Many people now have insurance coverage that includes conservative care benefits for their ailments. This has opened up a window of opportunity for many to explore avenues of health that they may not have even heard of before. While there are some newer methods of treatment two staple conservative care options that have been around the longest are chiropractic and physical therapy. At Performance Spine and Sports Medicine not only are these two avenues of care offered, but they operate in tandem and do so at exceptionally high rates of success. However, this success is not haphazard. The collaborative effort between our medical doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors is elaborately made with the ultimate goal of providing the correct and most efficient care for each individual patient that comes through our doors. The recommended treatment plans given are crafted for each individual based on a set standard that is proven and rooted in consistency and maximum efficacy for results and following said treatment recommendation is key to seeing those results. There are times, however, when some patients feel that breaking up their treatment recommendation, in terms of frequency, will fare them better because of the perception that it is better for them if their care lasts a longer overall period of time. Clinically this is untrue and here’s why.
Three times per week is a pretty common standard set in the conservative world, this number is not arbitrary. Care recommendation is based on achieving the best clinical outcome possible for the individual. Plainly stated, we want to put together a plan that is going to get you to your goal, being pain free, as quickly, safely, and efficiently possible. Liken this to working out. When you start a workout plan/regimen you typically have a goal in mind; even if it is as general as “wanting to get into better shape overall” and not as specific and particular as “train for a 5k” or “lose 25 pounds.” If you are following your training regimen but only going to the gym once a week you likely feel good afterward each time you go, but once a week isn’t doing very much to help you reach your goal as efficiently as possible. You’re sacrificing the efficacy of your program for little to no therapeutic/physical benefit.
When you’re a patient at PSSM, clinical necessity spearheads the recommendation we’ve given you. So, when we tell you that three times per week is what we are recommending it is because that is what is necessary to see results in the short time frame we are trying to get you better in. Remember, that number is not arbitrary. Conservative care is a cumulative process; meaning the results and effects of the care add up over a defined period of time. We want to protect you from wasting a lot of energy swimming upstream by only getting a third of the care you need each week; therefore significantly slowing your overall progress and many times staving it off altogether. You simply won’t get the results you’re looking for that way.
Time is a factor here as well. Most problems that patients come in for, that aren’t a result of a directly traumatic injury, have actually been developing over a longer period of time than they realize. This can range from months to even years. When you’re undergoing physical therapy and chiropractic care we are trying to reverse that problem in a matter of weeks. This adds another layer of difficulty to the mix when a patient purposely cuts their visits down by more than half. A lot of times it will take longer to get better; much longer, but most of the time you will just plateau faster and stay there longer; meaning you’ll improve to a certain point and then your progress will slow to a halt, remain there, you’ll get stuck and in many cases get worse again. The other reason this is true is the activities of daily living factor. Depending on what you do for work and/or hobbies these activities will begin to counteract the care you’re supposed to be getting 3x a week but are only allowing yourself to receive 1x per week. If you are working out once a week with a goal of getting stronger, or fitter, would you reach your goal in one year? Not likely. Relatively, if you are coming in for care once per week will you be better within 8 weeks? Not likely. So take the time to get better. It may feel tedious and painstaking in the process but it really is your best chance at getting better and staying that way. You’ll thank yourself when you come out on the other side.