PHASES OF CARE
After your first visit to the office, we will examine your individual case and determine what care is appropriate for you. You will be informed how frequently you will need to come in to achieve the goals you desire from care in our office. Frequency and the type of care will vary based on which stage of care you are in. There are four phases of chiropractic care:
Phase 1: Relief Care Phase 2: Corrective Care Phase 3: Strengthening Care Phase 4: Management
Many people go to a chiropractor because they are in pain. In this first phase of care, the main goal is to reduce your symptoms. Sometimes this will require daily visits, or two to three visits per week for a period of time. During your time in the office, you will be given tips and reminders on helping your body heal as quickly as possible. These may be simple things like increasing your water intake or applying hot or cold packs, and they may be more aggressive options like adding nutritional support, dietary or lifestyle changes that may be contributing to your pain and symptoms.
Most people are under the assumption that if they don’t feel any pain that there is nothing wrong with them – that they are healthy. Unfortunately, pain is a very poor indicator of health. Pain is just the tip of the iceburg.
In fact, pain and other symptoms frequently only appear after a disease or other condition has become advanced. For example, the first sign of heart disease is often a heart attack. Does this mean the individual was healthy until they had the heart attack? Or how about the progression of dental cavities into a needed root canal? Cavities themselves are not painful until the nerve root is affected. Does this mean the tooth was healthy when it was in the “cavity stage”? Of course not. Pain is a very poor indicator of health.
Whether you are talking about cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stress or problems with the spine, pain is usually the last thing to appear. When you begin chiropractic care, pain is also the first symptom to disappear, even though much of the underlying condition remains. This is why corrective care is very important to you and your health – it addresses the underlying iceburg of your problems.
Most chiropractors regard the elimination of symptoms as the easiest part of someone’s care. However, if all the chiropractor does is remove the tip of iceburg and reduce the pain without addressing the CAUSE of the pain, the chances of the condition recurring are much greater. In order to prevent a rapid recurrence of symptoms, it is necessary to continue receiving care even though your symptoms are gone to stabilize the spine and re-train the nervous system into a healthier pattern.
During the corrective, or restorative phase of your care, you will not have to receive adjustments as often as you did during the first phase of care and, depending on your particular circumstances, you may begin doing exercises and stretches either at the center or at home to help accelerate your healing. More in depth lifestyle education will be incorporated to help maintain this higher level of care.
Do not be discouraged if you have mild flare-ups in your symptoms on occasion. This is normal. Flare-ups are bound to occur during this phase because your body has not fully healed. Depending on the severity of your injury or condition and how long you have been suffering from it, this phase of your care may last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.
Your condition will determine the amount of treatments needed to complete the healing process. To help improve and accelerate the healing process you can perform certain exercises at the clinic, or in the comfort of your own home.
This phase could take a few months or more depending on the seriousness of your condition. Soreness or flare-ups may occur and are completely normal. The goal of this phase is to continue pain reduction, strengthen tissue, and restore range of motion.
When tests show that your spine is functioning better, a periodic check-up is sometimes recommended to keep your spine functioning optimally. There is research to show that in the same way you might visit your dentist regularly, a periodic chiropractic visit can help to prevent future pain and injury.
Pain can be a real burden. It can limit what you do. With suitable chiropractic care you can feel better, and stay better while keeping up your demanding daily schedule.
Once your body has fully healed, routine chiropractic care can help ensure that your physical problems do not return, and keep your body in optimal condition. Just like continuing an exercise program and eating well in order to sustain the benefits of exercise and proper diet, it is necessary to continue chiropractic care to ensure the health of your musculoskeletal system. As you enter this phase of care, you will have the option to sit down with our Creating Wellness team and undergo a comprehensive wellness assessment.
When you make routine chiropractic care a part of your lifestyle, your nervous system will function at a higher level and will allow you to experience more life at higher levels. You will avoid many of the aches and pains that so many people suffer through, your joints will last longer and you will be able to engage in more of the activities you love. Overall, chiropractic wellness patients report happier and healthier lives in all dimensions of life!
This is a difficult concept in the beginning, but the majority of our practice members OPT for wellness care because they can just feel the difference chiropractic makes. This is a choice – not a requirement. Again, no one forces you to get regular teeth cleanings – this is your choice that you make based on accurate information on dental hygiene.
The subluxation process is slowed or stopped with long-term chiropractic care; this allows the body to optimize its ability to heal. Healing is the regeneration of the damaged cells and tissues of the body that accompanies the removal of nerve interference, and the reintegration of the body, mind and spirit.
When your pain and symptoms are gone, and when your immune system is functioning at 100% capacity, the quality of your life will be substantially better. As your health improves and your body begins the process of healing itself and functioning optimally, most patients lose their dependence on medication and see that they no longer get “sick” as they have in the past. A longer, healthier life is often the result of long-term chiropractic care.