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Raleigh Chiropractor : Chiropractic Phases of Care

Acute or Relief Phase of Care

Chiropractic Phases of CareThis phase of care is typically the initial stage of care because it is the phase that patients enter the office in some degree of pain. This phase can be characterized by swelling, lack of motion, muscle spasm, not sleeping, or just feeling lousy. Chiropractic care combined with rest and ice is recommended during this healing phase of care and is usually defined as the first 2-6 weeks of care. Sometimes other forms of physical therapy like electrical muscle stimulation are utilized with chronic problems in addition to the chiropractic adjustments. Treatment is normally at its highest level with many conditions requiring daily adjustments to 3-2 times per week for the duration of 4-6 weeks depending on the severity of your condition. For this phase of care we focus our goals on minimizing pain, decreasing swelling, promoting healing, and restoring motion to the affected area. The majority of our patients will see significant reduction of their symptoms in this phase but this is only the beginning of what all chiropractic care can do for your health.

Corrective or Rehabilitative Phase of Care

The corrective phase of chiropractic is usually defined as the next 4-8 weeks of care after initial onset of injury and is known as the rehabilitation phase of care. This phase of care is characterized by significant reduction of pain or no pain and patients are able to feel like resuming normal activities. As a patient resumes normal activities, it is common for the pains to begin to increase again. This occurs because the condition has not yet been fully stabilized. It is during this phase that the risk of re-injury is at its highest! Treatment continues so to keep the muscle spasms in check as well as to re-educate those same muscles into their normal tone and length. Along with chiropractic adjustments at this phase, rehabilitative exercises are introduced 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. Frequency of visits decreases but may still be 1-2 times per week for 6-8 weeks or longer for more severe conditions. Goals of this phase aim in reducing the risk of re-injury, continuing pain reduction, restoring range of motion and improving joint function, preventing degeneration and chronic stiffness, strengthening newly formed tissue, and reducing the formations of scar tissue.

Supportive and Maintenance Phase of Care

The last phases of care are the most fun for both the patient and myself! These stages are when the pain is mostly gone or extremely stable. Treatment frequency ranges from once every two weeks to once every 6 weeks.

Supportive care is defined as care for patients who reach medical maximum therapeutic benefit, but fail to sustain that benefit and progressively deteriorate when there are periodic trials of chiropractic treatment withdrawal. There are periods of time you may feel pain with exertion or times of stress but with regular chiropractic care are kept to a minimum.

Maintenance Care is elective healthcare not normally covered by your insurance that is typically long-term, provided at regular intervals to improve and maintain good health, prevent disease and spinal degeneration, and prolong and enhance the quality of your LIFE!

Both Supportive care and Maintenance care are very important to your continued well-being and strongly recommended by me your doctor of chiropractic! There are great benefits in both of these stages. Once a patient has worked hard to get to this level, it is much easier to stay well than to get well. Another tremendous benefit of this stage is that if for some reason an injury to the spine occurs again, it is very common that instead of needing a significant amount of treatment to help, a relatively small amount of care usually does the trick.

Of course it is always your choice to determine what degree you choose to benefit from chiropractic care. I am describing the benefits of the different phases of your care so you can make the most educated decision about your health.

Call Gray Family Chiropractic today with any questions about chiropractic care.


Gray Family Chiropractic | (919) 850-2440
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