How many treatments will I need?


It’s an age old question, and one that is often thought about by new patients as they endeavour to try ‘something new’ to help combat those recurrent back pain episodes.

I once went to a seminar many years ago that evolved around patient communication. As chiropractors we get excited about bones, spines, ligaments, muscles, and the nervous system etc .What we often fail to acknowledge is when a patient presents to us in pain, there are only three questions that are going through the their mind:

Your suffering from back pain and you need a professional to look at it straight away.

All patients want to know: What’s my problem?, how long is it going to take? and how much is it going to cost?

  1. What’s my problem (and can you fix it)?
  2. How long is it going to take?
  3. How much is it going to cost?

There is a common urban myth that is always attached to chiropractic care that once you go to see one, then you have to keep going for the rest of your life. This is not the case with the majority of people who walk through the door –some choose to continue with supportive chiropractic care with periodic 6 monthly check ups similar to seeing a dentist.

Back to the question of how many treatments will you need?

How long is a piece of string? To be frank, the average number of treatments in my opinion should be between six and eight over a 3-4 week time frame for most cases of localised joint pain. Pain extending into either the arms or legs from the spine may take on average three to four extra treatments.

Of course there are a range of pre-existing conditions that will affect the total number of treatments and the expected time frames to get better. These include (but are not exclusive), age, bone quality, arthritic joints, diabetes, etc

The bottom line is that you should be made aware of the expected treatment number[s] when you are seen as a new patient and given a report by the chiropractor on your condition. It shouldn’t be a guessing game by either you or the chiropractor how many treatments you will need, or how long it will take to recover.