Today I’d like to talk to you about chiropractic “maintenance” care. I put maintenance in quotations because a lot of chiropractors actually prefer the term wellness over maintenance. This is because regular wellness spinal check-ups for subluxation throughout someone’s life time promote ongoing physical and mental/emotional well-being rather than simply keeping your spine from deteriorating. Either way, let’s consider what regular chiropractic adjustments from now until check out time (death) can do for you.
A large study of persons aged 65 and over found that individuals who used chiropractic services for five years or longer needed half the amount of medical provider visits per year compared to those not using chiropractic services. In other words those undergoing “maintenance” or “wellness” chiropractic care needed to see a medical doctor half as many times as those not receiving chiropractic care. Why would this be? There are many reasons. I know from my experience with patients that as an individual’s health improves with regular adjustments and spinal correction very often health conditions they once had disappear. So obviously if you no longer have subluxation causing asthma, back pain, headaches, carpal tunnel, chronic fatigue, gastric reflux etc. you don’t need to see a medical doctor for advice or for prescription drugs. Patients under my care are also encouraged to make lifestyle changes such as beginning exercise, changing dietary habits or meditating to decrease stress which also affects their health and need for “medical” opinions. Other research has shown that individuals who receive maintenance chiropractic care after a work-related injury have lower rate of disability recurrence. We also know that patients who receive chiropractic wellness care have higher levels of serum thiol, indicating increased protection from oxidative stresses that damage the body.
One huge take home point from this research are the financial implications. If people used chiropractors more for health improvement and wellness we’d cut down on the need for medical doctor visits, emergency room visits, hospital stays, rehabilitation and physiotherapy. The savings to us taxpayers in Ontario alone would be conservatively in the millions, but more likely billions! It’d be nice if there were a tax credit of meaningful proportion to encourage people to spend on chiropractic and other health promotion services such as fitness programs, and perhaps that will be legislated sometime soon. In the meantime, it’s great to for you to know that money you spend on chiropractic maintenance care for yourself and your family is making a difference for today and for your future. So the next time you are talking with your friends or family and they ask “isn’t it expensive to keep going to a chiropractor year after year?”, you can let them know how reasonable it is to maintain your health with chiropractic care while at the same time unburdening our healthcare system!