Ask the Chiropractor- how many times will I need to come in for my ailment? This is a common question and there are many variables that effect this answer- #healthy815
- Hello. And welcome to another edition of "Ask the Chiropractor." "Ask the Chiropractor" is a segment that we started here for people to ask the chiropractor questions. Often when you see a segment on the news, local news or on the internet about chiropractic, they tell you to check with your family doctor before you go. And I'm telling you that's a bad idea because most family doctors have no idea what chiropractors do. So we started "Ask the Chiropractor" so now when you have a question about chiropractic care or what do chiropractors do you can submit it here and we'll answer it for you the best we can. I, Dr. Brant Hulsebus, chiropractor here in Rockford, Illinois. I'm a Palmer graduate and I'm currently the team chiropractor for the Rockford Ice Hogs, the Blackhawks affiliate. And I've worked with many other teams and I have certifications in wellness, chiropractic philosophy and other things. So if you have a question, feel free to submit it below, email us, send it to us. Now a common question get asked a lot is determining a care plan. People call us up all the time and say, "Hey, I've got sciatica, how many times do I have to come in?" Or, "Hey, I'm having headaches, what do I have to do? How many times do I have to come in?" And they ask us this question over the telephone without providing us any information about themselves. And this isn't a possible question for a chiropractor to answer until we get to examine and meet the patient and see the patient's history. Because there's many determining factors on what a care plan needs and how often a patient needs to come. The bottom line is basically, the healthier your spine is the less of us you need. The more unhealthy your spine is the more of us you need. So what we do, is typically you come in, we obtain your health history so we can about previous different things about your health. We do a chiropractic exam. A chiropractic exam is where we look at your leg lengths, your shoulders, how you carry yourself, we evaluate your posture and stuff like that. And then we usually take x-rays of your spine as well. Now, what do all these things tell us? We'll start with the x-rays. We take x-rays first. The x-rays tell us a lot about your posture. You can't really hide your posture on an x-ray. But we look at your posture on the x-ray and we also look at the health of your joints. Now we cannot see your discs on the x-ray, but we can see the gaps where your discs would be. Being able to judge the height of your discs and the health of your disc and also the health of your joints and the arthritis or lack of arthritis in your spine gives us huge indications of how long it's going to take to get you better. Also, if you're looking at curves of the spine or different angles of the vertebraes, if your vertebrae is severely wedged, like at a 20 degree angle versus a five degree angle, that 20 degree angle's going to take longer to help get relief than a five degree angle. Just because there's more work that needs to be done with 20 versus a five degree angle. We also look for the backside, you have a little spinous that comes out. Those are the bumps you feel when you rub someone's back. We look to see if the spinouses are rotated as well. Not only do you have a curve, but do you have rotation involved in the curve. If you just have a curve and no rotation that's going to get better faster. If you have rotation and a curve, that's going to require more work and more energy on our behalf to get you better feeling right. The next thing we look at, like I said, is your posture. We just did a "Ask the Chiropractor" question about the shadow of your brain's health. Excuse me, your posture is the shadow of your brain's health. So if your posture's really, really poor, then that's that much more uphill travel we're working against. You see, your spine's designed to have a certain posture. When you lack that posture, you keep everything more tight, more angry and more inflamed, and that makes it more of a challenge for us to help get you better. Another thing we look at your overall health history. Do you only eat food that you can get when you're inside your car? When was the last time you had a salad? Do you exercise regularly? Do you walk regularly? Do you do anything regularly? These are all the determining factors. The person that eats well, the person that walks well, and the person that thinks well will give quicker results chiropractically than the person who does not. So these are all very, very important factors. Another thing that people often get frustrated when they're coming in here is the fact that we actually give you homework. We give you a couple stretches and posture stuff to work on at home. When you don't do these things, you don't quite get the fast results that you would want or expect. And therefore, it takes longer. We usually call you out on those things it's too because the science of chiropractic always works, just the application doesn't always work. So when we look at somebody who's not getting well or not getting better, we often see what they're doing for their homework assignments. So these are all big factors that we look at. Another thing we look at is how many spots in your spine are off? Do you have the one spot that's really bad, or do you have eight spots and your spine's all over the place? How long has it been off? Did you just get in a car accident yesterday and came in right away? Or did you get a car accident three years ago and now you're finally making your way in? Well, it takes a lot more time to take care of somebody who waited three years to get in versus somebody who just got in right away. So these are all very, very important factors. Is how long you waited to seek care, and then what else have you done for care? Are you doing other things as well? Are you going to a massage therapist, do yoga and stuff like that? These are all factors that contribute how long or how often you need to come in. So when you simply call me on the telephone, and you say, "Hey, I want to in and be a patient. How many times do I have to come in for right sciatica?" I