This stage is all about pain relief and preparing you for a full recovery. Certain people with particular types of problems can find almost instant relief with chiropractic care. However most people start to feel better after 4-8 treatments, whereas more severe conditions can take up to 12 visits to feel improvement.
By restoring local joint, muscle, ligament and nerve function and helping you to reduce inflammation, chiropractic treatment and advice quickly allows the body start to heal properly. Visits are every 2-4 days until you are out of pain. Usually this is twice weekly treatments for 2 or 3 weeks.
After the initial two visits, which are scheduled for half an hour where we find out more about your problem and explain it to you, less time is needed for the follow up treatment visits so they are scheduled for 10-15 minutes. Usually every 6-8 visits, we will ask you to scedule a longer review appointment to allow us to check your progress in more depth. This may be sooner if you are not improving as expected.
Generally on each treatment visit we ask you how you have been doing and get some feedback on activities you are still finding difficult. There is then a brief re-examination, followed by treatment and then some self-help advice. At different stages of your care, we will review your progress, often asking you to book in for a longer re-assessment visit. You will be asked to give your consent to any changes that might be suggested in your treatment programme.
Initially it is often best that we are fairly gentle with you and that you are gentle with yourself. This is because there is often tissue damage causing inflammation and the inflammation has to be reduced before healing can begin. This takes a minimum of 2 days but will continue if the area is re-aggravated. The idea is to promote recovery without re-injuring the tissue. Ice is also often helpful at this stage to reduce inflammation. Once the inflammation has gone, the tissue that first laid down in the following 7-10 days is fragile like cotton wool and can be easily re-damaged. Even so, it is important to stay active at this stage so we recommend gentle self-help measures to assist pain relief and healing. We find patients who get involved and assume personal responsibility for recovering their health, get the best results. We advise: keep active but avoid heavy exercise and poor posture.
The length of recovery also depends on how you respond to the treatments and how effectively you follow the advice we give to assist your return to health. If there is no obvious improvement in discomfort within 8-10 visits, then we recommend you to be referred for medical investigations such as blood tests, scans, or to an appropriate specialist.
As you recover, the treatment sessions can naturally be spread further apart. The sub-acute phase is a series of weekly treatments for 2 to 4 weeks. It is in this phase we are building on the progress we have made so far. There may still be some pain. As the damaged tissues regain their strength, more emphasis is placed on exercises and other self-help measures to promote healing and reduce the underlying causes. 10 days after the inflammation stops, scar tissue starts to be laid down and the tissues strengthen up. This process can last as long as 8-10 months. Scar tissue forms randomly and is prone to ‘shrink’ over time unless you stretch it with regular exercise. During this stage it is important that the joints, muscles and nervous system are checked to help maintain progress, be “educated” to function normally and that we give you guidance on how to help yourself.
From the Preston Chiropractor Team
Getting You Back in Action & Enjoying Your Life Again
Serving the people of Preston and surrounding areas including Southport and Lytham St Annes