This is a question that I get all the time. The answer is; I don’t know yet, come on in and I’ll examine you. Every person is different, and so is every injury. The text books will give an average recovery rate for each particular injury, and even treatment recommendations. The problem with those is that they are not specific to a case.
Most people who ask this are concerned about cost, or have heard that once you visit a chiropractor you have to keep going the rest of your life. To allay fears, I always say that I will set up a treatment plan with them, so that they can decide how many visits they are going to use. I examine them and present my findings, and recommend treatment. I then ask them if this seems reasonable to them. If they are hesitant then I recommend a 2 week trial. If at that point I am not getting any results then I need to do something else anyway. If we are getting results, I present my findings, and try again to set a treatment plan with them.
I also base my treatment on goals rather than numbers of visits. For example we set the goal to get the pain to centralize. When we reach that goal we will change our visit frequency. As soon as they reach their ultimate goal I re-examine, see if the patient has additional goals that they want to achieve through chiropractic, if not, I release them from care.
My patients usual goals are to get back to life as quickly as possible. For some anxious patients, they may not even complete the full treatment plan. They do this at their own risk, but they feel that they can get the rest of the way better on their own. For the chronic condition patients they may be treating the rest of their life just to cope with symptoms. There are other patients still who want performance or maintenance care. These are looking for a bit extra from their care. They may not even be hurting, but know that their life/game is better with regular care.
Simply put, if you think a doctor is recommending excessive visits, ask him about it. If you are still concerned ask for a second opinion. You are never required to keep going to a chiropractor. If you think you are being bullied or scared into unnecessary care then you have legal recourse. No doctor should ever try to get you to come more often than he believes is needed. If you pay in advance. The doctor should refund any unused portion of your payment. Here in Utah it is a part of our ethics code.