Maintenance is Key to Healthy Living
There are two key benefits for wellness or maintenance chiropractic care: maintaining function and preventing injury.
During the relief and corrective phases of care, our chiropractor worked to return your vertebrae to their proper position, relieve symptoms, and restore normal motion and function.
After the initial phase of care is complete, every day activities, structural issues (e.g. scoliosis, loss of neck curve, etc.), and pre-existing damage (e.g. scar tissue), may cause the motion that was restored to be lost over time. This is why ongoing adjustments or maintenance care may be recommended. These adjustments help you to maintain the motion and function you’ve regained.
Research supports the value of maintenance care. A study published in Spine in January 2011 concluded that spinal adjustments are effective for the treatment of chronic, non-specific low back pain. Further, in order to obtain long-term benefits, the study supports maintenance therapy after the initial intensive therapy.
Proper spinal movement can help to prevent future injuries.
During the course of day-to-day wear and tear, the joints of your vertebrae can easily become tightened again and form adhesions. These minor subluxations may not cause pain and can go unnoticed. It’s sort of like a cavity – the problem is often there long before we can feel it.
Minor subluxations are problematic for a couple of reasons. First, when you lose normal movement within the spine, degeneration can begin in as little as one week. So, damage can be occurring without you even realizing it. Second, the longer these minor subluxations go untreated, the more likely you are to have a relapse or incur a more serious injury.
Ongoing adjustments can also prevent further wearing of the discs. That’s important because once your discs are gone, they are gone forever. Maintenance care also helps to keep the cartilage that covers your joints from wearing off, which can lead to arthritis. Finally, patients who receive ongoing care recover much faster when new injuries arise.Research also supports the preventative aspect on ongoing chiropractic care.
A study in April 2011, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
, followed 894 injured workers for one year after their initial injury. The study found that workers with the highest percentage of re-injury were those undergoing physical therapy, followed by those managing their injury medically and those undergoing no treatment at all. The workers with the lowest re-injuries were those who had received chiropractic maintenance care.
An Ounce of Prevention...
There may also be a financial benefit to maintaining a healthy spine. Just like getting an oil change is easier and less expensive than replacing the engine in your car, wellness chiropractic visits usually only take a few minutes of your time, have benefits that build upon each other, and are less expensive than dealing with a major injury.
So, once again, your grandma was right. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.