Patients often get confused on why chiropractic care can take more than one visit? Allow me to explain.

Think of chiropractic care as another form of rehab. If you injured your knee skiing and had to go to a Physical Therapist you would not be surprised and actually, would expect the rehab to take multiple visits for several weeks or months depending on the severity of the injury. Chiropractic care is the same. Often the patient does not have a ski accident, rather they have an injury due to repetitive micro-trauma accumulated over time or an accident injury. So in fact chiropractors ARE rehabbing injuries.

How long will the care take or what is my prognosis? This depends on the goal of the patient. Let’s take a look at some possible patient goals and what each choice may entail.

Possible Goal #1 Pain management: If the patient just wants pain relief, this may take only one visit or a maybe life time. The length of the care plan depends on what is driving the pain. Here is a chart to give you an idea of what to expect. (These are purely estimates of course, your condition may require more or less time due to the severity. Results also depend on if the patient continues to exacerbate their own condition.)

Cause Time To Resolve Adjustments needed
Acute Muscle Spasm One day to 3 weeks 1 – 10
Acute Inflammation One day to 3 weeks 1 – 12
Chronic Inflammation One day to 12 months/never 1- lifetime care
Adhesions One day to 12 months/never 1- lifetime care
Joint Degeneration One day to 12 months/never 1-lifetime care

Possible Goal #2 Restore function: If the patient wants proper function restored this will always take longer. In this case the patient must understand that once the pain is gone the problem is NOT resolved. Most people believe the opposite is true. Pain is almost always the first thing to go, and this is when many patients stop care. For soft tissue to heal completely and properly the textbook says it may take up to one year or never, as sometimes soft tissue is damaged to a point where it will NOT recover 100%! (I know you didn’t want to hear that)

Possible Goal #3 Wellness maintenance care: This type of care will probably have you visiting the chiropractor 1-4 times a month. A patient chooses this option when they already are feeling good and want to prevent the dreaded repetitive micro-trauma from occurring, thus avoiding pain in the first place. OF COURSE there are many non-pain related benefits of chiropractic, which is a huge unknown by the general public .Please read the benefits of chiropractic or the negative effects of deconditioning syndrome. Both of these will give you an idea of all the positive effects of chiropractic other than pain relief.