At some point in your life, you’ve probably heard an acquaintance, friend or family member say something like this: “Once you start going to a chiropractor, you’ll have to keep going back forever.” Most of the time, this is meant as a caution—a warning that chiropractic care is somehow addictive, cultish or (at worst) ineffective.
As chiropractic physicians, we believe that it’s very important for our patients to understand the nature of what we do and the kind of relationship we work to build with them. We also think it’s important to explain the phenomenon that these acquaintances, friends or family members are referring to.
There are indeed many people who return to our office even after their initial symptoms have disappeared. But they don’t return because they “have to”. They return because they CHOOSE to. And patients make this choice for a variety of different reasons. Sometime the reason has to do with a chronic or recurring condition that requires ongoing or periodic attention. Sometimes it has to do with a different health issue altogether. And still other times it has to do with their overall wellness. But in every case, they return to chiropractic because it helps them feel better than they feel without it.
Whether or not you choose to return to your chiropractor for regular treatment will depend on your own physical condition as well as your broader health and wellness goals. We understand that every patient is different, and we will do our best to work with you to design a treatment plan that meets your specific needs. This is true whether your priority is short-term pain relief, physical rehabilitation or general health and wellness. Our goal is always to provide the right combination of in-office care, exercise and stretching recommendations and lifestyle counseling to help you achieve your objectives.
Of course, you don’t have to keep going back to the chiropractor after your symptoms have been resolved. But the simple truth is that those symptoms are likely to reappear at some point if you don’t address the underlying source of the problem. Over time, pain, poor joint function and other signs of bodily wear can begin to creep up again without regular maintenance.
Why Regular Chiropractic Care is Important
Going to your chiropractor for a regular checkup and any necessary treatment is really no different from visiting your dentist or eye doctor. It’s fundamentally about prevention and early detection. The wear-and-tear of everyday living (not to mention the special demands of athletics or certain professions and workplaces) can take a serious toll on your musculoskeletal system in general. And it can be especially hard on your back and neck if your general posture is compromised. Unfortunately, it can take time for the cumulative effects to become obvious and for to you to begin experiencing pain and reduced function. And by the time you do experience these, whatever problems you have may be more difficult to treat.
The keys to good musculoskeletal health (especially spinal health) are:
- Regular exercise that maintains or improves your posture, balance, flexibility, strength and stamina. Your chiropractor can recommend a specific program that accomplishes just that.
- A healthy diet that provides the right nutrients for growth and recovery of bones, muscles and joints.
- A weight loss or weight management approach that reduces (or prevents) unnecessary stress and strain on your joints.
- Good ergonomics at work and play.
- Avoidance of unhealthy habits that have been associated with musculoskeletal problems, including excessive sitting, alcohol and smoking.
- Regular chiropractic check-ups and treatment.
For many of our patients, chiropractic care has become an important part of their overall wellness lifestyle. It’s simply something they do for themselves and their families to protect their overall health and help them feel (and perform) at their best. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you, please call or visit our office today!