What to Expect – Stages of Treatment
Life itself proceeds in a certain order – we grow from children to teens to young adults to mature men and women. Each step in the process prepares us for the next one and is dependent upon the previous one. Children don’t have the experience to be wise, and young adults need the schooling they got as teens. In just the same manner, chiropractic care, proceeds in a certain order. In order for your body to repair itself and return to full health you have to go through three very specific stages.
Typically people initially come into the chiropractor’s office when they are in pain so the first objective is to help you feel better. Usually people will need care daily until their pain is under control and they can resume something close to normal activity.
Here, the focus is on realigning and strengthening your physical structure to help the muscles and joints avoid future injury. How long this stage lasts depends on you and the nature of your injury.
Once you have recovered from the injury that brought you in for care it’s important that you have periodic adjustments to help you maintain the highest level of health and avoid problems in the future.
Read More About Each Stage
Many people seek help from a chiropractor only when they are suffering from such intense pain that it is interfering with their daily life. Chiropractic classifies treatment in this period of intense pain as relief care. The chiropractor’s focus during this period is to alleviate your symptoms. Sometimes, this will require daily visits or two to three visits per week for some time.
There’s nothing like pain to motivate people to see a chiropractor, so once the pain has subsided many people think the healing is done. But reducing or eliminating the pain is only one step in restoring your body to physical and structural health.
For example, have you ever had a cavity in your tooth? Did you feel the pain right away or only after it became serious?
When you experience the kind of intense pain that moves you to take the time to seek help, it’s easy to see that you aren’t healthy. Once the pain is gone you may assume your health has been restored. But unfortunately just the absence of pain is not a true measure of health. Many ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and others don’t display pain as a symptom until they are pretty well advanced.
Doing nothing until you are in severe pain really isn’t the best way to maintain your health. A more proactive plan is required – one that consistently and intelligently increases your natural health and vitality.
We regard eliminating your symptoms as the easiest part of a persons care. If we stop there it’s very likely that the underlying cause of the pain (disk problem, curved spine, limited range of motion, etc.)will cause a recurrence of the condition. If you repeat the process of treating only the pain, then over time your structural problem will only worsen leading to a chronic state of pain and suffering.
Corrective care is not as intensive as Relief care, and requires fewer weekly visits depending on you particular circumstances. During this stage your chiropractor may introduce you to some gentle exercise and stretching to help accelerate your healing.
It’s not uncommon to have minor setbacks during this stage. This is normal. Flare-ups can occur because your body has not fully healed. The duration of corrective care depends on a variety of factors such as your age, overall health, and the nature and severity of the injury. It’s not uncommon for the chiropractor to take another set of x-rays to determine your progress.
Once the chiropractor determines that you have fully recovered from your injury you are ready for treatment in Stage 3 – Wellness. As strange as it may seem this might well be the most important part of the entire process. Most of the injuries that people suffer that lead them to chiropractors occur because their bodies aren’t really in overall good health.
Your nervous system is the key to your health and well being and your spinal column is the major highway your nervous system uses to keep all the parts of your body operating efficiently. If that highway isn’t in good repair then there are constant “traffic jams” and “detours” that prevent the nervous system from communicating effectively to all of your tissues, cells and organs. It is that efficient communication that helps your body meet every physical challenge quickly and correctly.
Including regular visits to your chiropractor is your best insurance against many of the nagging aches and pains that so often wind up as major problems. This regular care can help you live a more active and better feeling life, doing what you enjoy.