Phase 1: Crisis (Relief) Phase of Care
This phase often begins with the patient presenting for treatment in pain from a recent injury or a chronic condition. The patient’s spine is usually quite unstable during the early part of this phase. Chiropractic care during this phase is started gently, with lighter force techniques to provide care that is effective, yet as comfortable as possible. Since recent injuries and chronic conditions cause the spine to be out of balance and unstable, the spine often does not hold its corrective chiropractic adjustments well, necessitating more frequent visits during this phase. Symptoms can ease quickly for some and more slowly for others. It is critical that patients keep their appointments and follow any lifestyle recommendations made by their Doctor of Chiropractic to obtain the relief, spinal balance and spinal stability necessary for proper healing to begin. Although no two conditions and patients are exactly alike, the typical adult patient will need 2-3 visits per week for approximately 4-8 weeks depending on a variety of factors such as:
- Patient's age,
- Patient's weight,
- How long the patient has had the condition,
- To what degree the patient can avoid the activities that aggravate the condition,
- To what degree the patient follows the advice of the doctor,
- Patient's threshold level of pain, and
- Does the patient have other health issues?
Phase 2: Corrective Phase of Care
This phase of care is characterized by significant reduction of pain or no pain and patients are able to feel like resuming normal activities. As a patient resumes normal activities, it is common for the pains to begin to increase again. This occurs because the condition has not yet been fully stabilized. It is during this phase that the risk of re-injury is at its highest! Treatment continues so to keep the muscle spasms in check as well as to re-educate those same muscles into their normal tone and length. Along with chiropractic adjustments at this phase, rehabilitative exercises are introduced to strengthen the soft tissue that surrounds the affected spinal segments so that proper function becomes consistent in these regions of the spine. Consistent function not only allows for pain reduction of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, but also allows for the proper function of the organs and tissues that the nerves of the area control.
Phase 3: Preventive Phase of Care
Once your body has fully healed, routine chiropractic care can help ensure 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 chiropracpratice care to ensure the health of your musculoskeletal system.
When you make routine chiropractic care a part of your lifestyle, you 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.