INITIAL TREATMENT: Many people seek out chiropractic care because they are in pain. During the first phase of care, the main goal is to reduce your symptoms, including the pain. Sometimes this will require daily visits, or two to three visits per week for a time. During this phase of care it is important to retrain soft tissue. To retrain soft tissue it must hold the new pattern for at lest one week therefore treatment cycles of over one week do not accomplish this goal.
One of the many misconceptions when patients start treatment is “if I don’t feel any pain that there is nothing wrong with me – I am healthy.” Unfortunately, pain is a very poor indicator of health and often pain and other symptoms only appear after a disease or other condition have become advanced. Pain is the typically the last indicator that something is wrong and the first one to leve. It is for this reason that people often re-injure themselves or drop out of care to soon.
For example, consider a cavity in your tooth. Does it hurt when it first develops or only after it has become serious? How about heart disease or cancer? Often a paper cut hurts worse than any of these conditions do in the early stages. Regardless of 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.
PHASE TWO: CORRECTIVE CARE / STRENGTHENING PHASE
The easiest part of the chiropractor’s job is the elimination of pain. If all that the chiropractor does is to reduce the pain and stop, the chances of the condition recurring are much greater. It is at this point that the patient is most likely to re-injure themselves. In order to prevent a rapid recurrence of symptoms, it is necessary to continue receiving care even though the PAIN symptom is gone.
During the correction / restorative phase of your care the chiropractic adjustment is important but not the only treatment required. The patient moves into a strengthening period, and exercise as well as other therapies to improve rang of motion and proprioception are used in conjunction with the chiropractic adjustments. During this phase of care, depending on your particular circumstances, you may begin doing exercises and stretches at the office as well as at home to help accelerate your healing.
Do not be discouraged if you have mild flare-ups of 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, this phase of your care may last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.
PHASE THREE: WELLNESS CARE / WELLNESS PHASE
The key to health is maintainance and 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. It is important to think of spinal hygiene at this point. Just like dental hygiene your spine need ongoing care from you chiropractor as well as home maintenance such as exercise and stretching. 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.
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. Spinal hygiene is important for everyone.Paul R. Mahler Jr. DC Mahler Family Chiropractic Center 1144 wyoming Ave. Kingston, PA. 18704 http://www.mahler-chiropractic.com May be reproduced in whole only.