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In some ways, one could say that chiropractic care is like building a house - things have to happen in a particular order for everything to stand strong and work together correctly. When building a house, if you tried to build your walls before you had a solid foundation, your walls would be weak and eventually may even collapse. This concept applies to your body as well.
Chiropractic care addresses the "why" you are experiencing pain and/or other health issues not just the symptoms. If something is not right with your body's foundation, than that must be addressed before true health can be achieved. With chiropractic care, your body has to go through a particular process in order to repair itself correctly and fully. There are three general phases of chiropractic care . . .
Many people go to a chiropractor because they are in pain. In this first phase of care, the main goal is to reduce your symptoms. Most people are under the assumption that if they don't feel any pain then there is nothing wrong with them - that they are healthy. Unfortunately, pain is a very poor indicator of health. In fact, pain and other symptoms only appear after a disease or other condition has become advanced.
For example, consider a cavity in your tooth. Does it hurt when it first develops or only after it has become serious? How about heart disease? Regardless of whether you are talking about cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stress or problems with the spine, pain is usually the last thing to appear. When you begin chiropractic care, pain is also the first symptom to disappear, even though much of the underlying condition remains.
Most chiropractors regard the elimination of symptoms as the easiest part of care. If all a chiropractor does is reduce the pain and stop there, the chances of the condition recurring are much greater. In order to prevent a rapid recurrence of symptoms, it is necessary to continue receiving care even though your symptoms are reduced.
During the corrective phase of chiropractic care, muscles and other tissues are allowed to heal more completely, which helps prevent further injury or pain. During this time you will not have to receive adjustments as often as you did during the first phase of care and, depending on your particular circumstances, you may begin doing exercises and stretches either at the center or at home to help accelerate your healing.
Once your body has fully healed, routine chiropractic care can help ensure that your physical problems do not return, and keep your body in optimal condition. Just like continuing an exercise program and eating well in order to sustain the benefits of exercise and proper diet, it is necessary to continue chiropractic care to ensure the health of your musculoskeletal system.
When you make routine chiropractic care a part of your lifestyle, you avoid many of the aches and pains that so many people suffer through, your joints will last longer and you will be able to engage in more of the activities you love.