How often should you get adjusted? Just to be nit picky, I'm actually going to change that question to say how often should you get checked?
We should get checked by a chiropractor at a minimum every two weeks. There are several reasons for this. In this conversation, we are assuming that you have already gone through an initial phase of care for neurological healing.
One, once you are through the rehab portion of your care you want to maintain the neurological progress that you made in your initial treatment. Adjustments build upon the last. Each adjustment has a certain amount of lasting effect in your body, which is largely dependent on your unique physiology. I prefer to time my clients' adjustments to land within this window of time, so that the effect continues to build. Once we have made a lasting effect on the body, we want to maintain it!
Another important piece of this is that stress is inevitable. We all have stress - physical, chemical, emotional, financial, environmental, etc. It is the continual encountering of stress that is going to affect your nervous system. How your brain responds to these ongoing stressors is going to affect your body. Chiropractic adjustments facilitate a more resilient stress response by the body. If you aren't getting adjusted regularly, your body will eventually feel an overwhelm of stress. This can lead to a gradual buildup of tension in your nervous system. This will eventually impact your brain-body communication. When there is a breakdown in the communication, this leads to dysfunction occurring, which will lead to symptoms occurring. Maybe you're like me and when you're under higher amounts of stress you'll notice a build of tension in your shoulders. Others get headaches. Some get digestive distress. Some can't sleep very well. Anxiety levels may climb. You know your body best and how it reacts to increased stress levels! Getting adjusted can help how your body responds to your stressors.
The final piece of this is that research shows that within two weeks of a joint in the body being in an aberrant (abnormal) position your body will start to lay down scar tissue to stabilize the joint. Again, this is a slow gradual process. About 30% of adults by the age of 35 have disc degeneration. By age 60 about 90% of people have disc degeneration. Keeping motion in the joints of your spine can help decrease and prevent the disc degeneration and laying down of scar tissue from happening. Chiropractic adjustments are doing just that, keeping mobility in your spine. Why do the joints between the vertebrae in your spine get into an aberrant position in the first place? It's that build up of tension in your nervous system and your body trying to adapt to it!
It's a bit of a chicken and egg cycle here, between the effects of stress on the body and your body's response to the stress. The most important thing is that we interrupt the cycle with consistent chiropractic care. Like I said at the beginning, at a minimum this would be every two weeks.
I fully acknowledge that every person is in a different place to how they can prioritize chiropractic care. Some chiropractic care is better than nothing. If you want to enjoy the full benefits of getting adjusted though, it is your consistency that makes the biggest difference!