Many millions of people all over the world see there Chiropractor for maintenance or preventive care, where they receive an adjustment or correction every 2, 4, 6, 8 weeks. The length of time is dependent upon the chronicity of their problem and lifestyle. As a Chiropractor we recommend maintenance care because we know it keeps the spine aligned and functioning at its best and as a result patients tend to feel happier, healthier and experience less pain and discomfort.
Unfortunately this area of maintenance care isn’t supported by a wealth of scientific evidence, its grounding is in our experiences as Chiropractors and what we see day-to-day in our clinics. But the Spine Journal in February will be releasing an article which looked at the role of maintenance care in patients who suffered from chronic lower back pain.
This study split 60 patients who had been suffering lower back pain for more than 6 months into 3 groups, one group received 12 sham spinal adjustments over 1 month, the second received 12 spinal adjustments over 1 and no follow up treatment for 9 months and the final group received 12 treatments over 1 month and maintenance adjustments every 2 weeks for 9 months. The results showed those in the second and third groups had significantly reduced pain and disability after 1 month over the first group. But only the third group showed future improvements in pain and disability over the following 9 months, with the second group returning to pretreatment pain and disability levels after the 9 months.
This study is the first stepping stone in supporting what we have long known, that maintenance Chiropractic care is beneficial in reducing patients pain and disability, keeping them happy and healthier. Hopefully be the impetus for future research into maintenance care.