I'm writing this post because I constantly hear things like “it’s addicting” and “once you go, you have to keep going forever!” Well folks, I’m here to try and set the record straight, or at least try to give you some clarity. Check out these points below and some good questions to ask yourself when considering getting treated by anybody, but specifically a chiropractor.
What are you thinking when you say “Chiropractic?”
The first thing that I want to dive into is that there is one thing that is both wonderful and terrible about the chiropractic profession. And it’s that you can take the degree in so many different directions. For instance, in the town of Pleasantville, NY (where I practice) and the immediate surrounding towns, I know chiropractors that specialize in sports injuries, neurological conditions, pediatrics, geriatrics, pregnancy, women’s health, nutrition, concussion, and the list goes on and on. So what I am getting at is based upon a practitioner’s unique approach, they may have different philosophies about how many visits they would like to prescribe. In fact, if most people saw the way that I practice, they may not even know that I’m a chiropractor! This is great from a specialty standpoint, but can often be confusing for consumers that are looking for a certain product.
What should you expect when going to see a chiropractor?
The second thing that I want to talk about is that regardless of who you see, their goal should be to get you “better” (whatever that may mean based on your goals) as quickly as possible. While sometimes there may be a range that we can provide (usually this is the case), with some more complex conditions it may be variable and adjustable. But one thing is for certain, 95% of the time, it should not be forever, and anybody actively encouraging that likely does not have your best interest in mind. Remember that 5% though because we are going to come back to it!
Let’s take my practice for example. At Apollo Performance Chiropractic, we focus on longer visits and more one-on-one interaction. This has helped us shorten the amount of visits necessary because we have the time to create a good plan and to teach you what you can be doing on your own to help speed up the recovery process.
What are you seeking care for?
This is where that largely hated term “it depends” comes into play. The bottom line is that based on the injury or discomfort that you have, as well as other factors like your underlying health, your commitment to getting yourself better, and your knowledge of your body, your visit recommendation could be variable. For example, if I get a strength coach or active individual in to see me, my role is going to be to try to identify the root cause of their complaint, and then help them design a program that addresses it. Of course I will provide constant feedback so it can be tweaked when necessary. But because they are likely familiar with many of the exercises I will prescribe, they don’t necessarily have to be in the office as often. This is my goal with every client that I see, HOWEVER, I will never undersell a visit recommendation just because I think it is what a client wants to hear.
It is always ok to keep coming back IF YOU WANT TO
Remember that 5%? Well here is my rationale. The goal of any practitioner should be to help you become self-reliant when it comes to dealing and navigating your pain and discomfort. However, I have also had clients that enjoy the process of having deep tissue therapy done, or like getting adjusted just because it makes them feel good. And while they are well aware that this isn’t a necessary or even recommended course of action, it is what they want to do. Remember that at the end of the day, we provide recommendations, but the decision about your care should be left solely up to you.
Questions to ask yourself:
1: Am I being sold a long, frequent care plan right off the bat?
This is likely a red flag. A care plan like this (3x/week for 6 months) is likely part of a marketing strategy and not succinct with best practice guidelines.
2: Are my goals being taken into account?
Your care plan should resolve specifically around your goals. And while doing more is always a good thing, you should have the final decision to pursue that.
3: Is there a clear rationale for the amount of visits prescribed?
Your doctor should be able to explain and justify their logic as to why they are recommending a certain number of visits, and upfront about if that number is variable going forward based on your condition.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and as always if you ever have any questions feel free to message us over Instagram/Twitter @apollopcny or email us at email@example.com!
Until next time,
Brett Poniros DC, CSCS