A good chiropractor knows when and where to adjust and when to leave the body alone. That's why during every visit Dr. Sousa will check your whole spine for areas that need attention or need to be left alone.
It is absolutely imperative that the doctors know how your body is adapting to the adjustments. That's exactly why every ten to twelve adjustments, a Progress Evaluation will be performed to determine how you are responding. Based on your progress, and how you are holding the adjustments, Dr. Sousa will determine the best possible plan of action moving forward.
Stages of Care
It is important to understand the stages of chiropractic care because they are unique relative to those of other health-care disciplines. Because chiropractic addresses core physiological and biomechanical aspects of the body, the process to correct problems without drugs or surgery can take some time. Some conditions can be helped in a few visits, while others may take longer. The following is a brief summary of the three major phases of chiropractic care.
The majority of patients consult a chiropractor because they have a symptom (like pain). In the first phase of care, the main objective is to eliminate or reduce your discomfort and stabilize your condition in the shortest amount of time. During this phase, progress is usually rapid.
The number of times you visit a chiropractor during this phase of care varies and is dependent upon your specific condition. It's hard to say how long it will be until you see relief- it could be as short as a week or up to months.
Once your condition has stabilized, you enter the second phase of care, where the objective is to correct the underlying cause of the problem, strengthen and stabilize the muscles, and improve neuromusculoskeletal function. During the correction / restorative phase of your care, you will not have to receive adjustments as often as you did during the first phase of care and, depending on your particular circumstances, you may begin doing exercises and stretches either at the office or at home to help accelerate your healing.
Do not be discouraged if you have mild flare-ups in your symptoms on occasion. This is normal. Flare-ups are bound to occur during this phase because your body has not fully healed. Depending on the severity of your injury or condition and how long you have been suffering from it, this phase of your care may last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. It is important to remember that many of the conditions for which people seek care have developed over many, many years; therefore, correcting these problems can take some time. Just like training for a marathon, it takes time and consistency for your body to respond.
Once your discomfort has subsided, you may think all is well and choose to abandon your efforts. However, if you end your care before the nerves, muscles, discs, ligaments and other soft tissues have fully healed, you can invite a relapse. People who discontinue care prematurely, inevitably experience the same problems down the road. Sometimes it takes weeks, sometimes months or years, but they always get in trouble again. The reason this happens is because health problems get progressively worse unless corrected.
You then "graduate" to the wellness phase, which is designed to continuously improve your health, encourage normal spinal function, prevent the return of the original condition, and catch small problems before they become serious. A personal wellness care program will be designed specifically for you where we teach you how to incorporate good nutrition and exercise habits into your everyday life, thereby promoting vitality, endurance, and the ability to enjoy life to your fullest God-given potential.
Wellness care generally means getting checked anywhere from once a week to once every four weeks depending on your lifestyle and the amount of physical, chemical, and emotional stress you are subjected to. Most people fall somewhere in the middle and get checked anywhere from twenty four to thirty six times a year.