Following a treatment plan for a structural injury can be viewed in the same way as a fitness programme. If you follow your prescribed treatment schedule closely, you are more likely to get positive and longer lasting results.
If you decide to do a fitness programme, it is essential to go frequently and consistently until you reach your desired level of fitness; and then it is important to maintain that level of fitness with an altered programme. If you only follow your fitness programme now and again, you wouldn’t expect much to change.
In the same way, if you are inconsistent with attending treatment appointments, it can hinder your improvement and make progress slower. This is because we are dealing with the same musculoskeletal structures that are exercised during your training sessions.
Consider joint problems caused by ligament injury, for example. Ligament injuries such as an acute ankle sprain, according to the Journal of Athletic Training (JAT), improve slowly over a period of six weeks to three months and even up to a year. JAT stresses complete healing is essential to prevent re-injury. The long-term consequence of non-healed ligament injury is chronic pain, diminished function, as well as wear and tear known as osteoarthritis (OA).
Joint problems caused by ligament injury progress through three stages of healing: the acute inflammatory phase; the proliferative or regenerative phase; and the tissue remodelling phase. Your chiropractor understands the way the body heals and progresses. For this reason, the chiropractor sets out a specific plan for you to reach a certain level of comfort, movement and stability. During this time, keeping your appointments is very important.
Once a level of joint and nerve healing as well as structural stability is reached, your plan will slowly reduce to consistent but less frequent check-ups intended to help you continue improving during all stages of healing.
We all have busy lives, but remember if your body is working well, then you will also be better able to maintain that busy lifestyle. Take the time for your body and health; it’s a worthwhile investment! If you have any questions about your care plan strategy, be sure to talk to your chiropractor.