A new study, published last month, and titled “The Nordic Maintenance Care program: Effectiveness of chiropractic maintenance care versus symptom-guided treatment for recurrent and persistent low back pain—A pragmatic randomized controlled trial” looked at using chiropractic care in patients experiencing chronic recurrent low back pain using either a maintenance based program (regular appointments whether experiencing pain or not) or a symptom-based program (appointments dictated by the patient experiencing pain).
The study found that patients who used a maintenance style of care experienced almost 2 full weeks less with back pain per year than those using a symptom-based program of care, with an average difference of less than 2 more appointments per year for those utilizing a maintenance style of care.
The mechanisms behind maintenance care are thought to be that maintenance (or asymptomatic) care can improve movement and neuromuscular function. Additionally, it may address psychosocial issues – meaning people are less worried about falling back into pain and are less cautious about their back in their activities of daily living.
This means that in treating chronic low back pain, maintenance care can be a good option for preventing back pain as well as treating it when it does pop up.