Chiropractic care continues to grow in popularity thanks to its benefits to human health. Before undergoing chiropractic care, the chiropractor will examine your needs and devise a plan to resolve whatever issues are identified. Here’s an overview of the three primary phases of all chiropractic care and what they involve:
1. Relief Care (Crisis/Temporary Relief)
Most people approach chiropractic facilities to receive instant relief from their discomfort, usually back or neck pain. First-time users of chiropractic services will begin with relief care. The objective of relief or crisis care is to improve current symptoms and help the patient function properly without pain.
Crisis care starts with a comprehensive examination of the patient to identify the areas with spinal dysfunction and ponder underlying causes. The chiropractor will ask various questions about how the patient feels and the symptoms. A physical examination is almost always required to gauge the severity of the pain.
The doctor may request specific movements to evaluate the condition’s impact on the range of motion. After examination, the practitioner will determine the correct procedure to resolve or reduce the discomfort. They’ll also ensure the condition is stable for the short term.
Phase one may take two to eight weeks, depending on the underlying condition. Every patient has unique needs, so there’s no standard duration for how long the phase will last. The practitioner will complete examinations during each visit and monitor how the condition progresses.
Objective testing and x-rays may also be used to examine the spine further and determine whether it’s time to begin the next phase.
2. Corrective and Supportive Care
The temporary relief phase can get rid of the pain and symptoms but doesn’t mark the end of treatment. Corrective/rehabilitative care is designed to resolve the underlying issue and misalignment. The phase involves realigning the spine and correcting imbalances that cause injury.
Corrective care may include decompression, manual adjustments, and multiple weekly visits to strengthen the spinal muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The number of visits will reduce as the patient becomes more stable. Phase two may last four to six weeks, but some patients need as many as ten weeks to recover fully.
The practitioner will recommend visits based on the severity of the condition established during the initial examination phase. Corrective care is often followed by supportive care to avoid re-injury. The goal is to preserve progress and improve long-term benefits as the client goes into maintenance.
Supportive care is optional, so patients can go to maintenance after their spinal dysfunction is resolved. Patients with herniated discs or arthritis shouldn’t skip supportive care. This phase can improve overall health and align your goals when managing other conditions.
Supportive care also results in long-term benefits as it strengthens the spinal muscles and tendons. The practitioner will continue to monitor new developments.
3. Wellness/Maintenance Care
Chiropractic care is more than resolving the symptoms and underlying condition. The practitioner aims to improve overall health and address daily stressors to avoid future problems or reoccurrence of treated issues.
During the maintenance phase, your chiropractor will monitor problem areas and examine the patient’s general lifestyle and health goals. Maintenance tune-ups can also resolve occasional flare-ups caused by known stressors.
The wellness phase is the time to discuss overall health topics, such as diet, fitness, sleep patterns, and weight loss. Your practitioner may also recommend supplements and workout routines to strengthen the body.
Many professional athletes use chiropractic wellness and maintenance services to stay in shape and avoid injury. The number of visits is at a minimum during this phase as it involves aligning improvements to the patient’s goals.
Chiropractic maintenance services can keep the spine and nervous system functioning at maximum potential. Some people need lifelong maintenance to manage specific conditions. Athletes and patients whose jobs increase the risk of injury may also need regular maintenance to strengthen their spine. The visits may not require X-rays and comprehensive examinations but involve physical probes to ensure everything is fine.
Working With a Reputable Chiropractor
Chiropractic care can improve various conditions if you choose a reputable facility and professionals. Working with a licensed and trusted chiropractor like CORE will ensure proper examination and customized treatment.