The Benefits of Chiropractic Care
For the majority of people, the benefit of Chiropractic care is decreased pain. However, these results depend upon multiple factors:
What is the problem you're dealing with?
How long have you been dealing with it?
How motivated are you to assist with change?
The duration of your pain is going to determine what we can accomplish together to help you get out of pain.
There are 3 generally accepted phases of pain duration:
Acute - a sports injury, sprained ankle, whiplash from a car accident, lifting something heavy, or tweaking your back.
Subacute – 6 weeks into the recovery process from one of the above-noted injuries
Chronic – no one wants you to get to this point; this phase of care is categorized by having pain for longer than 3 months. In many cases, the body will have done its job and fixed the damaged tissues, but there is still persistent pain (sometimes even worse than it was initially during the acute phase).
Acute Pain Management
The goal of chiropractic care is dependent on which phase you are experiencing. Acute pain can benefit from early diagnosis and a plan of management.
Let's use an ankle sprain for example.
The job of the clinician early in the treatment of a sprain (pulled/torn ligament) or a strain (pulled/torn muscle or tendon) is to diagnose the problem. Find out which structures are damaged: is it a ligament, is it a muscle, is it a fracture, is it neurological in origin?
In the past, for a simple sprain/strain injury, physicians used to use the acronym RICE:
I no longer recommend this as we see much better results in adopting early activity in the healing process. The old adage to "walk it off" is actually surprisingly beneficial in a lot of cases.
Early diagnosis and understanding of what activities are safe to do in the early phases of healing are part of the goals of acute pain. Rx of specific exercises, and pain management techniques are also helpful during this phase of recovery.
In short, in the acute phase of recovery, pain management and prescription of early safe motions can bring the benefits of decreasing pain and increasing the overall speed of recovery.
During the subacute phase, it is a process of learning to read the body and push the tissues with more complex activities/exercises that are within tissue tolerance. We want to keep pushing the tissues in a safe and effective way all while managing the pain in the process.
This is the phase that I find most of my patients are in. They have been experiencing pain for more than 3 months and in some cases, more than 3 decades. Some of these patients have persistent pain, ie. pain that they have pretty much all the time, and some have a chronic recurrent pattern, ie. pain isn't present all the time but when they experience pain it is always in the same area of their body.
This phase of pain is by far the most complex and most challenging to treat and therefore has its own dedicated blog post.
The Benefits of Chiropractic Care
The benefits of chiropractic care can often be summarized in a few words: Decreased pain! How we do that is different in each stage of recovery, from acute to subacute to chronic.
Book an appointment with us today, and we can come up with a recovery plan that is made specifically for you.
About the author
Author Dr. Spencer Devenney is a Chilliwack Chiropractor, who graduated in 2009 from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) He has a clinical interest in all things mechanical. His motto is: "if it hurts to move it bring it to your chiropractor first."