Is There Any Benefit to Chiropractic Preventative or Maintenance Care?
Chiropractors have answered this question “YES” for decades. Patients who have regular adjustments have less illness, less medical intervention, take less drugs, have less hospital stays and remain ambulatory much longer in life than those people who don’t have chiropractic care.
Now a scientific study1 verifies this. If you hung around our reception room for a day and asked people why they have seen the doctor regularly for so many years they would each have their own story. “I came in for my asthma”, “I started chiropractic care for relief from splitting headaches”, “My digestion was horrible until I started chiropractic care”, “I was unable to get pregnant until after I saw the chiropractor.” Everyone has their own story. This study involves lower back pain. They started with 30 patients with chronic low back pain. They split the patients into 2 groups. Both groups had exactly one month of intensive chiropractic care. The first group received NO OTHER TREATMENT for 9 months. The second group received maintenance chiropractic adjustments for 9 months. The results showed that both groups had a significant reduction in both pain and disability levels after the first month of chiropractic care. After 9 months with no chiropractic care, the first group returned to their pretreatment pain and disability levels. The group that followed-up with 9 months of maintenance care not only maintained their original improvements but they also showed gradual continued improvement.
What Really Is The Proper Use of Chiropractic?
All too often patients will have significant improvements in their health under chiropractic care, only to discontinue their care when they begin to feel better. That’s not how chiropractic is intended to be utilized. Chiropractic, when used regularly, can result in gradual improvements in a person’s life throughout their lifetime. When patients use chiropractic for symptom relief only, they often feel better for a little while but eventually the symptoms return because there has not been enough time for their body to completely heal and repair. Using chiropractic care for symptom relief is like using a fork to eat soup… you can still get a taste, but it’s difficult to get any lasting flavor. The real problem is that by treating only the symptoms of any condition the underlying cause is ignored and the condition will deteriorate.
Imagine going to the dentist with a cavity and the dentist just injects the area with Novocain but leaves your cavity alone. You feel great… but you know that the cavity will keep decaying and get worse. It doesn’t make sense and yet that’s how we often treat our own bodies.
1. Descarreax, M., et al., Efficacy of Preventive Spinal Manipulation for Chronic Low-Back Pain and Related Disabilities, JMPT October 2004, 509-514.