Does it really help to get ” Tune up ” treatments ?
Mmmmmm here is a can of worms.
It’s not uncommon for many chiropractors to advocate the idea of Maintenance care.
At first glance it seems a perfectly plausible idea, much like getting maintenance on a car maintenance on your body should catch problems problems before they present and symptoms and lead to better movement and less pain and suffering.
But does it ?
To quote probably the world’s leading spinal pain research Stuart Mcgill ” It depends ” .
Fortunately this overlooked research area is finally beginning to be addressed. For the answers we need once again to look at the some of the exciting research that is coming out of Scandinavia.
They found in a 2018 study that for those suffering chronic lower back there some better improvement getting treatments staged over a year then just turning up when the pain was bad. ( 1 ).
So if you are somebody that experiences chronic lower back pain there may be an argument from a research point of view to trial regular treatments to help manage your condition.
But there are some caveats here.
These results can only be applied to lower back pain. The same positive finding was not found for chronic neck pain ( 2) or any other type of problem for that matter. We simply do not have answers from the research literature for these questions yet. That’s not to say they may not work. Just that we need to be guarded about the level of certainty we can give our patients from the published research.
It’s also worth noting that this approach also resulted in a higher number of treatments ( and hence cost ) to the customer.
The importance of Sub-groups
We also really need to get our heads around the idea of sub-groups and responders. What’s becoming more clear is there is a certain sub-group that seems to respond really well to manual therapy and some others that don’t appear to improve all that much.
If you are somebody that is likely to respond you should get some significant benefits by the 3rd or 4th treatments from manual therapy ( 3). So if you are not seeing some good results by that point it may be worth having a chat to your treating practitioner about the best options forward for you.
It’s also the opinion of Niseko Chiropractic that whilst some people get amazing life changing benefits from this approach for others their money may be better spent on more active interventions like yoga, gym memberships etc and seeing a practitioner only when their symptoms are worse.
So yes for a many people it can be true that regular sessions can improve their feeling of wellbeing and function but at the very least ” The jury is still out ” about some of the claims by our more passionate members of the profession that all people will benefit from regular treatments.
If you are visiting or living in Niseko we would love to have to chance to help you with your problems.