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Posted on 09-27-2016

What Is A Lifetime Chiropractic Patient?

As many of my avid blog readers are already aware, I am a Baltimore Chiropractor that spends the majority of my time treating patients using Chiropractic care. Typically this means that we are treating Baltimore auto accident injury patients with whiplash symptoms: Headaches, neck pain, upper back pain, and lower back pain following Baltimore car accidents. But that also means treating weekend warriors with overuse injuries, and regular folks who wake up with stiff necks and stiff backs. As you might imagine as all people are different and unique, so to are the necessary treatment plans to get these patients out of pain and back into the "real-world."

I recently saw a new patient to the practice. They were interested in coming in for some treatment for an acute neck injury (they "slept funny" the night before.) However, they had previously gone to another Baltimore Chiropractor who tried to convince them that they would need to be a "lifetime" chiropractic patient in order to receive the most benefit of the proposed treatment.

The patient was startled by this. They were told that they were going to need 65 visits and to spend nearly $3,000 out of pocket up front just to help them with their neck pain. And, having completing this plan, they would need to come in at least once a month "forever" to help maintain the progress that was made on their neck. Having never been to a chiropractor before, this patient asked if this approach to care was normal. They asked if it was necessary to become a lifetime chiropractic patient in order to get out of acute pain.

As you all know, I do not believe that lifetime care for an acute injury is necessary. I am more than happy to get a prospective patient what they want- which is to get out of acute pain and to return them to their normal daily activities as quickly and with as little pain and restriction as possible. When I informed this patient that I would be happy to treat them for 2-3 visits and to get them out of acute pain for the cost of their copay (approximately 20 dollars if my memory serves me) they were elated. I saw the patient for about a week and their pain went away. The patient has since stopped treating for this injury since their pain resolved and their range of motion was completely restored.

Then it occurred to me. This patient HAS become a lifetime patient to me and my practice. I gave them what they wanted and needed and I trust that the next time, should there be a next time, that they need any treatment for neck or back pain, they will likely come back to my practice for additional treatment. He didn't feel "swindled" "manipulated" or "taken advantage of." But he has become a lifetime patient. If that means that he never has neck or back pain and I never see him again, then for his entire life, he only ever treated in my office for chiropractic care. This makes him a lifetime patient.

So am I looking for lifetime patients? By my definition- yes. I want people who so trust in the quality of care that we provide that they never look further than my practice for relief of their headaches, neck pain and back pain. But by that same token, am I looking to have someone show up weekly forever and pay my rent and put my kids through college? No - because at some point if chiropractic care doesn't work for a particular musculoskeletal condition then I don't want to treat that patient. I want to refer them to another provider who can get them well.

A lifetime patient can come in many forms. Whichever form you choose to be, we are happy to take care of you. If you, or someone you know, requires chiropractic care for auto accident injuries, headaches, neck pain, or back pain, please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be happy to help!

Dr. Gulitz

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