Relief, Correction, Strengthening and Wellness Phases
The typical patient will encounter 4 stages of care. The first stage, Relief,focuses on symptomatic relief such as reduction of pain and other discomforts. The following stage, Correction addresses tissue healing and function normalization. The strengthening stage is a thorough progression of exercise rehab. The final stage, Wellness Care consists of periodic spinal care to prevent the formation of new injuries, minimize future flare-ups of old injuries, and prevent degenerative spinal processes from occurring. Throughout all the stages lifestyle wellness services can be incorporated to maximize your results and overall health.
Relief Phase is the first phase of care for most patients. The primary goal during this initial stage is to provide the individual with symptomatic relief. Treatments focus on those techniques and therapies which most quickly and effectively reduce pain and other discomforts. This will allow most individuals to continue their activities of daily living. Patients are generally recommended to “take it easy” but are encouraged to stay mobile and functional so long as there is not a risk of further injury or tissue damage. Therapies that reduce inflammation and muscle spasm are also used during this stage when present.
Chiropractic spinal adjustments are the cornerstone of the chiropractic treatment. Spinal adjustments are used successfully to treat a variety of different soft tissue disorders as well as a number or other health problems. Chiropractic doctors are the only health care professionals trained to deliver the chiropractic spinal adjustment. Research has shown spinal adjustments to be the most effective treatment in numerous conditions including back pain. This is because spinal adjustments correct many of the structural, bio-mechanical and neurological abnormalities of the spine which cause or contribute to a high number of back, neck and other non-spinal ailments.
Physical Modality such as electro-stimulation, ultrasound, ice and trigger point work are used in many cases in addition to the chiropractic adjustment to help reduce the discomfort, pain, reduce spasm and accelerate healing. Some of those are muscle stimulation, ultrasound, ice and trigger point work.
The second phase, corrective care focuses on the problems which caused and contributed to the condition. The changes and healing are incremental. Consistency is key.
Chiropractic spinal adjustments remain the cornerstone of the corrective phase with the addition of therapuetic stretching and exercise.
The Strengthening Phase consists of healing and rehabilitating the injured tissues. Unless this takes place, a favorable outcome is unlikely and future recurrences of the problem are likely. It is extremely important that the patient comply with and follow the instructions given by the doctor during this stage of care. Tissues and structures that are not fully healed and rehabilitated are prone to future problems. Sticking to appointments, complying with home exercises and instructions will help insure this occurs.
Exercise rehabilitation is emphasized during this phase and chiropractic spinal adjustment frequency is reduced.
The Wellness Care Phase is periodic spinal checkups once the spinal tissues are healed and spinal bio-mechanics have normalized. The frequency is dependent on many factors and will be individually determined for you. Chiropractic spinal checkups provide similar benefits to the spine that dental checkups provide to the teeth. Namely, catching minor problems and disturbances before they have the opportunity to cause pain, discomfort and irreversible tissue changes. Just like with cavities and heart attacks, irreversible tissue damage has generally occurred before the symptoms of spinal pain and discomfort become apparent. Many patients start working on their wellness lifestyle at this point if they haven’t already.