How Often Do I Need Chiropractic Adjustments?

January 15, 2020 | By TIM SHANNAHAN- Chiropractor, San Diego, CA

Did you know that 80% of adults report experience with back pain?

Back pain is a leading cause of job-related disability. It can also lead to neck pain, shoulder pain, and even migraines.

What’s more, your back and spine are central to your body’s nervous system. Pain in your back has the ability to throw your whole body out of whack.

But the truth is, you don’t have to live with back pain.

This is why chiropractic adjustments are so important to your overall health. But how often do you need these treatments?

Let’s take a closer look.

What are Chiropractic Adjustments?

A chiropractic adjustment is a procedure where a chiropractor applies controlled pressure to a spinal joint. The purpose of the adjustment is to improve your spine’s movement. This can help improve your range of motion and reduce pressure, which can relieve pain.

Why Do People Get Adjustments?

People often seek chiropractic adjustments for pain relief, either for back pain, neck pain, or migraines. Adjustments help your body get back in alignment, which can help alleviate this pain.

Sometimes, people seek adjustments in relation to chronic pain. This pain can by a variety of long-term activities like athletics, heavy lifting, or even bad posture. In other cases, the pain will be precipitated by an acute event like a car accident.

How Does the Adjustment Help?

Whether your pain is chronic or caused by an acute event, it is often related to something in your spine being out of alignment. This poor alignment can cause pressure on nerves and muscles in your neck, shoulders, and back. An adjustment can help bring your spine back into alignment, providing relief from symptoms.

How Often Should I Get Adjusted?

As with many treatments in the medical field, the answer to “How often should I get a chiropractic adjustment?” is: “It depends.” No one’s back is exactly like anyone else’s back. For that reason, no one’s adjustment schedule will be exactly like anyone else’s adjustment schedule.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that will impact how often you will need adjustment.

Chronic vs. Acute

First, you will want to consider whether you are visiting the chiropractor for chronic pain or pain caused by an acute event. Acute events include things like car accidents, slips and falls, and other similar injuries.

If the pain is the result of activities that have taken place for a long time, it might take a long time to resolve. By contrast, pain caused by acute events can often be treated more quickly.

Unfortunately, in some cases, an acute event can lead to long-term pain. It depends on how severely your spine was impacted by the injury.

For chronic pain, a patient may need to get adjustments less frequently for a longer period of time. For instance, receiving adjustments once a month for a year or longer might help someone deal with chronic pain.

For acute pain, you might need more frequent adjustments for less time. Some patients will need as many as two to three adjustments in one week, but may feel relief after the end of two months or so.

Severity of Pain

Another factor that impacts how often you will need to seek an adjustment is the severity of your pain.

Sometimes, a patient will come in for moderate pain that causes discomfort throughout their day. A patient with this kind of pain might feel relief for as long as a month after receiving an adjustment.

If, however, the pain is more severe, more frequent adjustments might be necessary to relieve pain. This is especially true if it is the type of pain that interferes with your ability to engage in daily activities.

Your Goals

Ultimately, when determining how often you will need spinal adjustments, the biggest factor to consider what your goals are from the treatment.

Are you coming in to address specific symptoms that have surfaced recently? If that is the case, you will probably need to experiment to see how much time you need between appointments to address the symptoms.

For instance, you might find that you feel relief immediately after an adjustment, but that the symptoms come back a week later.

But perhaps you are seeking chiropractic adjustment to deal with pain or stiffness caused by posture or a sedentary lifestyle. In this case, you might need to receive several adjustments the first two weeks to get your body back in alignment. After the initial adjustments, you may not need to receive them as frequently for maintenance.

Your Schedule

Of course, another factor that will impact how often you get an adjustment is your schedule. Not everyone’s lifestyle allows for making an appointment to get a chiropractic adjustment. And that is okay!

Do not let the fact that you can’t get adjustments as frequently as you want them stop you from going. If you should ideally be getting adjustments once a week, once every other week will still help you to feel better and healthier.

Take Care of Your Spinal Health

Getting regular chiropractic adjustments is a good way to maintain your overall health. Determining how often you will need an adjustment will depend on the cause of your pain and the severity of your discomfort.

Ready to get your first adjustment scheduled? Learn more about our providers here, and contact us to get started with your chiropractic treatment schedule.