SHOULD I USE ICE OR HEAT?
Immediately following an injury, it is recommended that you use ice. Ice is a natural analgesic, which means that it will numb the pain. Additionally, ice decreases the inflammatory response by causing the blood vessels to constrict, thereby limiting the amount of swelling and additional tissue damage. Finally, ice can slow nerve impulses in the area, limiting the reflexive muscle spasm that often accompanies an injury. Ice is generally most helpful during the first 48 hours following an injury.
Never apply ice directly to your skin - use a damp cloth, t-shirt or paper towel between your skin and the ice. Icing should be performed for 10 to 20 minutes (never more) depending on the thickness of the tissue. Never use ice on areas of impaired sensation.
After the initial 48 hours following an injury and once signs of inflammation (swelling, redness) are gone, it is usually more appropriate to use moist heat. Moist heat causes dilation of blood vessels, allowing for nutrients and cells that repair damaged tissues to enter the injured area while also removing damaged tissue and dead cells. Moist heat also relieves muscle tension by promoting relaxation of muscle tissue.
DOES AN ADJUSTMENT HURT?
No. Under normal circumstances, adjustments are painless. Patients who are extremely tense during an adjustment or who are suffering from significant muscle spasm may experience some minor discomfort. There are many different ways to adjust the spine and the extremities - Dr. Miesmer will choose a technique that is effective and comfortable for you to reduce your discomfort during an adjustment.
What does an adjustment do?
A chiropractic adjustment has many specific effects on the body, some of which are mechanical in nature and others that are reflexive in nature, but all of which are extremely beneficial. The results of an adjustment include:
Increased joint range of motion
- Inhibition or reduction of pain
- Relaxation of paraspinal musculature
- Loosening of joint adhesions
- Release of connective tissue trapped in joints
- Stimulation of the autonomic nervous system
- Relief of chronic nerve compression and irritation
HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO COME FOR TREATMENT?
Generally speaking, there are three phases of care:
Initial Intensive Care
This first phase of care is referred to as relief or acute care. It is designed to provide relief of major symptoms (usually pain) and stabilize the condition in the shortest amount of time. During this phase of care, treatment frequency is usually high and repeated visits are required to reduce or eliminate symptoms.
- Rehabilitative Care
The objective of the second phase of your treatment program is to correct any underlying spinal dysfunction as well as strengthen supporting musculature, retrain movement patterns and facilitate complete healing of injured tissues. Visits occur less frequent during this phase of care and a rehabilitative exercise program is introduced to prevent relapse.
- Wellness Care
This phase of care is designed to maintain optimal health and joint function and prevent the return of your original condition. Preventative care saves time and money by helping you stay healthy and by catching small problems before they become serious. Many people schedule wellness visits to
- Maintain the good health they have achieved through chiropractic
- Enhance athletic performance, and/or
- Minimize injury.
Remember - each patient responds to treatment differently and some patients will require more intensive care than others. Factors that generally prolong treatment time include:
Additional factors such as poor compliance, biomechanical stress or re-injury may also result in a prolonged treatment time.
We will provide you with accurate and ongoing information regarding your the state of your condition, goals and recommended treatment plan, but the degree to which you utilize chiropractic is ultimately up to you.
- Not seeking care quickly enough
- Severe pain
- Recurrence of multiple episodes of the condition
- Skeletal anomaly
- Structural pathology
WHAT IS WELLNESS CARE?
Many people have the misconception that once you start treatment with a chiropractor, you will always need chiropractic care. This is not so! Many people choose to continue with chiropractic care for wellness purposes after experiencing the benefits of chiropractic first hand. Just as regular maintenance for your car or teeth can prevent expensive repair work, regular chiropractic check-ups help you to avoid serious physical problems and the expense of time and money to correct those problems.
We are exposed daily to mental and physical stresses, environmental toxins, long periods of sitting and standing and many other activities that are detrimental to our health and spine. A proper diet, exercise and regular chiropractic adjustments are your best means of ensuring a healthy life. Learning how to become and staying in good physical shape should be a priority for all of us so that we can enjoy a healthy and long life.
IF I'M NOT IN PAIN, WHY SHOULD I CONTINUE TREATMENT?
Pain is usually the last symptom to appear and the first to leave. However, reduction in pain symptoms is rarely an accurate indication of tissue health. Soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons and muscles continue to heal long after pain symptoms resolve. Continuing with treatment results in a complete recovery, which decreases the likelihood of relapse or the development of a recurring, chronic condition.