“I’m not sure if I want to see a chiropractor – I’ve heard once you go, they tell you you have to keep going. Is that true?”
This isn’t the first time I have heard these concerns, oftentimes they come directly from my patients on their first visit.
So here is my truth. I want you to come and see me because you want to be here. Because you value your health and you have some degree of optimism that I can provide guidance in assisting you with your goals. In the report of findings I explain to patients that one of three things tends to happen while you are under care:
1) You don’t respond to treatment – this is rare, but it does happen. We need a few treatments to have enough data to draw conclusions about how things are progressing but if there is no change, I don’t try to convince you to keep coming. I will refer you to someone who may be better able to assist.
2) You improve – this is the majority of cases I have seen in practice. Sometimes it takes one treatment, sometimes it takes many. We check in at the start of each visit and I ask you how things are feeling. We do objective tests so we can track your progress along the way. The path is not a linear trajectory and that is ok as long as it is trending toward recovery.
3) You recover. I am as excited as you are when this happens because I have observed the incredible work you have invested in this journey.
While there are some risks, it is very rare that receiving treatment will make things worse for you. My patients choose to return because treatment feels good and it suits their lifestyle of prioritizing their health. Maintenance care is a perfect way to touch base every once in a while to receive some feel good care, review exercises, and create space to dialogue questions that have come up along the way.
So while I do have patients that keep coming to see me even when they no longer have pain, this is not driven by the idea that if they stop coming, they will deteriorate. There is so much more to the therapeutic relationship than treating pain.