3 Phases of Chiropractic Care

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Chiropractic care can be roughly divided into 3 phases. Patients come to us in different phases and have different goals from treatment but broadly speaking, these are the phases a typical patient will go through. They are overlapping and seamless and each phase builds on the last one so that the patient becomes more robust with each step.

Phase 1 - Relief Care

This is the first phase of care. Many patients come to us in pain. The pain has usually become intolerable and has started to impact daily living or activities they love doing. During this phase, the main aim is pain relief.

During this phase we tend to use soft tissue work, dry needling, IASTM (instrument assisted), mobilisation and manipulation. We also give advice around movements to avoid and behaviours to adopt. These are all changes designed to bring pain relief in the short and long term.

This phase of treatment can be quite intense and we can see patients a few times close together. This is an attempt to settle symptoms down as quickly as possible.

Phase 2 - Corrective/ Restorative Care

The second phase of care starts when your symptoms begin to subside. During this phase, we aim to find out the cause of your pain and start to address that. The symptoms you present with may not be the cause of your complaint. Sometimes this means work is also necessary at distant sites.

As well as making sure we work on the cause of the problem, we also need to rehab the patient back to pre-injury strength and beyond. We start exercise and re-introducing activities during this phase. This phase is important because although the patient may be feeling better, we still need to strengthen and stabilise to prevent reoccurrence.

This phase sees a reduction in the frequency of visits as the patient is able to do more at home.

Phase 3 - Wellness Care

This phase is about teaching the patient every day things to prevent the problem reoccurring. This could be advice around working, sleeping and driving positions. It is also about keeping their health in tip top condition. We talk about general health in terms of:

  • exercise

  • nutrition

  • stress relief

  • sleep

  • social/ community

This phase means that the patient is doing well and is on top of their symptoms. They only tend to pop into the clinic every few months as we proactively look for dysfunction that has not yet progressed to pain. These treatments are all about prevention!