Did you know there are 5 separate phases within chiropractic care? In this post we will explain each one. Which phase are you in now and what phase do you think is right for you?
Generally speaking most people assume chiropractic care is for people in pain. While this is true SOME of the time it is not always the case. Believing chiropractic care is only for pain is like thinking your car can only drive forward. Driving forward is essential to get where you are going but its not the only thing it can do, right? Chiropractic care does provided pain relief to many of our patients but it is not the only thing it does! What makes chiropractic so unique is the fact that it addresses specific misalignments or subluxations in your spine that reduce the body's natural ability to heal. Restoring this healing potential relieves pain, reduces inflammation, improves range of motion and muscle tone, improves mental clarity, improves organ function and so much more! Let's get into the 5 different phases of chiropractic care!
1. Pain Relief or Acute Care - Pain is your body's way of telling you "Hey, there is a problem here that I can't fix alone." I like to say pain is often the last thing to show up and the first thing to leave. What this means is that pain is a typically the result of an injury that has been happening for a while. If there is a fire in the house the alarm won't go off immediately. It takes a little while for the smoke to build up enough before the alarm detects it. When this type of patient presents to the office they are often limited in their activity, limited in their range of motion, and are experiencing pain daily. During this phase our goal is to determine the pain generator (nerve, muscle, bone, or joint) and reduce inflammation as effectively as possible. Sometimes this requires X-rays, Electric Muscle Stimulation, Ice, and a Chiropractic Adjustment. Relief can happen in a matter of days or weeks depending on the diagnosis and how long the pain has been present.
2. Corrective Care - This phase is the first progression out of pain relief. Once the pain levels have decreased and the inflammation has gone down the real correction can begin. Oftentimes it is in this phase that we start to do more in the office. Whether it be massage, acupuncture, stretching, cupping, or exercises this is where the most change occurs. When we start to rehab, stabilize, and retrain the muscles and ligaments in your spine we can begin to correct persistent misalignments, muscle spasms, and imbalances that caused your injury in the first place. During corrective care our goals are to create balance which takes consistency and commitment but have major benefits.
3. Supportive Care - Supportive chiropractic care indicates that chiropractic care is being used to support a specific medical condition. For example, if someone has been diagnosed with a medical condition (ie: Fibromaglia) or perhaps has had spinal surgery in the past and they decide to use chiropractic care to support allopathic or traditional medical treatment for this specific condition. In this phase our goals are to improve their quality of life and keep inflammation as low as possible. Additionally, when chiropractic care is used in this way we keep other systems working optimally such as stress management, posture, sleep, digestion, etc. Supportive chiropractic care is commonly used as pain management along with other medical treatments.
4. Maintenance Care - This phase of care usually suggests that the patient has experienced relief from an old injury and wants to "maintain" the progress they have made. Maintenance care indicates their symptoms and pain have resolved and are able to return to normal activities but may experience flare ups from time to time. During maintenance care we can keep a close eye on problematic areas and address them sooner rather than later. Maintenance care looks difference for each patient. Some may feel great for a week before they feel they need to come in or some may feel great for a month depending on your lifestyle, level of activity, and overall health goals.
5. Wellness Care - Wellness care is the ultimate goal when you think about true health and chiropractic. It means that you are able to do the things you love, have zero to minimal limitations of activity, rarely get sick, average or above average range of motion, are sleeping well, maintain high energy levels, and and are just thriving overall! Wellness care usually means that a patient has decided to come in for a "tune-up" when they have zero symptoms. Chiropractic care is perfect in this phase because it KEEPS you healthy! At this stage you are being pro-active instead of re-active when it comes to your health! This is the "I want to be as healthy as I possibly can be" phase and we love it!
What phase are you in? What phase do you want to be in? Whatever phase it is we are here to help you meet your health goals! Give us a call (941)923-4357. Contact us HERE if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment!