THE FOUR PHASES OF CHIROPRACTIC CARE
- ACUTE OR RELIEF PHASE OF CARE
This phase of care is typically the initial stage of treatment. The patient will enter the office in some degree of pain, which can include symptoms such as swelling, lack of motion, or muscle spasms. Treatment during this stage can consist of various forms of physical therapy, ice or heat therapy, and chiropractic adjustments
of the spine. This stage generally lasts from several days to several weeks. In this stage, treatment is normally at its highest level as many conditions may require multiple visits each week.
This phase begins when pain has significantly been reduced. The stage is characterized by the patient feeling like he or she is able to resume normal activities. Patients are encouraged to proceed with caution during this time because if the patient resumes all activities too quickly the pain may increase. This occurs because the condition has not yet been fully stabilized. Physical therapy, if warranted, continues to keep muscle spasms in check and to reeducate the muscles to their normal tone and strength. Chiropractic adjustments continue to increase spinal mobility so that normal nerve function may return to the spine and the nervous system. This phase of care can take several weeks. The frequency of care can still be multiple visits per week, but perhaps not as frequently as in the acute or relief phase of care.
- STRENGTHENING PHASE OF CARE
This phase of care is characterized by either significant reduction of pain (or no pain) in most cases and continues stabilization of pain in the severely chronic cases. Frequency of visits continues to reduce, while rehabilitative exercises typically increase. Our goal in this stage is to strengthen the soft tissue that surrounds the affected spinal segments so that proper function becomes consistent in these regions of the spine. Consistent function not only allows for pain reduction of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, but also allows for the proper function of the organs and tissues that the nerves of the area control.
- MAINTENANCE OR SUPPORTIVE PHASE OF CARE
The fourth stage is characterized by the pain either being totally eliminated or having been extremely stabilized in chronic conditions. Treatment frequency can range from once per week to once every two months depending on the condition of the patient. The goal of this stage is to keep the patient at the level of the comfort he or she desires. There are great benefits to maintaining a regular schedule of "maintenance visits". It is much easier to keep a patient at this level of care when he or she maintains regular chiropractic visits. If a patient experiences a "flare up", generally a relatively small amount of care will correct the problem.
It is always the patient's choice to determine to what extent he or she will receive chiropractic treatment. Doctor Lewis will provide recommendations to you throughout your treatment and will encourage your completion of the program. Ultimately, it is up to you to make the most educated decision for your specific situation.
- CAN CHIROPRACTIC CARE HELP ME?
Chiropractic care can benefit the following conditions in patients of all ages:
We specialize in Cranial Facial Pain Syndromes & Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction. Our office has Maryland's only Board Certified Craniopath & one of Maryland's two Board Certified Chiropractic Radiologists.