So a question that we have been asked lately is, why we do an exam and have a treatment plan? Well, we have already talked about why we do an exam when you are a new patient but today, let’s talk about why we recommend a treatment plan and why it is important.
Everyone wants to know how long it will take to get them out of pain when they come into our office and that is a very valid question. The truth of the matter is that it depends on the individual and what is going on with the patient’s specific case. It is not a straight forward answer but a recommendation of treatment due to different complications that can occur with each individual patient. As an example, muscle pain is treated differently and may go away quickly as where pain from a disc injury can take longer to treat and longer to do away.
When we discuss and recommend a treatment plan , we propose three different stages that help the body help and that describe what the body needs to help quickly and for long term pain relief and long lasting effects. Stage 1 is focusing on pain relief. It is when you first come to see us and your and our main concern is to help get you out of pain as quickly and safely as possible. These visits are more frequent and are designed to get you out of pain and each visit builds on the visit before hand. An example of this phase would be 2 times a week for 2-3 weeks. After stage 1, we move into stage 2.
After the patient is out of acute pain, they have to make a decision. They can proceed into stage 2, which is about stabilization of the injuries and painful region or they can choose to stop care after the pain is going. Stabilization is very important because this is the time where the muscles are healing. Exercises and stretches are given during this time to retrain and improve your bio-mechanics so the pain and injury does not reoccur. The stabilization and healing phase of muscle can last up to a year after an injury so it is very important to work on strength during this healing phase. If the patient chooses not to continue with care after getting out of pain, the pain may return after some time. An example of phase 2 would be a treatment schedule of 1 time a week for 4-6 weeks depending on progress. If the patient is faithful about exercise and improving their healing, that schedule may even be reduced but that is dependent on the patient’s progress.
The last stage or phase is phase 3, which is more maintenance care. Maintenance care is based on each individual person’s preference and lifestyle. An example of this treatment schedule is 1 time a month for 6 months. This phase is about maintaining what has been achieved with phases 1 and 2 and keeping the person feeling at their best.
On a side note, a treatment plan may recommend 3 times a week for a week or two but if you get a recommendation plan that is 3 times a week for several months with no use of exercise or stretching recommended, please seek a second opinion. You should always be given some tips or exercises to help you relieve your own pain and not make you dependent on someone else for your care.
If we can help you with anything or if you have questions, please call us and talk with one of our chiropractors today.