We live in a society increasingly demanding of all things ‘instant’. Instant information, instant entertainment, instant food, instant gratification, and instant symptom relief.
Not surprisingly, many new patients enter our office with their deeply-ingrained “Fast-Acting Relief in just one dose” mentality with them. The natural expectation of many is to feel better as soon as possible with as little an investment of time and money as possible- “One or two visits maybe?” asks the new patient hopefully..
Understandably, the question “How long will it take?” is top of mind with clients, and the answer to this question depends on several factors:
(As referenced from the material of Bill Esteb and Patient Media)
1. Your Lifestyle and Discipline
Are you still participating in the habits that created the problem in the first place? Still stressing out over things out of your control? Exercising too little? Injuring yourself on a daily basis at work? Sitting at the couch or computer for hours with poor posture? Still eating poorly?
Secondarily, are you ‘coachable’ and able to follow recommendations to the best of your ability?
Remember- YOU are the doctor because YOUR body does the healing. Your chiropractor is there not to heal, but to help facilitate the healing process!
2. Your current level of spinal health and injury
If after looking at your spinal video and x-rays we find that your spine has accumulated a great deal of damage, it is likely that you will need relatively more care and that it will take you longer to respond to care. On the other hand, the less pre-existing damage you have, the greater the chance of you responding positively to care faster.
3. Your Goal
Chiropractic care means different things to different people. If your goal is simply to feel better in as little time as possible that’s OK and may be achievable in the short-term (I typically recommend of 6-12 visits over 5 weeks to achieve this). However, stopping care the instant you feel better likely means that spinal ligaments and tissues surrounding the spine have not been allowed time to properly heal, meaning the weak/injured areas of the spine may still be unstable. This may set you up for a relapse of symptoms in the future.
Our clinic recognizes the importance of spinal care for a lifetime. This means that we will recommend some amount of periodic spinal checkups on an ongoing basis as an important part of your health maintenance. We will also respect your choice to choose otherwise as well.
4. Your Age
As a person ages their ability to heal can decrease- especially if many aspects of their health are neglected. Kids and younger adults typically see faster results.
5. Your Attitude
Pain and suffering can mask a person’s true personality when a patient begins care. It is important to remember that the mind and body are connected and that negative thoughts can manifest themselves physically as symptoms. On the other hand, those that take a positive outlook on their care typically get better results. A positive attitude will also mean you are more likely to make lifestyle changes to get the most out of your care too!
One of the founding principles of chiropractic and its philosophy of health is principle #33- The Principle of Time which states:
“There is no process that does not require time.”
So it is with health and healing. Remember, health and healing is not, and never has been ‘instant’. As with any other investment, your investment into your health determines what you get out of it.