3 Phases of Chiropractic Care
Acute care is the ‘foundational’ phase of care. This typically applies to patients who are desperate to feel better from an injury or condition that is causing pain or functional immobility. Examples include following a car accident or after an old injury or illness has been exacerbated. The goal of acute care is to halt progression of a patient’s condition, reduce inflammation, generate rapid pain relief, and achieve some degree of functional improvement. This phase of care tends to be more intensive than the others and may initially require more frequent treatments that gradually taper off over time.
Repair and Corrective Care
This is the ‘building’ phase of chiropractic care designed to begin addressing the underlying problem of your condition. It is focused on muscle and ligament repair, as well as rehabilitation. Once pain has subsided and mobility has returned, corrective care focuses repairing damage to the soft connective tissues that may still be lingering. This may include a combination of in-office chiropractic adjustments, as well as at-home exercises used to accelerate the healing process.
Once pain has subsided, it is important to resist the temptation to stop care after the first phase, as doing so can increase the chances of relapse. Corrective care helps strengthen the spine and minimize the factors that contributed to the original condition. Keep in mind that the corrective care phase is often longer than the acute care phase – especially in patients with severe conditions and those who have suffered with injuries for many years.
Phase three of care begins once your body has thoroughly and completely healed. If your body were like a home, phase three would be the equivalent of preventing pests and protecting the foundation. It is the phase when chiropractic care becomes a routine part of your lifestyle, with the goal of maintaining your results and avoiding future aches and pains. This can include spinal manipulation, lifestyle coaching, dietary counseling, and other therapies designed to maximize overall wellness.