The typical patient will encounter 3 stages of care. The first stage focuses on symptomatic relief such as pain reduction and other discomfort. The following stage addresses tissue healing and normalization of function. The final stage consists of periodic spinal care to prevent the formation of new injuries, minimize future flare-ups and previous injuries, and prevent degenerative spinal processes from occurring.
1) Relief Care
e t1Relief care is the first stage of care for most patients. The primary goal during this initial stage is to provide the individual with symptomatic relief. Treatments focus on techniques and therapies which most quickly and effectively reduce pain levels and other discomforts. This will allow the majority of 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.
2) Corrective Care
The second stage of care consists of correcting the problems which caused and contributed to the condition, and to aid in healing and rehabilitating the injured tissues. Without this stage of care, a favorable outcome is much more unlikely, and future recurrences of the problem much more likely to occur. 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 more prone to future problems. Sticking to appointments, complying with home exercises/instructions, and following all other recommendations will help to insure proper healing and correction. Patients should also be aware that once pain and discomfort have subsided, tissue healing and functional correction is many times still incomplete and will often require further treatments
3) Wellness Care:
Once the spinal tissues are healed and spinal bio-mechanics have normalized the patient will be recommended to continue with periodic spinal checkups. For some this might mean a few times per year, while for others this may mean once per month or more. 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.