Maintenance Care: A Necessity or a Myth?
You've put in all the hard work, completed a treatment plan, and achieved your goal of being pain-free and moving well - congratulations! Now you are finally ready to continue your life as before?
One of the hardest things in our lives is changing our habits. For better or worse, habits are simply the expression of the things that we do the most often. Formed by choice or necessity, those habits can have long-term negative effects on your body. You probably can see where I am going with this…because your body is finally doing so well, you decided to move on with your life, and you stopped all care. That's what should happen, right? Well, this model is great for creating repeating customers with injuries, but if you are serious about your long-term recovery and injury prevention as much as we are, then the answer is: not really.
So, once you've recovered from the pain and worked on healing, the chances are high that you may go back to doing the things that caused the problem in the first place. But that's not the end of the world because your chiropractor can 'course correct.' Meaning that the maintenance care you receive after completing your treatment plan will prevent or seriously prolong any further issues from occurring, and yes, the issue can reoccur because once there is a weakness in your body, it is much easier for your body to get re-injured. We can only rehabilitate your body, not replace it.
Maintaining your spinal health is just as important as maintaining your car, home, and relationships because anything valuable needs maintenance and wear and tear protection. Chiropractic maintenance care involves regular chiropractic treatment after completing a prescribed care plan, and it's a way to keep your spine in the correct alignment and ensure that you move properly. It also allows us to identify potential problems (all the stiffness and tightness) before they become more serious and chronic.
That's why it's crucial to stick to a maintenance plan once you've completed your treatment plan. As I often say, "take care of your body; it's the only place you have to live."
To help you understand the importance of chiropractic maintenance, let me share with you a recent study involving 60 patients with lower back pain. The study divided patients into three groups: one received fake adjustments, another received proper adjustments for six weeks but had no further care, and the final group received the same six weeks of care plus an adjustment every two weeks for the next nine months.(1)
The results proved what chiropractors have been saying for over a century. The group that received fake therapy had no significant change in their symptoms. The second group showed improvement during the six weeks of care, but reported an increase in symptoms over the next nine months without care. The final group showed the same improvement over the first six weeks, but also showed that the improvement lasted over the next nine months due to maintenance care.
I often use two analogies to explain the importance of chiropractic maintenance. The first is getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist every six months. Those who keep up with regular dental cleaning have fewer cavities than those who only see the dentist when they're in pain. The second is changing the oil in your car. Changing your oil regularly helps improve engine performance and prevents breakdowns. Chiropractic maintenance works in the same way.
So, if you've put in all the hard work, completed your treatment plan by, and achieved your goal of being pain-free and moving well, congratulations! But don't stop there. Your Balanced for Life chiro Castle Hill or chiro Windsor will help you maintain your spinal health, prevent any further issues from occurring, and ensure that you stay pain-free for the rest of your life.
(1) Senna MK, Machaly SA. Does maintained spinal manipulation therapy for chronic nonspecific low back pain result in better long-term outcome? Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2011 Aug 15;36(18):1427-37. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181f5dfe0. PMID: 21245790.