By Dr. Michael Cerami, D.C.
Whether the patient asks me this directly or not, I know from experience this question is on everyone’s mind before they call us or at their first visit/examination. This is #1 of the four most important things we can answer for the client (I’ll cover the other 3 in the next few posts).
Most people make an appointment after they’ve done something to hurt or injure themselves. To some degree this is normal; maybe not the best approach, but normal. Considering the velocity of lives these days, there’s not much time to put non-critical events in our schedule. We almost always assume we can get more done than we really can, and end with a full day of things on our to do list. So, there’s little time to stay ahead of things until they become emergent.
With this in mind, lets answer the question: “How long….” In most cases it takes our office 4-8 visits for the patient to see a solid 50% improvement in their symptoms and another 6 visits to get the functional problem corrected (the source of the complaint). Of course, some cases are more complex, and some are easier. The initial history and examination tells us exactly what needs to be done and we communicate clearly with all our patients about the progress on each visit.
We also make it a priority to let the patient know they control the speed of their healing with their scheduling and homework. We work as a team to get the results based on the patients’ needs and input.