Why Do Chiropractors Try To Keep You Coming In?
Watch out! Chiropractors will try to keep you coming in forever! If you’re feeling better, shouldn’t you stop? Insurance doesn’t cover maintenance of wellness visits… so, is it really good for you to continue? Or are chiropractors just motivated by increasing the bottom line? (Just like those dentists and car mechanics--always recommending ongoing visits for cleanings and oil changes in the name of prevention.) But what does fixing your alignment have to do with prevention?
In a country with runaway health care costs, an aging population and worsening levels of health, you would be wise to investigate the prevention model emphasized by doctors of chiropractic. By moving away from our nation’s fixation with the treatment of symptoms and diseases, we stand a fighting chance to truly reform our costly system and bring greater health and comfort to our citizens! Again, what does fixing your alignment have to do with prevention?
Here’s the chiropractic life story (short and sweet): Chiropractic was founded in 1895 in Iowa following the first spinal adjustment (the common treatment utilized in chiropractic) and the return of patient Harvey Lilliard’s hearing. From that point, a system was created that followed a specific philosophy and understanding of biology:
- The body is a self-healing organism.
- Sickness occurs when there is interference to the body’s ability to heal itself.
- Healing and function of the body are directed by the nervous system.
- A common interference to healing is caused by damage in the nervous system created by a misalignment or fixation in the spine and/or pelvis. This is called in chiropractic a vertebral subluxation. By removing the vertebral subluxation with a gentle adjustment, proper nerve flow is restored and the body will again be able to heal and problem(s) will often resolve… naturally!
- Health is achieved when the body is optimally functional, not just pain-free.
- Living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining the integrity of the spine and nervous system and joints of the extremities is good prevention, and that helps people reach and remain at their full potential.
Studies have shown that regular chiropractic care can help you get the most out of life and avoid pain:
Positive Effects of Chiropractic on the Elderly
The RAND Corporation performed a comprehensive study on geriatric patients who were under chiropractic care compared to those who were not. They found that the individuals under continuing chiropractic care were:
- LESS likely to use a nursing home
- LESS likely to need hospitalization over the past 23 years
- MORE likely to report a better health status
- MORE likely to exercise vigorously
- MORE likely to be mobile in the community
From this study, it is clear that continuing chiropractic care is among the attributes of the group of patients experiencing substantially fewer costly healthcare interventions.1
Lower Health Care Costs for Elderly Chiropractic Patients
A larger study of elderly patients throughout the United States compared direct costs (hospital care, physicians' services, nursing home) between groups of patients who were under regular maintenance chiropractic care and those who were not. Annual expenditures were significantly greater for those who were NOT under chiropractic maintenance care2.
The annual cost of health care for those under continuing chiropractic care was $3,105 vs. $10,042 for those not under regular chiropractic care.
Benefits of On-Site Chiropractic Programs
Another study involving a working elderly population reviewed the impact of offering an on-site chiropractic program that targeted early detection, treatment, and prevention of musculoskeletal injuries two days per week. For the 21-month period after implementation of the chiropractic program, the total number of days of lost time, claim costs, and the number of surgeries decreased dramatically. The savings from just avoiding surgeries at the site reached $900,000 from the prevention program.3
Chiropractic Intervention for Athletes
The last study involves two EXTREMELY injury-prone, pad and helmet-free, guernsey-wearing elite Australian Rules football teams. Fifty-nine adults aged 18-27 from two Aussie teams were randomized into intervention and control groups. The control group was provided standard medical, paramedical and sports science management, including medication, surgery, physical therapy, massage, strength and conditioning, and rehabilitation. The intervention group included the same care provided in the control group, but added chiropractic management weekly for the first six weeks and then one chiropractic treatment every two weeks for a three-month period. The chiropractic intervention resulted in the lower incidence of injuries to the hamstrings, lower limb muscles, and knees. A lower incidence of overall back pain was also reported. Best of all, the players receiving regular chiropractic maintenance care had far shorter periods of missed play.4
How often should YOU see your chiropractor?
There are no set rules for how often a chiropractic patient should be seen. The average frequency people are seen for maintenance care is one time per month. This frequency fits easily into even the busiest of schedules. Some prefer more frequent care and some come monthly while adding extra visits when needed based on their activity and/or stress levels. Chiropractic maintenance care is not habit-forming and can be stopped at any time. But most people become “addicted” to how good they feel when receiving regular chiropractic adjustments.
The focus of Doctors of Chiropractic on the physical structure and alignment of your body provides benefits that can reach far into your future. Regular chiropractic maintenance check-ups, not only help you avoid the painful breakdowns of injury and disease, but can save you thousands of hard-earned dollars by helping you avoid doctor visits, hospitalizations and nursing homes (not to mention keeping you on the job--or field--with fewer missed days).
The secret is out! Next time you’re out for a teeth cleaning or routine oil change, be sure to swing by your chiropractor’s office for your monthly maintenance adjustment.
Coulter ID, Hurwitz EL, Aronow HU, Cassata DM, Beck JC. Chiropractic patients in a comprehensive home--based geriatric assessment, follow-up and health promotion program. Topics in Clincial Chiropractic 1996; 3(2): 46-55.
Rupert RL, Manello D, Sandefur R. Maintenance care: Health promotion services administered to U.S. chiropractic patients age 65 and older. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2000; 23(1): 10-19.
Cooper SR, Pfefer MT. Development of an on-site industrial chiropractic program. Proceedings of the 9th Biennial Congress of the World Federation of Chiropractic, Vilamoura, PORTUGAL, May 17-19, pp. 202-204.
Hoskins W, Pollard H. The effects of sports chiropractic on the prevention of athletic injuries in elite athletes: A randomized, controlled trial. Proceedings of the 9th Biennial Congress of the World Federation of Chiropractic, Vilamoura, PORTUGAL, May 17-19, pp. 163-164.