Why do I have to keep going back to the chiropractor?

Tim Leeming

5 min read

Mindful care

I was recently reading a thread inside a local community group where somebody was asking for recommendations to a chiropractor who won’t make them keep coming back or try to sell them a package deal.  It’s not the first time I’ve seen or heard this kind of request, which inspired me to write this brief article to offer some explanation.

So, why do you have to keep going back to the chiropractor?

The answer is, you don’t.

Now, there are some pretty important implications with that which we will cover shortly.  But first…

In all healthcare decisions, we have to consider informed consent.  As boring as this might sound, stick with me here because you might learn something very worthwhile!

Informed consent means that the healthcare provider has a conversation with you about the options you have.  This discussion should consider how healthy you are when you present to that practitioner, as well as what your goals are or what you’re hoping to achieve with the help of that practitioner.  The potential benefits of the proposed treatment or therapy should be explained to you clearly, as well as any potential risks.  A robust informed consent discussion will actually also include discussing with you alternative options and even what might happen if you were to do nothing at all (i.e. not proceed with any prescription or treatment).

A conversation like this is supposed to happen between you and your doctor or nurse when you get vaccinated or start a new course of medicine.  Your physiotherapist, dentist, exercise physiologist, naturopath…. all of them should be informing you to the best of their knowledge using the above outline.

And so should your chiropractor.

It is true that many people utilise chiropractic care on a routine or ongoing basis.  Each year around 10% of Australians and North Americans will visit their chiropractors for regular adjustments (this could be anything from fortnightly to once in every six to 12 weeks).  In some European countries an even larger portion of the population do so.

In much the same way as having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year by a dental hygienist, getting a massage each month or going to a weekly yoga class, proactive regular chiropractic care has some wonderful lasting benefits.  A helpful anecdote for this is the many healthy elderly patients we see in practice. 

A lot of the elderly patients who “keep coming back” to see us have been receiving chiropractic care for much of their lives (sometimes since their infancy!) and we have observed a common trend within these older adults who get adjusted regularly.  In general, they appear to be much more independent and capable, they take very little or no medication and they’re remarkably strong and balanced for their age.

Now – of course – this could just be a wild coincidence…. Though there is a very interesting body of published research that tends to support our observations. 

And our studio is not unique here.  If you walk into almost any chiropractic practice around Australia you’d very likely see the same thing amongst the elderly patients being adjusted there.

So, while you don’t have to keep coming back to your chiropractor, there can be a lot of benefit in doing so.  Even if you don’t intend on staying long term, you are more than likely going to need to some follow-up adjustments to achieve the relief or outcome you seek.

Now this is not individualised medical advice, but in my experience, there are very few adults who come to see us with a pain or problem that does not have some degree of chronicity to it.  Chronicity simply means that the underlying problem has accumulated over time.  Our most common postural and stress-related habits in the modern western world have very direct and obvious effects on our spines.  So even if you only tweaked your back getting out of your car the other day, your chiropractor or physiotherapist or osteopath should be able to help you understand that a strong body wouldn’t normally do that and you likely have deeper underlying issues that weren’t previously symptomatic. 

Expecting a chronic and/or severe problem to be healed in one visit is unfortunately a totally unrealistic expectation.  If you aren’t a healthcare expert you aren’t expected to know this, but your healthcare expert should.

Any change you wish to make to your body – whether it be to get out of pain, strengthen a muscle, lose weight or something else altogether – requires time and repetition.  All healthcare providers should understand this to some degree and the good ones will teach it to their patients.

With all of this said, as per the informed consent discussion earlier, your chiropractor might give you best recommendations to follow a program of care that requires you to “keep coming back” regularly in the initial stages of healing.  They should also provide you with the option to do less, while including a clear explanation of what outcomes to expect if you do that. 

At Being Chiropractic Studio we accept each and every new patient with total focus and care.  We offer an incredibly detailed, thorough assessment and testing to fully understand the underlying cause of your problem.  We then provide an in-depth report of findings and make recommendations using the informed consent outline I wrote about at the beginning of this article.

Yes, we often make recommendations or provide programs of care that include multiple visits over a period of time.  We are guided by the best scientific research in doing this, as well as our own expertise and experience.  The final piece of the healthcare decision puzzle is the most import… you!  We provide you with all of the necessary information so that you can make an informed decision with clarity and certainty.

Whether you choose to follow our exact recommendations or to do something less or to go elsewhere for a second opinion, we will fully support your decision knowing we’ve done our best to help you along the way.

If you’ve got questions about this article or anything else here at Being, we’d love to speak to you!  Our contact details can be found at the footer of this page.

Dr Tim Leeming

Amanda in the new patient room at Being Chiropractic

May New Patient Offer – $99

OUR INTRO OFFER INCLUDES:

  • Discovery Consultation
  • Neurostructural Assessment
  • Functional X-rays (if clinically indicated)


and…

  • Report of Findings (follow-up visit to be scheduled after your initial consultation)
  • First adjustment included!

New Patient Initial Consultations are open to all ages. X-rays are available onsite and included in this offer if clinically indicated and recommended by your chiropractor.