Laying the Foundation for Total Health
Chiropractic care is like building a house - certain things have to happen in a particular order so everything can stand strong and work correctly. When building a house, if you tried to put up your walls before you had a solid foundation, your walls would be weak and eventually collapse. If you tried to put on your roof before the walls were ready, you would run into the same problem.
The same is true for your body. Your body has to go through a particular plan of care in order to repair itself correctly and fully.
Phase 1: Relief Care
If you are in pain, the first objective is to reduce symptoms and help you feel better. Depending on the severity of your problem, it is possible to need care two to three times per week for four to 12 weeks.
Some people are under the assumption that if they don't feel any pain that there is nothing wrong with them. Unfortunately, pain is a very poor indicator of health. In fact, pain and other symptoms frequently only appear after a disease or other condition has become advanced.
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? 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 2: Corrective/Restorative Care
During the corrective care phase, muscles and other tissues are allowed to heal more completely, thereby helping prevent injury. It is typical to need care four to eight times per month for six to 24 months, depending on your overall health and the severity of your problem.
During the correction / restorative phase of your care, you will not have to receive adjustments as often. Depending on your particular circumstances, you may begin doing exercises and stretches either at the center or at home to help accelerate your healing.
Do not be discouraged if you occasionally have mild flare-ups in your symptoms. This is normal. Depending on the severity of your injury or condition and how long you have been suffering from it, this phase of your care may last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.
Phase 3: Wellness Care
Once your body has fully healed, it is important to come in for periodic adjustments to help avoid future problems. Usually, this only requires a quick visit to the chiropractor one to four times per month, based on your lifestyle and goals.
Once your body has fully healed, routine chiropractic care can help ensure your physical problems do not return and keep your body in optimal condition. 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.