This is a very common question that we run into with patients—they will joke or roll their eyes and say something like, “Once you see a chiropractor, you have to keep going forever!” This comment is worth exploring, so let’s focus on three important concepts that play into this notion.
Our goal at The Vital PostureTM Clinic is to achieve the best correction possible and minimize the number of adjustments that you need. While we don’t wish to keep you on a schedule of weekly check-ups for the rest of your life, we do want you to understand the importance of maintenance care; this should not be a foreign concept as it applies to almost everything else in our lives.
Many patients come in with the idea that they have a problem, we will hopefully fix it, and they will never have to worry about it again. Often, the concept of ‘maintenance’ in regards to spinal care is not attractive. But the truth is, much like anything in our day-to-day lives, our bodies fall prey to the same stressors that everything does, from our cars to our toothbrushes.
Anytime you use something, it understandably wears a little. Your toothbrush, a book, clothes, your washing machine—unless brand new, all of them show signs of use. The same concept that applies to objects also applies to our bodies!
There are three ways to deal with wear and tear, whether it’s slight, or something more serious:
Sometimes a simple repair is all that’s necessary. Chipping a plate might require some glue to patch it up, or your windshield might need a quick and easy chip fill if a rock hits it. Tissue can also require simple repair sometimes. For instance, if your new shoes are a bit too snug and cause a blister, that damaged tissue will require some time to repair itself and heal. This is a straightforward concept in injury-management, from sprained ankles to broken bones. Our bodies innately manage this quite well, but sometimes they require a little external assistance (stitches, an adjustment, a cast etc.) for the tissues to heal properly—much like the plate needed the glue.
If the alternator belt in your car completely blows out, then chances are it will require a bit more than a stitch or a slap of glue. If your windshield no longer has just a chip but now a full-blown crack across it, it will need to be replaced. To a certain extent, people have the ability to replace parts like knees, hips, or teeth. However, it isn’t easy or convenient to replace a broken-down body part, so we have to be cautious about how we are taking care of ourselves. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to just order a replacement liver from Amazon!
Even if something isn’t completely broken or worn out, objects need to be maintained to continue to work optimally. Take a car, for instance. Even if you have not had an accident and everything is intact, periodically you need to change the oil, add washer fluid, change filters, and tighten bolts. General use causes wear and tear on virtually any item, and it’s generally much easier and cheaper to catch it before it becomes a broken part.
These three concepts, repair, replace, and maintain, are every bit as applicable to people as they are to things. Just like changing the oil or topping up the wiper fluid in your car, NUCCA can help provide optimal maintenance to keep you feeling your best. Once we have corrected the misalignment and worked with you to stabilize the correction, periodic maintenance check-ups are crucial to ensure that no breakdown or regression occurs and you don’t end up back at square one. If you have questions about what stage you are at with your care, speak with one of your doctors to understand the appropriate maintenance schedule to optimize your health. Just like your car, we want to make every mile count!
Dr. Mylène Hopf
The Vital Posture™ Clinic