Types of care:
The first stage of your care is relief. During this stage our goal is to get you out of pain and to break up the muscle memory that is holding your spine in the wrong position. During this phase of treatment you will generally see your doctor 2 times per week. You can expect to be completely or almost completely out of pain by the end of your relief phase.
This is comparative to the stage in orthodontics that is done before braces such as widening the palate, removing baby teeth that haven’t fallen out, etc. The mouth has been given more space, so it has relief, but there real work to correct the problem hasn’t taken place yet.
Your doctor may recommend vitamins or other supplements that may help with the symptoms you are experiencing. These are specific to your lifestyle and your body’s demands. Adding these supplements provides your body with what it needs to heal.
After finishing the relief phase, you’ll move into the Corrective Phase. This is when the real healing takes place. By this point, we’ve broken up the old muscle memory patterns and we are building new muscle memory patterns in the correct position for your spine. Typically, you’ll see the doctor 1 time per week during this phase. If you have any symptoms left, you can expect them to remiss during this phase. During this time patients sometimes feel like they have “plateaued” or they may have a flare up of symptoms. This is normal as your body starts to relax and move into the correct patterns. They body will recover quickly and continue to heal. This is like the braces phase of chiropractic care, if we continue our comparison to orthodontics.
Your doctor will likely give you stretches/exercises to do at home during this phase. Your progress is dependent upon you following the recommendation of your doctor and doing your stretches and exercises will be greatly beneficial to you and your health.
During the strengthening phase of your care your doctor is just checking to make sure your body has learned to hold itself in the correct position. You will see your doctor 2 times per month during this phase and basically your doctor just wants to know that the problem has been completely corrected and won’t return. This is the retainer phase when compared with orthodontics.
You should continue to do your exercises and maintain a healthy balanced diet. At this point, most patients are able to stop taking any special vitamin or supplements. Your doctor will determine if you are ready.
Congratulations! You are well! Wellness care helps you stay that way. Your doctor will ask you to come in for a spinal checkup. This is a routine visit similar to your dentist, eye doctor, etc. This way you can catch any small problems before they become big problems and live a healthy, happy, pain free life!
You should still continue to exercise and eat healthy during this time. The better you take care of yourself, the fewer adjustments you’ll need.