It always takes more convincing to visit your chiropractor when you’re not feeling sore, or under the weather. So why is it so important to have maintenance treatments?
It’s a question I often get asked and there are a few reasons why.
Firstly, maintenance treatments are needed to prevent the body from regressing to a state of pain, discomfort and disability. If you keep up with maintenance, you will avoid the unnecessary niggles that cause pain. You will also prevent possible injury and further damage to an already problematic area.
There is a very big advantage to this. Maintenance treatments are generally once off and rarely cause discomfort. You’re not in pain at the time so you can just relax and enjoy the treatment. They leave you feeling great and ready to face everything that life has to throw at you!
Another reason for maintenance is to keep all your joints moving correctly, in particular, the spine. By doing this, you’re allowing your nervous system to function optimally. Given that the nervous system supplies the entire body and everything that happens within the body, you can imagine why this is a good idea!
I’ve noticed that with regular treatments, a patients’ general health improves. I attribute this to the fact that the body can expend energy on the areas that really need healing, as opposed to keeping balance.
In a nutshell, keeping up with routine adjustments will keep your entire body healthier and functioning better.
Maintenance related to sporting activity is of utmost importance, in order to prevent unwanted injuries and to keep the body functioning at the best, possible level. Whether it’s going to the gym, running, Pilates, cycling, CrossFit, dancing or walking, or any number of others, it’s important to keep the biomechanics of the body in check. Regular treatments will do this.
When it comes to babies and toddlers, I like to see them with each physical milestone, like rolling, sitting, crawling and walking. Their bodies grow and develop at such a rapid rate and all of these milestones involve bumping into things and falling over in order to learn. It’s important to check up on the alignment of the joints, so they can flourish.
With my school going patients, I’ve come to realise that the schooling system in SA places so much pressure on children, to be amazing from an academic, sport, culture and social aspect. This leads to stress and it’s just a lot to have to deal with at such a young age. Keeping the spine moving and the nervous system functioning well will help them deal with this stress and keep the body strong, preventing unnecessary niggles at a later stage.
How often should you come in for maintenance treatments?
This is largely dependent on the reason for maintenance. For most patients, it’s best to come in every 6-8 weeks. If you’re taking part in or training for a big sporting event, then you may have to come in more regularly to keep any repetitive strain niggles at bay.
How to know that your body is at a “Maintenance Level”?
Think of it like climbing stairs. When I first meet patients, most of the time they are sore and have a problem. This is when you are at the bottom of the staircase. The problem may be a longstanding one, or sometimes it’s a recent injury. After the first treatment, the patient generally feels some relief and is improving. They have climbed a stair! I always advise treating until the patient is largely pain-free or at a point that they can begin rehab. It’s at this point that you can say that you have reached the very top of the staircase. Once you are pain-free and have reached the top, this is when you are ready for maintenance. A visit every 6-8 weeks is recommended to avoid any regression and re-injury.
Maintenance is a good way to keep tabs on your general health and wellbeing before problems occur. It keeps you in tune with your body and listening to the little signals that your body is so cleverly sending out to you, allowing you to discuss health factors that may be worrying you on a regular and on-going basis. Don’t forget that it is also a therapy that gives you an escape from ‘everyday life’ and a feeling of caring and looking after yourself.