Wellness Care – Just How Often Should You Be Seen?

Ogi Ressel, DC wrote a recent article to Doctors of Chiropractic (D.C.). (Dr. Ressel is an international lecturer, a pediatric and x-ray specialist, researcher and clinician.)

The article was entitled, “Maintenance Care – Just how often should you see your patients?”

Dr. Ressel states that the vast majority of chiropractors accept and promote the concept of “maintenance” care. (I prefer to use the term “wellness” care.) They often schedule patients for a once-a-month maintenance adjustment based on the idea that monthly maintenance adjustments will help prevent and alleviate many problems. In reality, monthly adjustments are promoted because most chiropractors feel that this is the visit frequency that most people will “buy into” as a preventative measure.

Dr. Ressel states, “So patients are seen on a monthly basis because it’s good for them – that is the mantra. Most chiropractors are adamant about their patients following this protocol. It just makes total sense.”

Dr. Ressel poses these questions to D.C.’s, “But what about the benefit to the patients?… Are you really able to prevent or alleviate a patient’s future health problems with your monthly maintenance program?”

Dr. Ressel confronts the chiropractic profession with this reality – “ In essence, when most chiropractors place patients on a monthly maintenance schedule, they are simply maintaining their problems, but their symptoms are gone! That is the reality.”

Here is Dr. Ressel’s reasoning:

1. First of all, research done by Tapio Vidman, M.D., D.M.Sci., (a Researcher in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine), tells us that a subluxation, once formed, will cause an inescapable degeneration progression if it is allowed to remain for longer than two weeks. This means that a monthly maintenance visit will absolutely ensure that your patient will get worse over time. (I have actually read other research on what is termed subluxation degeneration, which states that microscopic degenerative changes to the hyaline cartilage which surrounds your spinal joints can begin to occur within forty-eight hours of the occurrence of a subluxation!)

2. According to Dr. Ressel, “Most doctors do not see their patients on an appropriate schedule of care in order to be able to really correct their subluxation pattern, and it is a pattern. It is a neurological habit the body becomes accustomed to, and it most often starts in children.”

“Most doctors see a patient on a schedule, which they feel a patient will accept, and it is one that is “reasonable,” whatever that means. This translates into patients being placed on monthly maintenance once their symptoms are relieved – nothing more – although they are often told otherwise.”

“Patients need to be placed on a schedule of care that will actually cause their subluxation pattern to be broken.” Dr. Ressel recommends that chiropractors, “See your patients on “wellness” care, or every two weeks at the very maximum, especially children, but only after their subluxation patterning is changed. The correction of subluxation patterning is most important in children.”

This article and the studies it references, confirms what I have been saying for over four decades based on my clinical observations. Also, the changing of subluxation patterns is why the computerized thermal scans we do are more frequent in the beginning of your care and why I recommend an annual scan be done to help us note changes to your subluxation patterns and how I may have to alter your adjustments to correct these patterns.

Thankfully, the majority of our patients understand the importance of wellness care and follow my recommendations for spinal checkups and/or adjustments every two weeks for wellness care, as well as an annual computerized thermal scan to aid in correcting any changes to your spinal subluxation patterns.

I hope this article has given you the insight as to why these are my general recommendations for true wellness care.