In the event of the spine needing significant correction, Dr. Dan may advise you to come in for an adjustment 2-3 times per week. This is because Phase One of chiropractic care is often referred to as the Corrective Phase. In the first month of care, your spine does not have any muscle memory of the corrected position of the spine. This means that you will most likely not hold your adjustment for very long in the beginning of care. DON’T WORRY! This is only for the first weeks until the spine learns to not move out of place. In order for the spine to develop this muscle memory, multiple adjustments are required. Every spine is different. Some patients may develop this muscle memory faster than others. This is the same for pain relief; some may experience the most pain relief in the corrective phase of chiropractic care, while some experience the most pain relief in Phase 2.
Phase 2: Restorative Care
Phase 2 most commonly occurs during the second through fourth month of chiropractic care. The Restorative Phase refers to the time frame the spine begins to heal in its corrected position. Muscle memory has begun to form, the spine is learning to not move out of place and/or move into the corrected position with ease. During the Resorative Phase, it is common to notice relief from pain and other symptoms in the body that were caused by nerve interference. Patients are usually not coming in for adjustments as often as they were in Phase 1. However, one to two adjustments are normal during this phase because the spine is still learning it’s new position and may need a few reminders during the week.
Phase 3: Maintenance Care
It is important that patients have a solid understanding of this phase. By the time you are receiving maintenance care, you are most likely healed from the symptoms that brought you into chiropractic care. It is very easy to assume that (at this point) adjustments are no longer necessary. In reality, this is the most important phase of chiropractic care. Without it, the process will have to be repeated all over again. Although the spine is now staying in it’s new, corrected position and the body has been healed from the nerve interference, the spine does not magically stop moving from there. There are 24 bones in the spine and a joint on both sides of each one. That means that the spine can move in 48 different directions without much force!
The spine is such a malleable part of your body, it can be moved easily. Without maintenance adjustments, the spine’s muscle memory will grow weaker and begin to move back out of place. Every patient’s maintenance schedule looks different. Some require more than others because every spine has been uniquely designed.