How Often Should You Get a Chiropractic Adjustment?

June 3, 2024

Chiropractors can be essential for relieving pain.

But how often should you get a chiropractic adjustment to get the most out of their services?


Millions of Americans receive chiropractic care in this country each year. This includes everything from neck adjustments to medical massages. Even if you’ve never been to see a chiropractor before, you probably have at least a concept of what to expect. But even those receiving treatment might be asking how often you should get a chiropractic adjustment?

Before we can begin to answer that question, we have to cover the basics.



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What is a Chiropractor?

In order to understand what chiropractic care and adjustments can do for you, you must first understand what a chiropractor is.

A chiropractor is a trained medical professional that cares for a person’s spine. Through spinal manipulation, they help reduce pain in the soft tissues, muscles, and other parts of the neuromusculoskeletal system.

They will not give medical advice like a traditional doctor’s office but will instead help formulate a treatment plan to reduce pain.

Chiropractic care is not only safe, it is effective against a multitude of ailments like chronic low back pain and reduced range of motion.


What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?

The Mayo Clinic defines a chiropractic adjustment as “a procedure in which trained specialists (chiropractors) use their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint.” The idea is to make sure that the body’s musculoskeletal structure (your skeleton, muscles, cartilage, etc.) is in proper alignment.

Woman lying on a chiropractic table with a chiropractor manipulating her spine

These are targeted and controlled adjustments to specific areas. This isn’t just someone cracking your back! Your chiropractic care will hopefully enable the body to heal itself and could reduce your need for surgery or taking medication.

People will often receive chiropractic treatment to help relieve back pain. Neck pain and headaches are also common problems that force someone to find a chiropractor.

Chiropractic adjustments are generally considered to be safe and pain-free, and the risks of treatment are low when performed by a trained and licensed medical professional.


How Chiropractic Adjustments Work

Because these chiropractic adjustments are specific to you and your body, your chiropractor will begin with a physical examination during your initial visit. It is here that your chiropractor will begin to discover what is wrong and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

Beyond just treating the pain, the goal should be to identify and address the underlying issue causing your body to be in pain. Remember, chiropractic adjustments work by making sure that your body’s musculoskeletal structure is properly aligned. And by doing so, they allow your body to heal itself.

After a treatment plan has been developed, the chiropractic adjustments will begin.

Your chiropractor will place you in specific positions, often having you lie down on specially padded tables. The chiropractor will then apply that controlled and sudden force to a joint. The amount of force used in these adjustments will vary on your age and existing pain. You may hear loud popping or cracking sounds during treatment.

This is why it is important to use a trained and licensed professional. The chiropractor is working to get your musculoskeletal structure back in alignment. They might use their hands to do this, or they could use a series of tools and machines.


Do I Need a Chiropractor?

Many of the millions of Americans who seek out chiropractic treatment each year are trying to recover from a specific injury, while others might be dealing with chronic pain. Regardless of the specific injuries, those who step inside of a chiropractor’s office are looking for a natural way to live a pain-free life.

It’s normal for a chiropractor to see people ranging from those in physical therapy, to newborns fresh out of the hospital. There are treatment plans for everyone.

Man's spine ready for chiropactor


When to worry about pain is confusing for many people, and it ultimately depends on the cause of the pain and the level to which it’s affecting your daily life. There are two broad types of pain: acute and chronic.

Acute pain is a type of pain that typically lasts less than six months. It is often directly related to an injury. Maybe you were involved in a car accident, or tried to rearrange the furniture and felt a pop when you went to move the dresser. Acute pain gradually goes away as the injured tissue heals.

Chronic pain, on the other hand, typically lasts longer than six months. This type of pain can come in many different forms. Some sufferers might experience pain every day, while others will have the pain come and go. The pain could be the result of old injuries or health conditions.

