Why visit your doctor of chiropractic periodically – even when you're not experiencing pain or other symptoms? Here's why. The latest study on maintenance care for low back health suggests receiving chiropractic care periodically dramatically reduces the number of days you'll experience "bothersome" low back pain over the course of a year.
Published in the multidisciplinary open-access journal PLOS One, the study included 328 patients ages 18-65 with nonspecific low back pain who experienced a favorable response to chiropractic care during their initial course of treatment. Patients were then randomly allocated to one of two groups for one year: a maintenance care group that received periodic chiropractic care or a control group that returned to their chiropractor only when LBP symptoms were present. Every week, researchers assessed subjects' low back pain with a single question: "On how many days during the past week were you bothered by your lower back (i.e., it affected your daily activities or routines)?"
During the 12-month tracking period, members of the maintenance care (MC) group made an average of 6.7 visits to the chiropractor, compared with 4.8 visits by members of the control group. Those additional visits correlated with 12.8 fewer days of bothersome low back pain, on average, for the MC group compared to the control group.
How important is 12.8 fewer days of bothersome LBP a year? We're sure you agree it's worth a few additional visits to your chiropractor! And that's the beauty of chiropractic care – it helps minimize the chances your pain will occur / recur, rather than treating it with medication once you're already in pain. If you're smart, you don't wait until your car breaks down to take it to the mechanic, and you don't wait until your teeth fall out to visit the dentist; so why wait until you're in pain before going to your chiropractor?
As we mentioned at the beginning, this isn't the first study – and likely won't be the last – to suggest maintenance chiropractic care is more effective than symptom-guided care for low back pain.