A blog from Schubbe Resch Chiropractic and Physical Therapy.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Preventative Chiropractic Maintenance Care

Here is a question I get weekly, if not daily in my practice… Trust me, being in practice for 26 years, I have had many great questions.

Here is the question…

“Hey Doc, why does this back pain keep coming back?” 

My typical response is: well, there are lifestyle activities that may contribute or help prevent relapses:

1.      Posture
2.      Body Mechanics
3.      Regular Exercise
4.      Nutrition and Hydration
5.      Sleep

I then remind my patients, that those lifestyle decisions are “FREE”. 

Many patients do all of those lifestyle activities very well, some not so much.  Regardless, relapses tend to continue. 

So, let’s talk about the next step - Preventative Chiropractic Maintenance Care
Chiropractic maintenance care is treatment received in order to prevent future pain or health problems, prevent a relapse, and to improve quality of life.  Maintenance care is elective, so that means that the choice is yours!! 

When it comes to receiving chiropractic care, patients can be divided into three groups. 

1.      The first group of patient’s recognizes the benefit of preventative care early on and elects to receive maintenance care after they are helped through their first episode of pain.  These patients take a proactive stance on their health.

2.      The next group of patients may decide that after experiencing three or four flare-ups of pain that they would rather not let their condition to get to that point again! They realize that they do not experience as much pain (or as many health problems) when they receive chiropractic care every 4-6 weeks (for example); regardless if they are experiencing pain at that point or not.

3.      The third group of patients never elects to receive maintenance care and typically stops care once they are feeling better.  They usually reserve going to the chiropractor only when they are in severe pain or when they are experiencing a crisis.  These patients take a reactive stance on health care.  While there is nothing wrong with this approach, it does limit the number of benefits that chiropractic care can provide.  They use chiropractic for pain relief only.  

With all this being said, it is still the patient's decision to receive maintenance care.  We cannot, nor do we desire to force anyone into receiving treatment that they do not want.  We let our patients benefit from chiropractic as long as they want.  However, our job is to educate patients on all treatment options so that they can make an informed decision about their health care.

Research shows that regular chiropractic treatment can prevent degenerative changes ("arthritis") from developing.  There are many other benefits that patients report (anecdotal evidence) from receiving chiropractic care on an occasional basis, even if they are experiencing little to no pain. They are as follows:

1.      Better sleep quality - many patients sleep longer and more soundly after an adjustment.

2.      Fewer muscle spasms and numbness - normal moving spinal joints improves muscle and nerve function.

3.      Better athletic performance- symmetrical joint movement ensures that muscles do not have to strain in order to move a joint.  Many elite athletes promoted regular chiropractic care during the peak of their career: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana to name just a few.

4.      Fewer headaches- many report less frequent headaches and migraines and if experienced, they are usually less severe.

5.      Less need for medication- Many chiropractic patients report using less medication after starting care. (Especially pain medication!)

6.      Fewer medical doctor & hospital visits- many of our maintenance patients consider us as the primary resource to manage many common musculoskeletal ailments.  Our Schubbe Resch chiropractors treat all the joints and muscles in the body. If more care is needed, a referral can be made when necessary. 

7.      Easier to Breathe- patients often report that after an adjustment they can take a deep breath again.  Mobilizing the mid back and ribs allows for as much as a 30% increase in lung capacity. Asthmatic patients often find that they have fewer attacks and use less medication when under chiropractic care.

8.      Better circulation- Older patients or sedentary patients report feeling like they have better circulation after receiving treatment

9.      Fewer Surgeries- I wish I could document how many patients have dodged a lower back or neck surgery as a result of regular chiropractic care.  Having said that, how many surgeries have occurred due to a decision not to have regular chiropractic care.  It’s like taking vitamins; we will never know what regular positive lifestyle decisions prevent…

     Fewer Health Care Costs- Let’s face it, medical care is expensive.  Being unhealthy is expensive.  Patients are facing higher insurance costs than ever.  High deductibles and co-pays are now the norm.  Relatively speaking, ethical quality chiropractic care is very affordable.  Maintaining your health and preventing future health conditions will save you money and improve the quality of your life.

As you can see, there are many benefits of receiving chiropractic care on a maintenance schedule.  However, the decision to receive preventative maintenance is always up to the patient.  Whatever you decide, we'll respect that decision.
Insurance companies may or may not cover chiropractic maintenance care.  It depends on your insurance plan and your diagnosis.  In the event your insurance does not cover maintenance, both Schubbe Resch offices have “Day of Service Payment Plans” to help make the care affordable.

Please consider Preventative Chiropractic Maintenance Care