How Often Should You Get Chiropractic Treatment?
If you're new to chiropractic care, one common question is how often you should get adjusted or receive other chiropractic treatments. Recommended frequencies vary based on your health goals, specific conditions, chronicity, and treatment phase.
Generally, more frequent chiropractic visits lead to faster relief and recovery. But maintenance care is important too for retaining those gains long-term. Read on to learn how visit frequency is tailored to give you the best results.
Acute Injury or Flare-Up Phase
When you're in severe pain from a new injury, chiropractic treatments are more intensive to get the problem under control. Recommended frequency during acute phases:
- First 1-2 weeks - 2 to 3 times per week. Symptoms are severe, inflammation is high, and quicker resolution is needed.
- Weeks 3-4 - 1 to 2 times per week as condition stabilizes.
- Weeks 4-6 - 1 time per week as healing progresses.
Frequent visits are especially crucial within the first 1-2 weeks. Seeing a chiropractor quickly after onset can help prevent chronic issues.
Corrective or Rehabilitation Phase
Once the initial crisis subsides, care transitions to a corrective phase. The goals are restoring normal alignment, posture, mobility, and strength. At this stage:
- 1-2 visits per week helps retrain muscles and ligaments to hold adjustments.
- Exercises and stretches given by your chiropractor are performed daily at home.
- As you improve, visits are spaced farther apart.
- This phase may last 4 to 8 weeks for simple cases, or years for complex conditions.
Consistency is vital so your body can rebuild strength and maintain neural pathway improvements that prevent relapse.
Maintenance or Wellness Phase
Patients with chronic conditions like arthritis, migraine, or back pain often transition to maintenance care. Benefits include:
- Holding adjustments longer between visits.
- Decreasing flare-up frequency and severity.
- Optimizing overall health through nervous system homeostasis.
- For most, 1 to 2 visits per month provide excellent support without over-treatment.
- Some only require maintenance visits every 2 to 3 months.
- Visits can be increased as needed if symptoms worsen.
Think of maintenance care as taking your car in for regular oil changes to keep it running smoothly long-term.
Lifestyle, Age, and Condition Severity Considerations
Factors like your daily habits, age, and health status also affect chiropractic frequency:
- If you have a physically demanding job, 2x per week may help prevent repetitive strain.
- Older patients may need more frequent maintenance to counteract degenerative changes.
- Severe disc degeneration may need 2-3x monthly to control symptoms.
- Migraine sufferers often require 1-2x per month to reduce headaches.
- Athletes benefit from pre/post game adjustments to optimize performance.
Your chiropractor will tailor your plan based on your unique needs and sensitivities.
Children Benefit from Regular Preventive Chiropractic
For kids, chiropractors recommend:
- Newborns get checked after birth to establish proper spine and nervous system function.
- Infants through age 5 should see a chiropractor every 2-3 months for wellness checkups to support development.
- School-aged children benefit from monthly preventive visits, especially if very active. Sports adjustments can boost performance.
- Adolescents are prone to posture issues that regular chiropractic can help correct.
More frequent visits are added as needed for illness, injury, or emerging spinal problems like scoliosis. Childhood chiropractic care establishes healthy lifelong nervous system function.
Pregnancy Chiropractic Care Supports Mom and Baby
Pregnant women commonly follow this schedule:
- 1st trimester - Initial evaluation then monthly wellness visits
- 2nd trimester - 1x every 2-3 weeks
- 3rd trimester - 1-2x weekly
- Increased pelvis adjustments relieve low back/sciatic pain while optimizing baby positioning.
- Weekly visits after 36 weeks prepare the pelvis and spine for delivery.
- Postpartum care supports recovery and breastfeeding.
Frequent chiropractic alignments keep pregnant and postpartum women as comfortable as possible.
Seeking Targeted Relief from Chronic Disorders
For patients suffering from specific health conditions, more intense chiropractic regimens are often prescribed. These include:
- Migraine - Cervicogenic (neck-related) migraines may require 2-3x weekly visits to reduce headache frequency, severity, and related nausea.
- Sciatica - Intense flares causing leg pain may warrant 3x weekly visits for several weeks to reduce nerve impingement.
- Fibromyalgia - Several visits per week combined with massage therapy deliver better pain relief than medication alone.
- Auto injuries - Whiplash and joint injuries benefit from 2-3x weekly chiropractic in the initial weeks after an accident.
Your chiropractor will determine the visit schedule most likely to give you relief.
Ask Your Chiropractor for Recommendations on Frequency
As you can see, optimal chiropractic treatment frequency varies based on your health status, condition, age, lifestyle, and phase of care. During your first visit evaluation, share details about your activities, health goals, and medical history.
Based on a complete assessment, your chiropractor will suggest a customized treatment plan including recommended visit intervals. Ask questions if the schedule seems too often or not frequent enough. Consistency is key, especially during the acute and corrective phases.
With the right chiropractic visit frequency for your needs, you'll experience treatment results faster and more effectively. Your chiropractor may adjust the interval between visits over time to best support your ongoing health. Be sure to communicate how your symptoms are responding so your frequency can be modified as needed.
Investing in regular chiropractic care now leads to fewer costly flare-ups and less pain later. Dr. Leach has over 25 years experience developing effective chiropractic treatment plans tailored to each patient's unique needs.
Schedule your appointment at Greenwood Village Chiropractor today to find out the ideal chiropractic frequency for you. Consistent gentle adjustments and other therapies will help you achieve natural, lasting relief from neck and back pain, headaches, and other common issues.
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