cannot answer that question over the telephone. Cannot figure that out at all. We have to sit down and look at at you. So what we'll do is we'll sit down with you, we'll give you a chiropractic adjustment after we do our exam and x-rays and whatever we need to do to learn more about you. Then we'll have you come back in a couple days and we'll see how you did. See, here in our office, we don't have a cookie-cutter schedule. Everyone's different, everyone's unique. So we wait to see how you respond to the care we gave you, then we'll come up with a care plan. Because if I tell you that the more stress you have, the more times you have to come in, everybody I interview will tell me they have no stress so they think they can come in less. That's like lying to your dentist, you're not really tricking anybody. So what we do is we have you come in, we'll see you again a couple days, see how you did, and then based on how you do we'll sit down and give you a care plan. And when we give you the care plan, we're going to go over from top the bottom what we're going to do to exercise and stretches any reevaluations or redetermination of care and then what your insurance does or more probably does not cover. And then we'll review all that with you. That's how we do here in the office. That's usually what I recommend any chiropractor to do. And if you're watching from this from somewhere other than Rockford, or you're seeing a different chiropractor, I think that's very appropriate response is to go ahead and get a care plan from the doctor. Now I know things can change. I know I've had patients that I put them on their schedule and then they go off and they get in a car accident or they have a family emergency, they have to travel across the country to come back in a couple weeks. So those things happen. They happen all the time. But the majority of people, we start them on a care plan, we take time outs, we reevaluate things, the care plan will slow down as we go and speed up if it has to. And then what we do is that's how we determine what you need for care. I would say 95% of patients follow a not very good care plan. And again, your chiropractor should also go over your insurance with you and any findings they have and what the end-game goals are. Why are we doing this? What are we hoping to find at the end? Often a lot of times we would not find perfect x-rays again. There's a thing called Wolff's Law. Wolff's Law says that if the body's under pressure, things are going on, the body will restructure itself to cope with this. So if you fell and hurt your lower back when you're eight years old and never went to a chiropractor, went to the chiropractor for the first time when you're 55 years old and you have a horrible curve in your lower back. Will that curve every fully go away? Probably not. Because Wollf's Law kicks in and that bone is restructured to deal with that curve. And you have usually, we talk about our posture video, everybody always has two problems, cause your eyes always stay level, so if you had this thing in you lower back that's been there for a long time then we'll probably find something else somewhere else. Now the bone will restructure according to Wolff's Law and change so we can never probably make it straight up and down again. Can we make it a lot stronger so it doesn't fall apart, so it doesn't always aggravate your energy all the time? Absolutely. We can definitely do that. But again, this is something I cannot tell you over the telephone before I meet you. This something I have to see in x-ray and see what's going on and how long it's been there. This is why when people call and ask us how many times they come in for whatever it is, it's impossible to ask until we see you. So I hope that answers your question. When people call us on the phone and say, "How many times would they come for this, come for that?' When it comes to the treating and care plan for a patient there are a lot of different factors. I believe most chiropractors should give a care plan. If your chiropractor's not giving you a care plan or goals, you might want to ask why, you might want to reconsider where you're going. Even my dentist gives me goals. We're going to get our teeth cleaned every six months, we're going to brush and floss twice a day, and we're going to try to prevent cavities and try to keep your gumline healthy. That's the goal. So if you go to a chiropractor, you should know your goals and your schedule and hope of the outcome. Again, to recap, we look at your x-rays, we look at your health history, we look at your history, your overall healthy habits or non-healthy habits and we also examine your exam findings and your posture findings. From there, we'll give you a care plan. The care plan's based on those findings and also how you responded to care. And then at the end of those, there should be reevaluations and time where we check in and introduce exercises and stretches and stuff like that along the way. Then it should also be presented financially to you before you start too. What your insurance covers and what your insurance doesn't cover, therefore you know what your expectations are. If your chiropractor doesn't do those things and I'm kind of curious about that chiropractor. There's always extraordinary circumstances the chiropractor does not do those things, but for the general rule, those things should be occurring. So there you go. There you have it. So that's today's edition of "Ask the Chiropractor." Remember, if you have a question about chiropractic or what chiropractors do, ask a chiropractor. If you have a question about your teeth, you should ask a dentist. If you have a question about your child's health, you can ask your pediatrician or your chiropractor pediatrician. Try to ask the right people the right questions that way you get the correct answers. And if you have a question for us, if you want to be in the next "Ask the Chiropractor," leave a comment below, send us a message, or visit us at RockfordDC.com R-O-C-K-F-O-R-D-D-C.com and send us a message right there and maybe next time we do this video, "Ask the Chiropractor" will be asking your question, answering your question. All right, everybody, stay healthy, stay strong. We'll see you again real soon. Bye-bye.