Visiting a chiropractor is a great way to address certain kinds of pain or injuries and add another level to your overall healthcare routine. But how often should you make an appointment? Here's what you need to know.
Chiropractor FAQ: Types of Pain
There's no hard and fast rule for how often to visit a chiropractor. That's because chiropractors treat all kinds of conditions, which means everyone's ideal treatment schedule is a little different.
However, most of those conditions can be grouped into two basic types of pain, which helps determine how often you may need to visit your chiropractor:
Acute pain is short-term, usually lasting no more than six months. It's often caused by injury, illness, or even surgery, which means it generally goes away when the underlying issue is resolved. Acute pain tends to be sharp and sudden.
Chronic pain, on the other hand, is long-term. It can be caused by some of the same things as acute pain, but instead of going away after roughly six months, chronic pain continues to linger. Sometimes, there isn't even an obvious cause--which can be frustrating for patients.
Chronic pain differs from person to person. It can be nearly constant or may come and go as you perform various activities. Although there may be no "cure" for chronic pain, a chiropractor can help make you more comfortable through adjustments, guidance, and health recommendations.
Identifying your pain type
How do you know if you have acute or chronic pain? The best thing to do is talk to your doctor and chiropractor. Pain is a signal from your body, which means you need to find out what it's trying to tell you--and healthcare experts can help you do just that. Once you know what kind of pain you're facing, you can work with your chiropractor to create a treatment plan and schedule that fits your needs.
Other Factors to Consider When Planning Chiropractor Visits
Although pain plays a significant role in determining how often you should visit a chiropractor, there are other things to consider. Here are just a few things to think about:
Health is incredibly important, but your chiropractor understands that there are plenty of other things demanding your time. You should always find a way to work around personal schedules--including your job, picking up kids from school, visiting with friends, and more--so visiting your chiropractor is convenient. This helps ensure that you can consistently make it to appointments, which can help you see better results in the long run.
You probably don't live right next door to your chiropractor. Depending on the distance you have to drive, your chiropractor may recommend spacing out your appointments to maximize your comfort. After all, depending on your pain type and underlying condition, spending hours in the car may be more harmful than helpful--and if that's the case, your chiropractor might provide tips, exercises, or other recommendations you can do at home between visits.
Everyone's body is different. That means what works for a friend might not work for you and vice versa. As such, you should be prepared to plan appointments around what your body needs. Don't worry--your chiropractor will help you find the ideal time between visits depending on your pain type, overall health, physical responses to treatment, and more.
Chiropractic care can be a big part of your healing process or overall healthcare routine, but it's only one piece of a much larger puzzle. To support the work you're doing with your chiropractor, it's important to make plans in conjunction with other health goals. For example, it's smart to make sure your chiropractor, general practitioner, and any specialists can share records and communicate regarding your health. This helps you create a plan that treats your whole body and helps you get even more out of your chiropractor visits.
When to See Your Chiropractor
It's clear that there are a lot of things to consider when planning your chiropractic appointments. So how do you know what to plan for?
The simple truth is that you'll need to have a conversation with your chiropractor to answer this question. Here are a few examples:
Some people make frequent visits at first, but only need to make occasional appointments once their condition has been addressed.
Others only visit while they're healing from an injury or surgery.
People with chronic pain tend to visit regularly.
At the end of the day, health is highly personal--so don't stress out trying to fit into a default routine. Instead, let your body and your needs help determine your appointment schedule (with a little help from your chiropractor, of course).
In conclusion, there's no "right" or "wrong" time for chiropractic care. Although your pain type, underlying condition, personal schedule, overall health, and other variables can impact the frequency of your appointments, you can always count on your chiropractor to help find what works for you.
Do you need help from a chiropractor? Contact us today to start creating a personalized schedule.