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How Often Is Chiropractic Needed for Low Back Pain?

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For acute low back pain, 6 to 12 sessions over the course of 2 to 4 weeks is standard. These initial treatments emphasize the "passive" (non-exercise) approaches of manual therapy to relieve pain and improve function. As quickly as possible, more "active" (exercise) can be used to increase function and ultimately return a patient back to his or her daily life.

Chiropractic Re-evaluation Necessary

Clinicians are not going to continue chiropractic treatments if they are not helping the patient. Because of this, every 2 to 4 weeks, a chiropractor re-evaluates the patient to see if the chiropractic treatments still are having a beneficial effect.

Listed below are some of the criteria for continuing treatment for chronic low back pain:

• The patient still has a favorable response to treatment

• The patient has reached MTB and worsens when not treated

• There is proof that self-care alone will be insufficient to maintain MTB

Continuing Low Back Pain Treatment

Living with chronic low back pain is a challenge, but chiropractors want to emphasize to patients that self-therapy is a vital component of pain management.

This can include rehabilitation and range-of-motion exercises. However, chiropractors also may encourage more multimodal approaches, such as incorporating acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, lifestyle and psychosocial counseling, and many more treatment options that can be very beneficial.

The treatments recommended and the benefits gained can vary with every individual, which is why it is important to be in a proactive, communicative relationship with your chiropractor.

Credit: Stephen M. Perle, DC, MS and Thomas Ciccone

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