The term “cookie-cutter care plan” applies to chiropractic offices that require all new patients to follow the same predetermined schedule of visits. An example might be something like this: 3X/week for the first 3-weeks, 2X/week for the next 6-weeks, then once per week for an additional 17-weeks. I’ve seen other offices insist that patients commit to 1-2 year’s worth of care! Who comes up with this stuff?
Does every patient really need the same exact number of visits? I remember asking my chiropractic school instructors these types of questions, hoping to better understand this logic. Sadly, I never got an acceptable answer. If I had to guess, I’d say that sometimes people just do things because that’s what other people are doing. The old adage “Monkey-see, monkey-do” comes to mind…
Here are some case studies from my practice to help demonstrate why I don’t use these cookie-cutter care plans:
- Patient A: 51 y/o male held his first adjustment for 3-weeks.
- Patient B: 37 y/o female held her first adjustment 2-weeks.
- Patient C: 47 y/o female held her first adjustment 1-week.
- Patient D: 41 y/o female held her first adjustment 8-weeks.
- Patient E: 43 y/o male held his first adjustment 5-days.
- Patient F: 62 y/o female held her first adjustment 12-weeks.
Simply put, I’ve never met two people who were exactly the same. These six examples show how responses vary between patients. So unless you find a doctor with a fully functioning crystal ball, I’d say it’s impossible to predict how long patients will hold their initial adjustments.
Care plans – large and small – should be based on each patient’s specific needs. If you meet a chiropractor who wants to see you the same number of times as every other patient, perhaps a second opinion is in order?