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How Often Is Chiropractic Needed for Low Back Pain?

Acute low back pain usually requires six to twelve sessions spread out over two to four weeks. In these early treatments, the "passive" (non-exercise) strategies of manual therapy for pain relief and function enhancement are emphasized. As soon as possible, more "active" (exercise) measures can be implemented to improve function and eventually return a patient to his or her normal life.

What if the pain in my neck or back persists?

Acute symptoms usually disappear within the first four weeks of treatment. However, the discomfort may become chronic, which means that it will last longer than 12 weeks.

When a patient's recovery process comes to a halt, this is referred to as MTB (met therapeutic benefit). A chiropractor would want to see if discontinuing chiropractic care has any long-term consequences, worsens pain, and/or impairs function and activity performance. In this case, a management strategy may be necessary.

If a patient's mild to severe chronic pain worsens, 1 to 6 additional visits per episode, with 2 to 3 weekly treatments lasting 2 to 4 weeks, may be required. In rare cases, patients may require ongoing care ranging from 1 to 4 visits per month.

Re-evaluation of chiropractic care is essential.

Chiropractic treatments will not be continued if they are not benefiting the patient. As a result, a chiropractor re-evaluates the patient every 2 to 4 weeks to assess if the chiropractic treatments are still effective.

Some of the requirements for continuing treatment for persistent low back pain are listed below:

  • The patient is continuing to respond well to treatment.

  • The patient has developed MTB, which will deteriorate if not addressed.

  • There is evidence that self-care alone will not be enough to keep MTB at bay.

Treatment for Chronic Low Back Pain:

Living with chronic low back pain is difficult, but chiropractors want patients to understand that self-therapy is an important part of pain management. Rehabilitation and range-of-motion exercises are examples of this. Acupuncturists, on the other hand, may advocate for more multimodal treatments such as acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, lifestyle and psychosocial counseling, and a variety of other alternatives. Treatments and outcomes may differ from one person to the next, which is why it's critical to maintain an open line of communication with your chiropractor.


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