Laying the Foundation
Your First Visit
Chiropractic care is like building a house – certain things have to happen in a particular order in order for everything to stand strong and work correctly. When building a house, if you tried to put up your walls before you had a solid foundation, your walls would be weak and eventually collapse. If you tried to put on your roof before the walls were ready, you would run into the same problem. The same is true for your body. Your body has to go through a particular plan of care in order to repair itself correctly and fully. There are three general phases of chiropractic care . . .
Upon entering our office our receptionist will greet you and welcome you as a member of our family. We will request you fill our patient forms located in the New Patient Center. The paperwork provides us with general information about yourself and your condition.
Next you will have a consultation with Dr. Richard Cohen to discuss your health-related problems, concerns, as well as potential treatment options. Your first visit is designed for Dr. Richard Cohen to learn more about you, your condition and your expectations to determine whether chiropractic care will you meet your goals.
After your consultation, Dr. Richard Cohen will perform a complete chiropractic examination testing your reflexes, your ability to turn and bend as well as other standard neurologic, orthopedic, postural, and physical examinations. Nothing will be done in our office without your consent.
Your specific condition may require us to take x-rays to to get a full evaluation of a patient. X-rays help us rule out more serious conditions or assist us in developing the most effective treatment plan for you. Most people are amazed once they their x-rays and can often immediately identify their misalignments and degeneration themselves.
Report of Findings
Once all the information and examinations have been performed, Dr. Richard Cohen will give you a report of findings to answer the three most popular questions:
- Can you help me?
- What do you recommend that I do to get better?
- How much is it going to cost?
After discussing with you your history and your goals, examining your spine and reviewing any x-rays or tests, Dr. Richard Cohen will discuss recommendations with you. If you have a condition that requires care with other providers, the doctor will tell you. If Dr. Richard Cohen believes we can help you, we will recommend treatment and a wellness program.
Patients will generally be provided with their first treatment at the conclusion of the appointment. This may include spinal adjustments, physical therapies, and/or soft tissue therapies. Treatment is interactive with you so you can express any concerns you have about the style of adjustment you will be most comfortable with.
Prior to leaving, patients will be instructed on a wellness program to be conducted at home. If you are in pain when you first come into our office this may include ice or heat application instructions, avoidance of certain activities or positions, as well as home exercises and/or stretches. If you desire an overall wellness lifestyle, our wellness team will work with you to create good habits and routines that support your success. Every body is unique and different and therefore everyone requires a unique and customized wellness plan. The foundation of our overall wellness lifestyle is maintaining healthy posture and good spinal alignment, eating a healthy diet, taking supplements, keeping your weight under control and stress relief.
Phase 1: Relief Care
If you are in pain when you come into our office, the first objective is to help you feel better. Depending on the severity of your problem, it is typical to need care 2-3 times per week for 4-12 weeks.
Thumbs Up to Relief
Many people go to a chiropractor because they are in pain. In this first phase of care, the main goal is to reduce your symptoms. Sometimes this will require daily visits, or two to three visits per week for a time.
Most people are under the assumption that if they don’t feel any pain that there is nothing wrong with them – that they are healthy. Unfortunately, pain is a very poor indicator of health. In fact, pain and other symptoms frequently only appear after a disease or other condition has become advanced.
For example, consider a cavity in your tooth. Does it hurt when it first develops or only after it has become serious? How about heart disease? Regardless of whether you are talking about cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stress or problems with the spine, pain is usually the last thing to appear. When you begin chiropractic care, pain is also the first symptom to disappear, even though much of the underlying condition remains.
Phase 2: Corrective/Restorative Care
During the corrective care phase, muscles and other tissues are allowed to heal more completely, thereby helping prevent injury. It is typical to need care 4-8 times per month for 6-24 months, depending on your overall health and the severity of your problem.
Teaming Up for Optimal Health
Most chiropractors regard the elimination of symptoms as the easiest part of a persons care. If all that the chiropractor does is to reduce the pain and stop there, the chances of the condition recurring are much greater. In order to prevent a rapid recurrence of symptoms, it is necessary to continue receiving care even though your symptoms are gone.
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 center 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.
Phase 3: Wellness Care
Once your body has fully healed, it is important to come in for periodic adjustments to avoid problems in the future. Usually, this only requires a quick visit to the chiropractor 1-4 times per month, based on your lifestyle and goals.
Maintenance is Key to Healthy Living
Once your body has fully healed, routine chiropractic care can help ensure that your physical problems do not return, and keep your body in optimal condition. Just like continuing an exercise program and eating well in order to sustain the benefits of exercise and proper diet, it is necessary to continue chiropractic care to ensure the health of your musculoskeletal system.
When you make routine chiropractic care a part of your lifestyle, you avoid many of the aches and pains that so many people suffer through, your joints will last longer and you will be able to engage in more of the activities you love.