Spine Spot Chiropractic




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Stages of Chiropractic Care

Understanding the 3 Phases of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on the body's structure, particularly the spine, and how it functions. Chiropractic care is organized into three main phases of care: relief care, corrective care, and maintenance care, each stage serving a specific purpose in addressing a patient's condition and promoting overall well-being. Understanding these phases is essential for anyone seeking chiropractic treatment, as it provides insight into the comprehensive approach taken by chiropractors to promote healing and maintain health.

The Importance of Each Phase

Relief Care: Addressing Immediate Pain

The first phase of chiropractic care is relief care, which focuses on addressing immediate pain and discomfort. Patients seeking help at a chiropractic center often experience a range of symptoms, which are addressed across the three stages of chiropractic care, including back pain, neck pain, headaches, and more. During the relief care phase, the primary goal is to alleviate these symptoms and improve the patient's quality of life.

Corrective Care: Restoring Function and Alignment

Upon addressing the initial pain and discomfort in the first phase of care, the next stage, corrective care, then takes up the mission of restoring proper function and alignment to the body. This phase focuses on addressing the underlying issues that contribute to the patient's condition, rather than simply managing symptoms.

Wellness Care: Maintaining Overall Health

The final phase of chiropractic care is wellness care, which emphasizes maintaining overall health and preventing future injuries or conditions. This third stage of chiropractic care, maintenance care, is essential for long-term well-being and often involves regular visits to the chiropractic center to keep up the progress made during the earlier stages.

What to Expect in Phase One

Initial Visit: Assessing Your Condition

During the initial visit, a chiropractor will evaluate the patient's condition, including conducting a thorough examination and discussing the patient's medical history. This assessment, made in the first phase of care, is essential for the doctor of chiropractic to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to the specific needs of each patient.

Chiropractic Adjustments: Alleviating Discomfort

Chiropractic adjustments, which occur during the first stage of care, are a central component of relief care, designed to alleviate discomfort and restore proper alignment to the spine. These adjustments are tailored to the individual's needs, providing targeted relief to the affected areas.

Acute Care: Managing Intense Symptoms

For patients experiencing intense symptoms, such as severe back pain or persistent headaches, acute care may be utilized to manage and reduce these symptoms. This phase, the initial stage of chiropractic care, focuses on both providing immediate relief and improving the patient's comfort level.

Moving into Phase Two

Rehabilitative Phase: Enhancing Range of Motion

As patients transition to the second stage of chiropractic care, known as corrective care, the focus shifts towards rehabilitation and enhancing their range of motion. The second phase of care in the chiropractic treatment process involves targeted exercises and therapies aimed at strengthening the affected areas and improving overall mobility.

Spinal Health: Strengthening the Core

Restoring spinal health is a key objective of the corrective phase of care, as it significantly contributes to overall well-being and function. Chiropractors employ specific techniques and exercises to strengthen the core and promote a healthy spine.

Regular Chiropractic Visits: Sustaining Progress

Throughout the corrective care phase, which is the second of three stages of chiropractic care, regular sessions with the doctor of chiropractic are crucial for sustaining progress and monitoring the patient's ongoing improvement. These visits enable the chiropractor to adjust the treatment plan as needed and ensure that the patient continues to make positive strides towards recovery.

More Details on each of the Phases 

Stages of Chiropractic Care Basalt Aspen Carbondale
What are the Stages of Chiropractic Care? 

Many people seek chiropractic treatments when they are injured or in pain because chiropractic care is a natural process that aims to restore and maintain health without the use of medications or surgery. There are three stages of chiropractic care: acute care, corrective care, and wellness care. Which stage your care is in depends upon your body’s current condition and how your body responds to treatment.

Each of the stages has different physical and functional goals, and you may receive different treatments and therapies in each of these three stages. There is no set timeline for the different stages: Your progress will depend on the severity of any injury, your health prior to injury, your lifestyle habits and daily activities, and your body’s response to treatment.

Acute Care (Relief) - Phase 1

Acute care is the first stage of chiropractic care, and the goal in this phase is pain relief. If you have suffered an injury or are experiencing pain, your treatment at this stage will focus on alleviating your pain so you can resume daily activities. To do this, your chiropractor will work with you to decrease inflammation and improve the way your muscles and joints are functioning. In this stage, you may be asked to come into the clinic frequently at first, but visits will become less frequent as you progress. You can expect multiple treatment techniques to be used to manage your pain and begin to improve your range of motion.

How long your care is in the relief stage depends on how severe your injury is, how often you see your chiropractor, and, once again, how your condition is responding to care. Don’t be discouraged if your progress seems slow at first. Most problems don’t develop overnight; rather, they often result from an accumulation of events, traumas, and poor habits. Therefore, don’t expect things to change overnight. The overall scope of care in this stage seeks to stabilize your condition so that the underlying cause of your symptoms can be addressed.

Corrective Care (Rehab) - Phase 2

In the corrective care stage, you and your chiropractor will work together using techniques and exercises for repairing and re-training muscles and joints to move correctly. This phase of care may focus on rehabilitating poor muscle patterns and other underlying causes of the symptoms targeted by relief care. Your physical condition, age, and lifestyle all influence which treatment methods will be used, and your chiropractor will make sure that you aren’t experiencing pain or discomfort.

During this stage, your symptoms should be minimal, and you should feel that you can move and perform your everyday activities with little to no discomfort. You should be experiencing better pain-free ranges of motion. In this phase, you will continue with regular chiropractic visits, but the length of time between appointments will be longer than in the acute care stage.

Wellness Care (Retain) - Phase 3

This last phase of chiropractic care is one in which you and your chiropractor will work to retain the progress you made in the first two stages of care. Wellness care, which is also sometimes called “maintenance” care, is focused on maintaining the results achieved and keeping you pain-free, moving, and functioning as well as possible.

Much like regular visits to the dentist’s office are key to maintaining the health of your teeth even when you aren’t experiencing obvious dental problems, chiropractic maintenance care is key to keeping you in the best spinal health—and chiropractors can spot potential problems with the health of your spine before symptoms develop. Studies show that a chiropractic maintenance care regimen reduces disability over the long term. In this stage of care, your visits to the chiropractor are spaced out further than in the acute and corrective stages, and the time between visits depends on your activity level, lifestyle habits, and, as always, how your body responds to chiropractic care.

Keep in mind that everyone has different pain and activity levels, as well as different types and severity of injury—and every individual responds differently to different types of chiropractic treatment. We take all of this information into consideration when creating a treatment plan with you. Our goal is to get you moving and feeling well as quickly as possible, so you can return to enjoying life!

More about Chiropractic Care

Dr. James Fraser

Doctor of Chiropractic