I hope you enjoyed Easter! Spring is in the air. Many of my patients asked me in the last few weeks what is preventive care or maintenance care. So I thought I would quickly explain the 3 different stages of care that patients got through. What is also interesting is that a study was published in 2011 stating that “SMT ( spinal manipulative therapy) is effective for the treatment of chronic non-specific LBP. To obtain long-term benefit, this study suggests maintenance spinal manipulation after the initial intensive manipulative therapy” It was published in Spine in 2011. The authors were Senna and Machaly.
When patients usually come to see us they are in a lot of pain. My first goal is to help them get out of pain as quickly as possible.
So the first phase of care is usually called the intensive phase. The goal here is to actually control your inflammation naturally. The time spent here really depends how quickly your body will control the swelling or inflammation and the muscle spasms. It usually also varies on how long the injury has been present.
The second phase is called the corrective phase. During this phase the patients usually have less pain. The goal of this phase is to improve the function, restore the vertebral motion, allow soft tissue reconstruction and to strengthen muscles and ligaments. Usually the visit frequency are reduced and also the adjustments are supported by exercises.
The third phase is called wellness or maintenance care. These visits are regular check- ups to make sure your spine is as healthy as it can be. It also allows the chiropractor to detect problems before they become more serious. Many of my patients find great benefits in getting regular chiropractic care. I like to compare this to going to the dentist to see if you have cavities or changing the oil in your car. I like to tease people that if I were to put them in cotton balls after the corrective phase and they would not move ever again then they would stay good. But that is not the case look how often you use your back when you work, play with your kids, work on your garden etc… I think you see what I mean. Now with this study coming out it actually gives us more information that people will feel better if they continues some treatments. The frequency is established between the chiropractor and the patient. It depends alot on your daily activities and how much you abuse your body!
So think about it. Do you think spinal health care could be included in your normal routine?Most of the time, it is just a question of making a point of booking the appointment.
I hope I have clarified a bit more the different stages and that you will consider maintenance care. Your spine and nervous system will be very thankful.