A typical patient will encounter 3 phases of care. Phase one focuses on the obvious symptoms such as reduction of pain. The second phase addresses joint & spinal stabilization and correcting the underlying cause of the problem. The last phase consists of periodic check-ups to prevent the formation of new injuries and minimize future flare-ups.
Acute care is when the patient enters the chiropractic office and is in some degree of pain. Treatments focus on those techniques and therapies which most quickly and effectively reduce pain and inflammation, decrease muscle spasms, promote healing, and restore motion to the affected joint & spinal area. Chiropractic care, combined with rest and ice, is recommended during this phase and is usually defined as the first 4-6 weeks of care. Treatment is normally at its highest level with many conditions requiring daily adjustments or 2-3 times per week for the duration of 4-6 weeks depending on the severity of your condition. It is extremely important that patients keep their appointments and follow their treatment plan for proper healing to occur.
This phase is characterized by significant reduction of pain or no pain and the patient is able to resume normal activities. Your spine is beginning to stabilize and hold its adjustments for longer periods. Along with chiropractic adjustments, rehabilitative stretching and exercises are introduced to strengthen the spine and supporting structures. Frequency of visits decreases but may still be 1-2 times per week for 4-8 weeks or longer for more severe conditions. The emphasis shifts on correcting the underlying cause of the problem, accelerating soft tissue healing, restoring proper range of motion, and improving joint function. Do not be discouraged if you experience 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. Patients should also be aware that once pain and discomfort have disappeared, tissue healing and functional correction is still incomplete and will often require additional treatments.
Phase three of care begins once your body has thoroughly healed and is now holding its adjustments. The patient will be recommended to continue with periodic check-ups. Treatment frequency ranges anywhere from once every two weeks to once a year. These routine chiropractic check-ups will help maintain optimum health and be used to help avoid future problems and flare-ups.