Phases of care
Typical care arrangements will progress through three phases: intensive, rehabilitative and maintenance care. The long-term aim is to return and maintain full function.
Initial intensive care
The first phase of care is referred to as relief or acute care. This phase is designed to eliminate or reduce the majority of your discomfort and begin stabilisation of your condition. During this phase of care your visits will be more frequent, with each adjustment building on the one before.
The objective of rehabilitative care is to correct any underlying spinal injury as well as strengthen muscles, improve spinal function and allow for the continued healing of your tissues and organ systems. Your visits will reduce in frequency and your care is supplemented by additional strengthening exercises and postural re-education if required.
Remember: many of the conditions for which people seek chiropractic care have developed over many years and, therefore, it takes time and perseverance to correct these conditions.
Maintenance and wellness care
This phase of care helps to maintain your improved health and spinal function, and prevent the return of the original condition. Regular, preventative care addresses any issues before they become more serious.
Wellness care, consisting of regular chiropractic adjustments, exercise, a sensible diet and positive mental outlook will help you enjoy the best of health well into the future.
Types of Care
Chiropractic care is simple. It's natural. It recognises your body's ability to heal itself and it helps millions of people reduce pain and improve their health every year.
There are a number of different types of chiropractic care which your practitioner may use or prescribe when you visit our Hobart or Kingston chiropractic clinics. The following list gives a short overview of each of the types of care available. Of course, if you need more information your practitioner will be able to answer your questions during your consultation.
Most of our patients initially undertake a course of chiropractic care when they are in a LOT of pain and are having difficulty performing their everyday tasks. They may have swelling, redness, or other inflammatory processes occurring. Patients in this acute condition are usually looking for relief. During this phase your visits are likely to be more frequent and aimed at reducing pain and improving your symptoms.
After the acute symptoms have been reduced, our aim is to restore proper function to the area of concern. This will typically require regular, but less frequent, clinic visits than the acute stage. This type of chiropractic care may continue longer depending on your age, how long you have had the complaint, and how severe the problem is.
Chronic chiropractic care is given to patients whose complaints are typically complex, longstanding, and where the complaint has no acute or inflammatory symptoms. Patients who require chronic care are usually given exercises, stretches and other activities to do at home, at work, or during sporting activities. They still require clinic visits to assess progress but these are generally less frequent than with acute care.
Some patients have complaints that require intermittent clinic visits over a longer period of time where the emphasis is on changing spinal, postural and movement habits. This type of chiropractic care focuses on achieving the best possible long term outcome that will give you maximum function and health. Rehabilitative care is not just about pain relief. Your visits will be less frequent and we will introduce exercise and other self care to aid your recovery.
Some patients have conditions that they cannot fully recover from. They find that regular (eg monthly), or intermittent clinic visits (when their pain returns) are needed to keep them functioning and moving as well as possible. Our supportive care clients find that without regular treatments their mobility deteriorates and their pain returns.
Elective / Maintenance Care
Maintenance care is like having a tune-up. Some patients come to the chiropractic clinics for checkups, to have their exercise routines reviewed, or to get advice on ways to improve their health and prevent disease or injury.
Treatment in this stage is aimed at preventing recurrence of the same problem, or the arousal of new symptoms. When you have obtained the best correction possible, these regular checkups will keep you healthy in the future. The frequency in this stage is very low (approximately once a month).
Unfortunately, sometimes things happen; a fall, slip, injury, or not much at all. When some event occurs and you are in extreme pain, distressed, or uncertain of what to do, we can help. We keep emergency appointments available just for when things go wrong.
Designed for the elite sportsperson, or emerging athletes, our chiropractic performance enhancement service utilises the full range of chiropractic tools and measures to improve your personal best results. This approach often requires a co-operative approach with other professionals such as sports physicians, exercise physiologists, and psychologists.
Suggestions to follow during care and later for prevention
- Avoid rubbing or probing in the areas your doctor adjusts.
- Avoid sudden twists or turns beyond normal limits of motion, especially of the neck.
- Avoid extreme bending of your spine in any direction. Avoid stretching, reaching, or other overhead work. Be particularly careful when brushing or shampooing your hair.
- Avoid bending or stooping sharply to pick up objects. Instead, bend your knees to minimise the strain on your lower back.
- When lifting, keep your back straight, bend your knees and let your legs bear the strain. Hold the object lifted as close to your body as possible.
- Participate in simple exercises to strengthen your body but avoid jarring activities, which place stress on your neck and spine.
