Why Chiropractors Keep You Coming Back Again and Again
Ever wonder why chiropractors keep you coming back again and again? It seems this has been a common question in my office lately. While everyone knows there is no magic off button for pain relief, everyone wishes that there was one. Most people “just got this neck pain” or “back just started hurting yesterday” . While this may be true, most people have simply not been aware of how stiff and immobile they have gotten over the years. While the pain wasn’t present, the stiffness and lack of flexibility was starting to creep in. You may have thought, “I really should stretch more” or “maybe someday I will get back in shape or take up yoga”. It may have occurred to you that countless hours on a laptop, ipad or behind the wheel of a car weren’t the best thing but a necessary evil. While you might not have felt pain, slowly your spine lost its ability to move correctly and your muscles shortened and lost their flexibility. It may have happened so slowly you didn’t even notice or maybe you did notice and chose to ignore it instead. Over time when your body develops muscle imbalances and the mobility of your spine changes. What most don’t realize is that the shape of the spine actually starts to change and small problems with your posture become more set in and difficult to change without help. Sooner or later, you end up with pain and need to see a chiropractor.
Chiropractic takes time to work. Lots of it. Short term pain relief of an hour or two or even a couple days comes quickly. Changing your posture, changing your spines ability to move, changing your muscle health and structure take time. Months in fact. All muscles have memory and your body wants to go back to its old patterns instead of creating new healthy ones. That is why adjustments need to be repeated again and again. Your body is learning new patterns of mobility and until the new ones can take over for the old ones, the changes from adjustments will be short-lived.
What can you do to help yourself? Keep your appointments. If we can’t touch you, we can’t affect any change. Unfortunately we can’t give you an adjustment in a pill form for you to take home. I need to see you in my office to change anything. Your adjustment schedule, while inconvenient at times, is really important to keep. If you miss one out of three appointments each week, you are only getting 65% of the treatment I recommend. If it doesn’t work–that’s the number one reason.
Secondly-Be active. Your body wasn’t made to sit all day. Too many people spend most of their day at work sitting. What do they do when they get home? Sit more. Get out and move. Families lives are focused around kids sports and activities. If sports are so important for them, why aren’t they for you as an adult? Everyone needs to have some sort of exercise they do on a regular basis to stay healthy.
Third–Stretch. If I haven’t given you stretches in my office, ask me for a couple. Or better yet, check out previous blog posts for all sorts of stretching tips and pictures. Or, best yet, take up yoga. How can you go wrong with a full hour of stretching? I recommend hot yoga or ashtanga yoga or gentle yoga versus a vinyasa/power yoga. It will be gentler on your body and more geared toward stretching and lengthening your muscles, not building your athleticism.
If you have been doing all these things and not getting the results you want, talk to your doctor. We may be missing something or there may be a simple addition to your treatment plan or slightly different adjustment technique that will give you better results.