Large How Many Adjustments Do I Need?
Patients & Friends,
Chiropractic scientists continue to provide answers to one of the questions most commonly asked by new patients, “How many adjustments do I need to get well?” If you’re Texas A&M after playing MSU and Ole Miss, the answer is probably, “a lot.”
On the more serious side, research published in the June issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported that 400 patients with chronic low back pain had more pain-free and disability-free days if they had 12 chiropractic sessions as opposed to 0 or 6. In addition, patients receiving 6 or 18 sessions during the 6-week study period had more pain-free and disability-free days as well, but the effect was not statistically significant. The cost of treatment and lost productivity ranged from a low of $3,398 for patients receiving 12 sessions of chiropractic, to a high of $3,815 for patients on waiting list control, who received no chiropractic.
Prior research has shown that patients who get well faster have lower rates of neck and back disability, and according to recent research, are even less likely to have hospital and general practitioner visits even 20 years later. So getting more adjustments early during the course of care may be not only the most effective way to prevent pain and disability, at the end of the day it may actually save you money.
While some patients continue to use medications instead of chiropractic, the most recent randomized trials show that patients who are allowed to receive both medications and chiropractic have less back pain and disability, when compared with patients receiving only medications.
Robert A. Leach, DC, MS, FICC(h), CHES
Patients receiving 12 chiropractic sessions during a 6 week period had significantly more pain-free (22.9) and disability-free (19.8) days, when compared with other doses. Patients randomized to waiting list (0 manipulations) had no reduction in pain-free or disability-free days in the study by Vavrek, Sharma and Haas: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24928639
While unable to correlate their findings with pain, increasing the dose of chiropractic (more treatments during the study period) for 30 patients with neck pain increased flexibility at more levels of the neck, “providing evidence that neck manipulation has a mechanical effect at segmental levels”: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25035795
Patients experiencing neck or back pain are more likely to experience long-term increases in healthcare use even 20 years later according to recent research from Scandanavia: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25053468
New research underway hopes to determine whether chiropractic maintenance care is both effective and cost effective for prevention of LBP: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24690201
Research indicates patients have less back pain and disability when they have access to both medications and chiropractic, as compared with medications alone: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23060056