If you’re experiencing pain that doesn’t go away on its own in your muscles, ligaments, tendons or joints, a chiropractor is likely a good place to start for non-invasive treatment.
When you go to see a chiropractor, they will develop a set of treatments specific to you and your needs. This is called a chiropractic treatment plan and will include things like in-office therapies, stretches and exercises to do at home between appointments, and advice on what to eat to help reduce inflammation and help you feel better.
If you’d like to feel better as fast as possible, it’s important to follow the plan that your chiropractor creates for you. It also makes sure you get the right treatments throughout the various stages of your healing process. If you don't follow the plan it can take longer to start to feel better, and you may need more treatment later on.
How is a Chiropractic Treatment Plan Created?
Creating a chiropractic treatment plan starts with an exam by the chiropractor. They will ask you questions about your health and may run some tests to figure out what is wrong. Sometimes an x-ray or MRI is needed to see if there are structural issues that need to be addressed.
Based on what they find, the plan is created to include a set of treatments, usually over the course of several weeks, that will help you feel better and stay better. The plan can change as you get better, so it's important to stay in touch with your chiropractor and let them know how you are feeling.
What is Included in a Chiropractic Treatment Plan?
A chiropractic treatment plan is personalized to each individual patient and takes into account their specific needs and goals. The plan may include a combination of techniques that give relief at different stages of the process. This can include:
Treatment plans also typically include at-home exercises and stretches and possibly instructions for icing or heating the affected areas. These are important to do as often as instructed to help the healing process between visits. You’ll also likely discuss nutrition, as well as any necessary referrals to other healthcare providers.
The treatment plan will typically be divided into phases, with each phase building on the previous one to help the patient get to their goals. The initial phase may focus on reducing pain and inflammation, while later phases may be geared towards improving flexibility, strength, and overall function.
The length and number of treatment sessions will also be outlined in the plan, with the aim of giving you the best chance of achieving the desired outcome within a reasonable timeframe.
Why Is it Important to Stick to Your Chiropractic Treatment Plan?
Staying on top of your chiropractic treatment plan will get you the best results as fast as possible. If you skip appointments or don’t do your exercises at home, it may delay or prevent you from truly healing. You could continue to experience pain, or you could even find that the condition worsens.
If your chiropractor finds that you’re not responding to the treatments the way they would have expected, a change in the plan may be needed. But they can’t truly know if it’s working unless you’re sticking closely to what is recommended.
How Do You Know If the Chiropractic Treatment Plan Is Working?
You can tell if the plan is working by checking how you feel after each treatment and as time goes by. If you feel better, then the plan is working! But that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop. It just means you’re making progress. Your chiropractor will also keep track of your progress to make sure that you are improving. Remember it might take a few treatments before you start to feel better so don’t get discouraged!
You can help your plan be more successful by attending the appointments, doing the exercises and eating right.
What Happens if You Don’t Completely Follow the Treatment Plan?
It’s tempting to quit the treatment plan when you start feeling better. But… you’re not quite healed yet. If you don’t complete the entire treatment plan there’s a higher likelihood that your condition won’t heal completely and/or it will start to hurt again in the future.
You might also get frustrated with the pace of healing. Chiropractic treatments take several sessions over the course of a few weeks to be completely effective. This can lead to more cost because you have more visits, but in the end you can save money by getting the treatment to fully work and you’re likely to avoid long-term medication use to ease pain.
Personalized Chiropractic Care at Village Chiropractic
At Village Chiropractic in The Woodlands, we create individualized chiropractic treatment plans for each patient. The answer is not always “adjust the spine!” While that can be a part of the process for patients, it’s not always the path to feeling better depending on what hurts. Remember, you can see a chiropractor for not just back and neck pain. We also treat knee pain, hip pain, shoulder pain and even headaches. If you’d like to consult with us about what’s hurting you, we’re happy to meet and develop a plan for you.