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The Importance of Programs of Care

The excerpt below is from Dr. Lenarz’s book The Chiropractic Way.   This passage sheds some light on how the body takes time to heal, different types of programs of care, and what can happen in each phase. 

“While there are many causes of back pain, frequently back pain arises from subluxation and subluxation-related problems such as muscle spasm and abnormal joint mechanics. There may be inflammation created by the subluxation itself.  In cases where the subluxation has been in place for a long time, or where there has been damage to the disk due to trauma, problems such as disk herniation and prolapse
 may occur.

For most back and neck pain, chiropractors will see patients three to five times a week for the first couple of weeks, then reduce the number of visits to once or twice a week for a few more weeks. This program of care usually lasts four to six weeks and is focused on helping patients feel better. Once this initial phase of short-term relief is completed, most chiropractors will recommend a second course of care designed to help avoid relapse, strengthen the spine, and restore proper function. Visits during the second course of care may be as frequent as two visits per week or as seldom as once every other week. This phase will continue for three to five months longer.

After completing relief and reconstruction care, many chiropractors will recommend chiropractic care for maintenance of your health. Maintenance care is care for life, and the recommended frequency of visits will range from twice a month to a checkup every three to six months. More commonly, the recommended maintenance level of care is once per month. The frequency of visits in the relief, reconstructive, and maintenance programs is determined by the overall health of your spine and the technical approach of the doctor.

When being treated for back pain, most patients will begin to feel better somewhere between the third and fifth adjustment. In a few cases, back pain can go away completely after just one adjustment, but this is the exception rather than the rule. If the pain does go away fairly quickly (in one to three visits), the problem is not really resolved. Restoration of normal joint mechanics and healing of local tissue and nerves can take months to complete even after the patient feels better. If the problem is extremely acute (as in a car accident) or there is long-term chronicity (as in arthritis), it may take a number of weeks and up to a few months for the back pain to show significant improvement. If your problem fits one of these categories, have patience with yourself and your chiropractor.”

If you’d like to read Dr. Lenarz’s book in its entirety, click here to purchase from Amazon!

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