2015-07-03 11.50.51

Can a Chiropractor Adjust Too Much?


Can a Chiropractor Adjust Too Much?

This is a complicated question that will find different answers amongst chiropractors for a couple reasons.

  1. Dchiropractor adjustue to the inherent safety of a chiropractic adjustment, it is very difficult to determine any deleterious effects from adjusting too frequently. Compare this to testing drugs. It’s easy to see that essentially all drugs are tested for their LD-50, which is the dosage where 50% of the test subjects will die. This is essentially impossible for a chiropractic adjustment.
  2. At the present time, I am unaware of any research that has been done which shows negative effects of a chiropractic adjustment as a result of receiving the treatment with greater frequency.
  3. Any potentially negative effect would likely be sequelae to a future problem.
    1. For example, let’s assume that receiving chiropractic adjustment too frequently causes hypermobility in the adjusted joints. The hypermobility would not likely result in ligament damage severe enough to be measured using flexion or extension (looking down and up) to see if the ligaments are damaged.  This is the type of testing and analysis done with soft tissue injuries during auto accidents which put a lot more stress on the spine than an adjustment would.

I think that a better question to ask your chiropractor, one in which you are likely to get an answer that is useful, would be “Why did you prescribe “x” number of adjustments?”

Chiropractors often have a great variation of recommendations. Some chiropractors will adjust three to six times and some will often recommend year long treatment plans with over 100 adjustments. After all, your chiropractic is a doctor and should garner some trust.  If you don’t trust him/her then you shouldn’t be getting treated by them or at least, you should ask this question and see if his/her answer seems reasonable.

Other good questions for your chiropractor includes:

“Does everyone get the same number of chiropractic adjustments? Why or why not?

For a chiropractor with very few recommended adjustments ask:

  • Why don’t you recommend more adjustments?
  • Is this chiropractic treatment plan only treating pain?
  • If not then what else is it treating and how can it be done with so few adjustments?
  • Is there a reason you feel my problem will be solved with this many adjustments or a short period of time?
  • What changes do you expect with this many adjustments?
  • What are you using to objectively measure my progress?

For a chiropractor with more recommend adjustments ask:

  • Why don’t you recommend fewer adjustments?
  • Is there a reason you feel my problem needs so many adjustments?
  • What changes do you expect with this many adjustments?
  • What are you using to objectively measure my progress?

Where Does Corrective Chiropractic Stand On How Much A Chiropractor Should Adjust?

I tend to favor that I would rather do more than necessary than not enough, primarily because of the safety of the chiropractic adjustment.  However, in my opinion, the most important thing a chiropractor can do to avoid any issues with this particular dilemma of “over adjusting” is to regularly measure the improvement or lack thereof during care. This is essential while under regular care with a chiropractor.

If you only get check out once every 6-12 months there should be cause for concern UNLESS you are only receiving maintenance or wellness care where your chiropractor is routinely adjusting you at a decreased frequency (1/week to 1/month is typical) with no particular treatment goals in mind other than to protect and maintain any improvements already achieved.

At Corrective Chiropractic in Greenville, NC we strive to have the most up to date, research based treatment plans. Treatment that improves abnormal spinal shifts with specifically customized adjustments, spinal exercises, and traction prescribed to you by your chiropractor Dr. Bret Wickstrom. We will do our best to answer all of these questions before you even ask them. Call 252-758-7583 today for a consult to see if we can help you.

Comments are closed.