“How many visits will this take?” This is a very fair question to ask, and one of the most common questions or concerns we get from patients. While you should at least be able to feel a difference after a few visits—or sometimes right away—most problems took a long time to develop and will also take time to heal. Just like a marriage or career, the most rewarding things take time and effort. Your health is no exception.
There are several issues that can send your spinal health in the wrong direction, but there is hope for every situation! Here are a few thoughts on how we approach the road to recovery.
Problem #1: Creep
Have you ever heard of creep? In chiropractic terms, creep is the slow stretching and weakening of ligaments that can occur over time, which usually leads to chronic pain. This is another reason why pain relief doesn’t occur right away with chiropractic adjustments. Not only do your vertebra need to be adjusted closer to their necessary position, but the ligaments have to hold that vertebra in position too.
The areas that we focus on and adjust usually have spinal ligament damage by the time a typical patient comes in, and we can’t reverse that all at once. We have to make sure that we put that vertebra in place and give the body time to heal those ligaments. Unfortunately, these ligaments usually won’t ever completely heal back to 100% tensile strength.
Problem #2: Inflammation
If you feel pain, there is a very good chance that there is inflammation in that area. Inflammation is a natural process that is very necessary in the beginning—or acute—stages of an injury. If something in the injury isn’t corrected, such as joint position, faulty movement patterns, etc., inflammation tends to linger and can cause tissue damage. This damage can then lead to scar tissue that makes things even more complicated to heal quickly.
Here’s a good metaphor I like to tell patients to illustrate this concept. If you dropped a massive boulder on your foot it would hurt pretty badly, correct? If someone took that boulder off of your foot would the pain go away with the boulder? Of course not. But now that the boulder is gone, you can start healing.
Solution? Invest in your health today!
Sometimes gradual improvement can be frustrating when you want instantaneous relief, but be patient and stay the course! It might be a little harder to take time out of your schedule to come in multiple times, but what is more important than your health? Invest in yourself now, and over time it will pay off! Yes, it takes money, time, and effort to keep good health now, but it costs even more to make up for lost time once it is failing.
Come in to get checked if it has been a while. We love to see you (period!), but love it more when you are smiling and skipping to us instead and frowning and crawling in.
With love always,