Many in pain will find ways to treat the pain itself, rather than the underlying issue. But this doesn’t make the pain go away. Instead, it helps us to live with the pain. It doesn’t have to be this way!

Whether you’re experiencing acute or chronic pain—as well as the severity of your injuries—will determine how often you should get a chiropractic adjustment.


Chiropractic Care and You

For some, their chiropractor is the first person they turn to when they’ve injured their back or neck. For others, they’ve tried everything else to relieve their pain and are desperate for anything that helps. Some might be dealing with short-term pain from a recent injury, while others are dealing with chronic pain that has been with them for years.

Regardless of what brings you to the chiropractor’s office, the process is going to be similar. You’ll first be given a physical exam, then a treatment plan. Some treatment plans will require several adjustments in a short period of time.

Male patient being adjusted by a chiropractor

The type of pain you’re experiencing will help answer the question of how often you should get a chiropractic adjustment.

Your insurance might play a part in this decision too. You might find that only a certain number of adjustments will be covered by your insurance, or you will have to be referred by your primary care doctor. If you plan on having insurance help cover the cost of chiropractic care, check with your insurance to see what exactly is covered.

Regardless, you shouldn’t stop chiropractic treatment completely without consulting with your doctor first. 

How Often Should You See a Chiropractor?

The frequency of chiropractic care varies greatly depending on your needs, health status, and personal goals. Here are some factors to consider: 

  • Care Type: Are you experiencing acute pain (like from an injury), maintenance care, or preventative care? For acute care it’s common to see your chiropractor frequently to optimize the pain relief. For maintenance mode many people find that seeing their chiropractor once a month is sufficient. For preventative care, the goal is to prevent issues before they start. Every 6 to 8 weeks is recommended.
  • Lifestyle: Your lifestyle and activities play a vital role in determining the frequency of your visits. Athletes or individuals with physically demanding lifestyles may benefit from more frequent adjustments. Those with more sedentary lifestyles might benefit from fewer visits but sedentary lifestyles alone increase the risk for injuries. It’s wise to get periodic check-ups from your chiropractor.
  • Treatment Plan: Everybody is unique and deserves a unique treatment plan. Whether you’re in the care of a physician that we are working alongside for your pain relief, or seeing only a chiropractor, sticking to the schedule is the best way to benefit from chiropractic care.


How Often Should You Get a Chiropractic Adjustment Depends On a Variety of Factors

Of course, you do not have to be in pain to visit a chiropractor. Maintenance care, in healthcare terms, refers to any care that is aimed at maintaining optimal body function.

For chiropractic patients, this may mean a regular schedule of adjustments regardless of whether or not they are currently in pain. By making trips to the chiropractor part of your regular routine, you could reduce your chances of re-injury.

In summary, how often you should get a chiropractic adjustment is a question you and your chiropractor will have to work together to answer. It will depend on you and what caused you to seek out treatment in the first place.

When you are just starting a new treatment plan, it’s common to have adjustments multiple times a week. As your body begins to heal, that number could drop to just once a week. And if you are pain-free and simply want to maintain your lifestyle, you might only need to get an adjustment once or twice a month. Maybe even just once or twice a year!

If you’ve been asking yourself, “Where can I find a professional chiropractor near me?” you’ll be happy to learn that you can schedule an appointment with Oviedo Chiropractic today to begin working on your treatment plan.

There are no contracts to sign, and no pressure to agree to a set number of treatment plans. You can finally start the healing process you’ve been waiting for!

Justin Cough

Dr. Justin Cough, D.C.

Dr. Cough graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, FL after receiving his BS in Education from SUNY Oswego. Before becoming a chiropractor, he coached many middle and high school sports teams including football, lacrosse, basketball, and soccer. He is passionate about focusing on our bodies' natural healing mechanisms and helping his patients enjoy the utmost sustainability in their lives.

For some, chiropractic offers relief from pain. For others, it's about feeling and looking good. Call today and see what chiropractic can do for you!

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