Healthy habits only work when they’re done consistently. You can’t make up for bad habits in one day. You eat fast food every day, that’s your habit. Opting for a salad once per week will be helpful, but the overwhelming habit is the one that will show the results.
Same thing with exercise. If you only work out the first two weeks of the year, it’s better than not working out at all, but not by much. That used to drive me crazy. I like to mark stuff off my list, but exercise just can’t be done that way.
Exercise has to be done consistently if its going to show results. I wish it were different, but it’s not.
What about sleep? Can you sleep erratically and then hope to sleep in once a month and fully recover? Nope. You can get away with lack of sleep for small periods of time, otherwise, it will start to have an effect on your day and your life.
What else? Stretching? Can you stretch once per month and see a difference in your flexibility? Not likely. You’re just doing more non-stretching, muscle tightening, lack of movement activities in your life that stretching for such a small period won’t do much for you.
For better or worse, we are the sum result of our habits.
Chiropractic is like that too, but patients want it to be different. They want to get one “crack” and call it a year. They walk into our office as a new patient thinking and expecting that their two months of sciatica should be fixed 100% when they walk out the door.
Sure, they’ve been on over-the-counter medications for weeks and that didn’t work. They’ve been getting massaged, using a heat pad, and stretching like crazy and no relief. But when it comes to visiting a chiropractor, that should work right away.
I wish it worked like that.
The reality is, your body adapts and changes. Sometimes, that’s a bad thing. It adapts to hunching over a computer all day to give you rounded shoulders and a forward neck. It adapts to a lack of movement by stiffening and tightening in the areas that haven’t moved.
It adapts in a good way when we do the right things for it. Your muscles can become more flexible. They can become stronger and allow you to do more things. You can run and gain endurance and you can get adjusted consistently and you will notice a difference in your health, your range of motion, and your body’s ability to function.
I’ve seen many chiropractic treatment plans totally ruined by not understanding this concept.
In our office, we will do a consultation, an examination, and (usually) x-rays to determine if your problem can be helped with chiropractic care. We will then lay out a treatment plan to fix that problem as much as possible.
The treatment plan length will vary based on how long you’ve had the problem, the severity of the problem, your activity levels, your daily habits, the type of problem, and any other complicating factors that may be a part of your health history.
We strive to only provide the number of adjustments you need to get the right result. After a couple of weeks, you will know whether or not chiropractic adjustments are working for you — but only if you’re consistent.
If your chiropractor recommends that you come in three times per week and you come in twice, it’s not just one missed appointment. It’s missing 33% of your care.
The adjustments build on each other and it’s this “adjustment habit” done for these few weeks that will lay the foundation to help keep that vertebra in the right place for longer and longer periods of time. We can wish it were different, that you could just get that “pop” and everything would get better forever.
It just doesn’t work like that. The good news is, the high frequency of visits at the beginning of care does not usually have to be repeated. If you go through your treatment plan consistently, and then choose to get adjusted on even a monthly basis, you’ll have a lot of additional health benefits. One will be that you will consistently “undo” all of the bad posture, stiffening, and misalignments that may be occurring during a typical month at the office.
Healthy habits can replace unhealthy ones, and it does make a difference.
It may be time to take a look at your daily habits and how they affect your health. While making a change won’t be an overnight thing, your body will adapt and you will see the benefits.
Getting adjusted consistently and following your doctor’s recommendations at the beginning of your care will lay the foundation for your good results with chiropractic care. Inconsistency leads to inconsistent results that don’t last as long as they should.
Chiropractic works, but only if you let it.