When people come into my office after they have been struggling with pain for a while, I usually ask them why they waited so long to see a chiropractor. The number one answer I get is “I thought the pain would go away” followed closely by “I have been to other doctors and they just prescribed drugs and referred me to physical therapy”. One thing I tell most patients when they have pain is that pain is common, not normal. For instance, if you have pain while doing squats at the gym, most people would slightly modify the squat to avoid the pain. But if you have to modify an activity because of pain, there is a reason why and that needs to be addressed.
So, when should you come in? That depends. If you have chronic pain and have not been evaluated by a chiropractor, there is no better time to come in. If you just got hurt, come on in. If you lead a very active lifestyle and have not been adjusted in over a month or two, get adjusted. There is no set frequency of when to get evaluated and adjusted. I have patients who get adjusted a few times a year and that works for them. I have patients who regularly go 3 weeks before they need to be adjusted. Frequency of care depends on the severity of your condition and the length of time you have had it.
The key is to listen to your body. Most people who have had chiropractic care before can tell when it is time to get adjusted.