contributed to the problem still exist, and the body, especially if subjected to poor posture, stressful working conditions, illness, etc., is prone to suffer the same problems as before. So, the idea is to get the treatment you need to get out of pain and stabilize your spine and then, in addition to consistently following recommendations given to you by your doctor regarding posture, exercise, or nutrition, etc., receive periodic treatments to help maintain optimal functioning of the musculoskeletal and nervous symptoms.
We’ve all heard since childhood that it is important to brush our teeth twice a day and floss, in addition to seeing a dentist for checkups every six months. Do we wait until we have a mouthful of cavities or gum disease and are in pain every time before we see the dentist? Not likely. Rather we go regularly as a means of preventative healthcare, in addition to doing something positive for our teeth through our daily personal care.
Well, you can get new teeth if necessary, but you are stuck with the spine God gave you. How many of us do something positive for our spine on a daily basis? Doesn’t it make as much, if not more, sense to give it some consistent attention like you do your teeth, not just when you are experiencing pain? Especially since the majority of us are not always using correct posture, exercising, etc., we should have periodic spine checkups to catch developing problems.
Remember, the pain you experience isn’t the real problem. It’s just what motivates you to seek help. Once the problem is found and proper treatment given, you feel better. But you are responsible in large part for how well you continue to do and we want to help you with that. Working to treat a developing condition before it has led to spine pain is, in my opinion, much more preferable than always having to “put out fires” because you have let things get out of hand. My patients who do the best on a consistent basis are motivated to come in for treatment not by recurring flare-ups, but by the memory of their past pain and not wanting to experience it again. Consider this the next time that I suggest you come back for a spine checkup.
Yes, people who see their chiropractor regularly, exercise, watch their posture, etc., are still reaching into their medicine cabinets. But chances are pretty good that they are needing the floss, not some pills.