Nature's Way Back To Health

MUELLER  CHIROPRACTIC

Serving patients needs for over 21 years in the Lehigh Valley.

 

3 Phases of Care


 

 

The word doctor means teacher. Teaching patients about good health habits and preventive care are duties of all members of the healing arts. As a Doctor of Chiropractic my job is to teach you about your condition, what causes it, and how to keep it from coming back. Chiropractors are unique in that patient education has always been a major part of our treatment programs. Patient satisfaction is higher among Doctors of Chiropractic as compared to other health care providers for the treatment of back pain. This is primarily due to our ability to listen, educate and help the body to heal itself.

Communication
Communication is one of the most important parts of any relationship. This is especially true in the doctor-patient relationship. Please let me know your thoughts about your treatment program. Let me know what makes you feel good and what activities make you hurt. The more I know about you the better I can help. This includes your hobbies, work, family and what makes you feel stressed. Do not let your questions go unanswered. We are here for you!

Your Treatment Program
Each person is unique. Therefore, everyone responds to treatment differently. Some people heal quickly while others take a longer amount of time. Several factors affect how well a person responds to care. The type of work he or she does, his or her stress level, weight, and health problems to name a few. Each person's care has to be designed specifically for his or her needs. What works for one person may not work for someone else.

Reduce Pain/Initial Intensive Phase
Our first goal in restoring your health is to reduce your pain and improve your function to a tolerable level. This is accomplished during the Initial Intensive Phase of care, when it is necessary to treat you frequently. In most cases pain relief takes about one month, which is not very long when you consider most problems have taken years to develop. Some people take longer than others to achieve relief from pain. Once you are beginning to feel better, you must be very careful not to be overzealous and "test your back." Many people will "over do it" when they start to feel better, only to find themselves aggravating their condition and slowing the healing process.


SYMPTOM  RELIEF

Most people first seek chiropractic care because they are experiencing some kind of acute pain. The most common reasons people consult chiropractors are low back pain, neck pain and headaches. Numerous studies have shown chiropractic care to be effective in relieving the symptoms of these conditions. Often after a series of adjustments, the painful symptoms subside. However, this does not mean that the spine has been restored to health. Chiropractors know that symptoms are only part of the picture of health. Symptoms are definitely a sign that there is a problem with the body but an absence of symptoms is not synonymous with health. People can develop serious degenerative changes in the spine without experiencing any significant symptoms. Although symptom relief is an important part of care, the ultimate goal of chiropractic care is to restore and maintain the health of the spine.

Improve Function/Rehabilitative Phase
Once your pain has been reduced we will begin the Rehabilitative Phase of treatment. Your treatment will be directed toward improving function by restoring optimal strength and flexibility to the musculoskeletal system. During this phase you should be able to perform most normal daily activities without frequent aggravation of symptoms. We will implement a home exercise program to help strengthen and balance your body. During this phase of care, your treatment frequency will begin to decrease and your self-treatment responsibilities will increase. We must be a team working together toward the goal of improving your health. I can not do it all. You must do your part, which includes keeping your appointments, doing your exercises, and being careful during your activities of daily living.




CORRECTIVE  CARE

After experiencing symptom relief many patients realize that they could benefit from further treatment to correct the underlying structural cause of their problem. More important than relief of symptoms is restoration of the normal function and health of the spine. This however, normally takes more time than symptom relief. Consider how long it takes to increase flexibility in a muscle. Only by gently stretching on a regular basis can you slowly increase a muscle's flexibility. This is similar to what chiropractors do to correct joint movement. Chiropractors gently adjust specific joints in order to increase their mobility. This improves the health in those joints that are showing signs of limited motion. Your home exercises help to maintain that motion between your visits. The combination of chiropractic adjustments and your home exercise program slowly normalizes the motion of the joints in your spine. By normalizing the movement of the spinal joints chiropractic assists in keeping the back strong, healthy, and resistant to re-injury.

Maintain Your Health/ Wellness Phase
Once you have reached your maximum level of improvement our final goal is to maintain your health. This is achieved during the Wellness Phase of care. This is perhaps the most important service we provide for our patients. Periodic examinations allow for early detection of joint and muscle dysfunction before they become painful. If allowed to go undetected and untreated, minor dysfunction can develop without symptoms until they are aggravated by work habits, lifestyle activities or other stress factors. Many times people will invest a lot of time and effort into obtaining better health just to let it slip away. Early detection and treatment are important to cost-effective health care. Make the most of your investment in your health by getting regular wellness care.



MAINTENANCE CARE

After the problem areas in the spine have been corrected occasional chiropractic visits are recommended to ensure that your spine is maintained in good health. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It would be nice if you could attend chiropractic care for a few visits and have permanent restoration of the spine. Unfortunately, the reality is, if the health of the spine is not maintained problems slowly return. Good posture, regular stretching, exercise and chiropractic treatments are all ways to assist in the maintenance of a healthy spine. Most chiropractic patients come to experience the many benefits of chiropractic care and find that an occasional visit helps them to maintain those benefits.

Family & Friends
Do not forget your family and friends. Everyone needs to have regular spinal check-ups by a Doctor of Chiropractic just as they need regular dental exams, physical exams, eye exams, gynecological exams, hearing exams, etc.

Postural examination and evaluation of muscle and joint mechanics in children and young adults may reveal problems that would become serious in later years if allowed to go undetected and untreated. Spinal changes during development and unnoticed distortions or curvatures often exist without symptoms until they are aggravated by sports, school activities, postural habits, or other stress factors. Treating minor problems is easier and cheaper than waiting until it develops into a major problem. Chiropractic check-ups should be a regular part of your family's wellness program.

FREQUENCY OF VISITS
Typically as care progresses fewer visits are required. During acute care daily visits may be necessary whereas maintenance care requires only an occasional visit.