What to do when Your Pain is Gone

If you’ve been under chiropractic care and have resolved your pain issues, should you continue to receive care? Is there any benefit to ongoing treatment?

Active vs. Maintenance

The term “active” care is treating an “active” complaint. Treating low back pain while it improves is “active” care. If you keep coming back once the back pain is gone, that is considered “maintenance” care.  This maintenance care is for “maintaining” your current status of little to no pain, rather than working on an “active” painful issue.

Once a patient achieves the goals they laid out on the first visit (i.e. pain level of 1/10, sit for one hour without low back pain, etc.), we leave it up to the patient if they want to continue with chiropractic maintenance care. These visits can be considered “tune-ups” for the body. About 60% of our patients decide to get these “tune-ups.” The other 40% come back only when their pain returns. But, should 100% of people get monthly tune-ups? Or is it a waste of time and money? Let’s look at some recent research.

The Research

In a 2018 study, 328 patients with low back pain were treated with chiropractic care. The average pain level was ~5.2/10, and after 6 visits the pain levels dropped to an average of ~2/10. At this point, the patients were split into two groups. The first group of patients received “maintenance” care over the next 52 weeks at regular intervals. The second group of patients were dismissed from care and were told to return when their symptoms returned (treat-as-needed group). At the end of the year, they looked at two things:

1.         Which group had more days with bothersome low back pain?

2.         Which group had more office visits?

The results? The group that underwent maintenance care had approximately 13 fewer days of bothersome low back pain in the year!

Last Words

Is chiropractic maintenance care worth it? That’s up to you. An almost 2-week difference in days with bothersome pain between the two groups is a big change though. 

If you’ve been under chiropractic care and have resolved your pain issues, should you continue to receive care? Is there any benefit to ongoing treatment?

Active vs. Maintenance

The term “active” care is treating an “active” complaint. Treating low back pain while it improves is “active” care. If you keep coming back once the back pain is gone, that is considered “maintenance” care.  This maintenance care is for “maintaining” your current status of little to no pain, rather than working on an “active” painful issue.

Once a patient achieves the goals they laid out on the first visit (i.e. pain level of 1/10, sit for one hour without low back pain, etc.), we leave it up to the patient if they want to continue with chiropractic maintenance care. These visits can be considered “tune-ups” for the body. About 60% of our patients decide to get these “tune-ups.” The other 40% come back only when their pain returns. But, should 100% of people get monthly tune-ups? Or is it a waste of time and money? Let’s look at some recent research.

The Research

In a 2018 study, 328 patients with low back pain were treated with chiropractic care. The average pain level was ~5.2/10, and after 6 visits the pain levels dropped to an average of ~2/10. At this point, the patients were split into two groups. The first group of patients received “maintenance” care over the next 52 weeks at regular intervals. The second group of patients were dismissed from care and were told to return when their symptoms returned (treat-as-needed group). At the end of the year, they looked at two things:

1.         Which group had more days with bothersome low back pain?

2.         Which group had more office visits?

The results? The group that underwent maintenance care had approximately 13 fewer days of bothersome low back pain in the year!

Last Words

Is chiropractic maintenance care worth it? That’s up to you. An almost 2-week difference in days with bothersome pain between the two groups is a big change though. 

Get in touch

EDGE MAGAZINE
P.O. Box 620
Elkhorn, NE 68022
Sales 402.587.2259

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