- Watch your posture at all times, stand tall, sit tall, sleep tall and think tall!
Rest, relaxation and sleep
- Set aside a special time each day for complete mental and physical relaxation. This is important in the restoration - as well as the maintenance - of normal health.
- When sitting, choose a chair that has adequate firmness to hold your weight comfortably and then sit straight. Avoid chairs that are too soft. Recliner chairs are acceptable if they are constructed so that when you are reclining your back is in a normal, straight position.
- Cross your legs only at the ankles, not at the knees. Crossing your legs at the knees could aggravate an existing back condition as well as interfere with the circulation to the lower limbs.
- Be sure to get plenty of sleep to allow your body to recuperate and repair.
- Sleep on a firm mattress, preferably one that is neither too hard nor too soft, but just firm enough to hold your body level while, at the same time, soft enough so that your shoulders, buttocks, etc, will depress into the mattress.
- Your pillow should be neither too high nor too low. The ideal pillow is one that supports your head so that your it will be level with the rest of your spine. Avoid sleeping on two pillows; never lie on a couch with your head on the arm rest.
- Sleep on your back or on your side with your legs flexed slightly, not drawn up tightly. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Raise your head off the pillow when changing positions.
- Rise from your bed by turning on your side and swinging your legs off the bed then push yourself into a sitting position with your arms, thus minimising the amount of strain on your back.
- Do not read or watch TV in bed with your head propped at a sharp or strained angle.
If you have any questions about any phase of your healthcare, feel free to ask your chiropractor.
Wellness Care and Chiropractic
Many think that health is merely the absence of pain or symptoms. A wellness approach to health means adopting a variety of healthy habits for optimum function on all levels – physical, mental, social, and spiritual.
Because of its focus on the Nerve system, Chiropractic care is an important part of a wellness lifestyle. The nerve system controls the function of virtually every aspect of our lives. So, maintaining a properly functioning nerve system is essential if you want to be your very best.
Few things as complicated as your body can be ‘fixed once’ and then ignored. By choosing Wellness Care, regular chiropractic checkups maintain optimum spinal and nervous system function. Like maintaining your teeth, your car, your family, maintaining the integrity of your nerve system requires effort.
Those who want the very best, add regular chiropractic care to their other health practices. With more vitality, endurance, and the capacity to enjoy life to its fullest what more could you ask for. Good nutrition, exercise, chiropractic care, and other preventive measures are part of a wellness lifestyle.
Today, more and more of us are interested in a higher level of health called wellness. Beyond merely feeling better or preventing health problems, we want to fully enjoy life.
Thousands of Australians see chiropractors every year for the treatment of low back pain. There are many different causes of low back pain including work injuries, sports injuries, sustained poor postures and overuse injuries. The presentation of low back pain also has a wide range of presentations, some people will have pain only in the low back whereas others will experience pain in the back that radiates down into their leg. It is even possible to experience leg pain only with the absence of back pain that is still originating from the low back!
At Core Body Chiropractic, Craig makes use of hands-on treatments and exercise that enable the body to recover itself with the aim to avoid surgery or dependence on medication. Customised treatment programs are utilised to bring back movement to joints restricted by tissue injury. If we can successfully restore the movement at your spine, the pain you are feeling will subside.
Exactly what Does Chiropractic for Back Pain Involve? Craig will initially take a thorough history of your complaint and perform a physical assessment. He will then use the information gained from the assessment to tailor a specific treatment plan that will help you improve in a timely fashion.
The treatment strategy will usually include manual therapy, an exercise program and some postural education. Craig may also utilise soft tissue massage if appropriate for your particular complaint. The goal of treatment is the restoration of function and prevention of injury in addition to back pain relief.
If you’re a sufferer of chronic headaches or migraines, you don’t need convincing that they’re one of the most painful, debilitating conditions you could possibly suffer. Millions upon millions of dollars a year are spent on trying to find relief from this crippling illness.
But what causes migraines? Basically it’s a decrease in oxygen to the brain. If the brain receives less oxygen per milliliter of blood, it will simply increase the amount of blood flow to increase the overall amount of oxygen received. In order to increase the amount of blood flow it must dilate the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. When these vessels dilate, it stretches pain fibres that wrap around the outside of these vessels. When these pain fibres are stretched they are activated and start sending pain signals into the brain, resulting in your perception of pain.
Headaches and migraines may also be caused by inflammation and tension of the joints, muscles and blood vessels at the base of the neck, which then transfers pain up into the skull.
