Laying the Foundation for Health
In some ways, one could say that chiropractic care is a bit like building a house - certain things have to happen in a particular order in order for everything to stand strong and work together correctly. When building a house, if you tried to build your walls before you had a solid foundation, your walls would be weak and eventually may even collapse. If you tried to build your roof before the walls were ready, you would run into the same problem. These concepts apply to your body as well. Chiropractic care addresses many common reasons why people experience pain and other health issues. With chiropractic care, as with any type of physical medicine, time; consistency, and repetition is necessary in order for the body to repair itself correctly and fully. There are four general phases of chiropractic care . . .
Phase 1: Relief Care
If you are in pain when you come into our office, our first objective is to help you reduce pain and start feeling better as soon as possible. The amount of time this takes depends on the severity of the underlying condition which is causing your pain. In this phase of care our goal is to increase circulation, decrease inflammation and relax muscles so that we can take pressure off of the nerve that is sending pain signals to your brain.
Phase 2: Corrective/Restorative Care
During the corrective phase of care, muscles and other soft tissues are allowed to heal more completely as we continue to restore motion to restricted joints. Think about a cut on your finger: the pain usually only lasts a few hours or a day. But, how long does it take for the cut to completely heal? It sometimes takes weeks for the redness and swelling to disappear; the scab to form and fall off, and for the tissue to remodel and return normal. Pain is always the last thing to show and the first to go! The goal of corrective or restorative chiropractic care is to help bring your body back to 100% functioning and not just get you out of pain. This decreases the likelihood of re-injury to the problem area.
Phase 3: Rehabilitation
During this phase of care, our goal is to stabablize the muscles that protect a joint. This helps prevent further injury or pain. Muscles control a joint. Rehabilitation is simply stretching muscles that are too tight and strenghtening muscles that are weak in order to achieve a balance between muscle groups, allowing optimal control and position of a joint.
Phase 4: Maintainence/Wellness Care
Once your body has healed and you are no longer experiencing pain, it is important to come in for periodic chiropractic adjustments to avoid future problems. The purpose of these adjusments is to detect and correct small problems long before the painful state. Wellness care is much like getting your dental check up to detect cavaties before a root canal is neccessary! Based on your lifstyle and goals, maintainence adjustments are usually necessary every 3-6 weeks.