So what can Craig do to help? By removing the tension, the inflammation around the joints, muscles and blood vessels is decreased and the pain fibres begin to be deactivated. There are other factors that contribute to headaches, but Chiropractors everyday experiences show that neck problems are a huge contributor. Do you suffer from headaches or migraines? The answer may be simple. Come in and see what we can do.
Today’s modern living often entails hours of driving and hunching over workstations, which can play havoc with our necks. So it is no surprising that neck pain is a common condition that Chiropractors treat. Whilst neck pain is less common than low back pain, millions of people experience neck pain and related arm pain at some stage in their lives and therefore seek Chiropractic care.
It results from abnormalities in the soft tissues – muscles, ligaments, and nerves, as well as in the bone and the joints. The most common causes that practitioners identify and treat are soft tissue abnormalities from injury or prolonged wear and tear and in many people it is also the source of pain in the upper back, shoulders and arms.
When neck pain is often caused by muscle strain, you may have aches and stiffness that spread to the upper arm and forearm. Shooting pain that spread down the arm into the hand and fingers can be a symptom of a “pinched nerve” or nerve entrapment in the neck.
When a nerve is “pinched” in the neck, numbness, weakness and possibly pain of the hands or arms may occur. Disc injuries are rare but it is the most common cause of nerve entrapments.
Injuries to the neck caused by a sudden movement of the head backwards and forwards or sideways, are referred to as “whiplash”. Whether from a car accident, sporting injury or an accident at work, whiplash or neck injuries warrant a thorough examination.
Whiplash is most commonly suffered as a result of a road traffic accident. An impact or collision causes the head to suddenly jerk back and forth beyond its normal limits.
Wear and Tear, Osteoarthritis or Joint Degeneration occurs due to the accumulation of stresses and trauma over time. Throughout life our body is required to withstand considerable strain, purely as a result of the pressures of daily living.
The overall effects of degenerative changes often leads to a feeling of stiffness and reduced mobility.
The sciatic nerves run down the back of each leg. They are the longest and largest nerves in the body. When they become irritated due to the inflammation of the tissues that surround them, it is known as the condition ‘sciatica’.
Sciatica is often due to the misalignment of the spine and/or pelvis. When joints are out of alignment, they may irritate the sciatica nerve where it exits the spine. This can cause sharp pain down the legs, as well as muscle weakness, tingling and numbness. The pain can be very debilitating.
People with sciatica often miss work. A recent study has found that chiropractic treatments may speed up patient recovery and allow them to return to work sooner. Researchers evaluated 44 Norwegian workers who had gone to the hospital with sciatic pain. A chiropractor assessed each patient’s gait, posture, range of motion and felt their lumbar spines (lower back). Each patient then underwent a chiropractic adjustment and icing for muscle pain. The patients were treated twice a day while they were in hospital and then three times a week for two weeks afterwards. Some patients had additional treatments but most received a maximum of 14 adjustments. The researchers found that 91% of those treated had returned to work full-time within 21 days.
The results of this study demonstrate how chiropractic can help people suffering sciatica. If sciatica is stopping you from working or enjoying life, please contact us.
Arana E, Marti-Bonmati L, Vega M, et al. Relationship between low back pain, disability, MR imaging findings and health care provider. Skeletal Radiology 2006;35(9):641-7.
JR, Didriksen A. Results of chiropractic treatment of lumbopelvic fixation in 44 patients admitted to an orthopedic department. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2007;30:135-139.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
- Reduces pain by causing the production of natural pain killer endorphins.
- Reduces inflammation by suppressing inflammatory enzymes that create swelling, redness, pain, and heat and enhances the release of anti-inflammatory enzymes.
- Enhances lymphatic drainage, which increases circulation and speeds healing.
- Stimulates the release of helpful healing enzymes.
- Releases tight muscles (both smooth and striated) that create chronic pain, joint problems, and decreased mobility.
- Speeds bone repair by stimulating fibroblastic and osteoblastic proliferation.
- LLLT in the correct frequency appears to be antiviral, antifungal, and antiherpetic.
Low level laser therapy repolarizes sick or injured cells, allowing them to once again take in oxygen and nutrients and pass out wastes and toxins. LLLT reestablishes the permeability of the cell, while at the same time donating photons to cells and Mitochondria, which is directly converted into AdenosineTriPhosphate (ATP), the chemical energy required for healing and rejuvenation. With all of these beneficial effects it’s no wonder that LLLT is used in hospitals, clinics and private practices worldwide in all developed countries and has a 30 plus year proven track record.