To understand the role of corrective care in a chiropractic treatment plan, it helps to look at the official three phases of treatment defined by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). The ACA stages are as follows:
This preventive form of chiropractic is about boosting your health holistically with a range of strategies, such as spinal manipulation, manual adjustments, lifestyle counseling, nutritional coaching, and regular exercise. Wellness is a process that requires effort from both the chiropractor and the patient. It is about getting your bodily function as strong as possible so that you are healthy, regardless of your genetics.
This form of chiropractic diagnoses and treats conditions as indicated by objectives for pain relief and improved function, and as outlined within a therapeutic care plan. The general goal of acute care is to slow or stop the progression of the condition, or to reduce symptoms. Acute care visits may be very frequent at first but occur at broader intervals as goals related to pain and function are achieved.
If the patient wants additional improvement following care of chronic conditions and they are functionally stable, it can make sense to provide further care to mitigate pain, restore function, prevent injury, and otherwise meet treatment goals. When you expect to have improvement in patient symptoms but do not think that the condition will be completely resolved through chiropractic, that is considered recurrent or chronic care.
How corrective care helps
Corrective care is not a technical term like the above, it is a concept that encapsulates the effort to go beyond relieving acute pain to achieving permanent health improvements. In that sense, corrective care is roughly equivalent to chronic and recurrent care – i.e., the strategy chiropractors use to help you recover from long-established conditions (vs. the preventive approach of wellness care and immediate-relief approach of acute care).
Generally speaking, there is substantial research evidence for the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment to improve injuries in athletes and reach higher performance. One study from Canada studied 16 female long-distance runners who had become injured to determine if chiropractic corrective care would yield recovery. Compellingly, seven of the runners achieved their best times ever while they were receiving treatment, while all of the runners recovered rapidly from their injuries.
Specific ways in which corrective care benefits the body are multifactorial, from direct performance impacts to secondary benefits of stronger health:
- Enhanced hand-eye coordination and general performance – When the spine is out of alignment, your body’s systems will cease to function properly. Better performance arises naturally when the spine is brought back into its healthy shape. Twelve weeks of chiropractic care yielded an incredible 30 percent improvement in hand-eye coordination, per one study. It resulted in a 6-12 percent improvement in general athletic performance, according to another.
- Injury prevention – Chiropractic doctors who treat athletes should do so through a method that is comprehensive, holistic, and centered on injury prevention. Corrective care is restorative and it also is preventive since your body becomes less susceptible to reinjury. Performance improvements can only occur when injuries are avoided and properly managed when they arise – i.e., via corrective care. Chiropractors help athletes in many ways beyond direct adjustments, including through race preparation, nutritional counseling, endurance coaching, and coordinating the various methods of care to robustly recover and prevent injury.
- All-natural – Chiropractors often treat athletes since the treatments they offer are drug-free and nonsurgical methods focused on boosting performance, improving balance, and optimizing flexibility. Specifically, chiropractic care is concerned with a properly functioning nervous system, and many injuries within sports place undue stress on nerves, discs, muscles, ligaments, and joints, pushing them into misalignment. Pain alleviation and functional restoration is best achieved through chiropractic rather than traditional medical means, according to numerous studies. Part of the reason chiropractic is typically helpful for sports performance is that it can address just about any painful health condition, from knee and ankle injuries to neck injuries and headaches, to shoulder and back conditions. It can provide relief from tennis elbow to shoulder instability in hockey to groin pain in soccer.
- Stimulates body’s natural healing capacity – Corrective care is important because it is geared toward restoring the full function of your body rather than simply relieving your pain. Through a corrective care plan that takes into account your family health history, nutrition, sleep, exercise, and environment alongside health, a chiropractor can help you go beyond treating symptoms to actually healing your illness or injury. Plus, their work stimulates the body to heal naturally.
- Lower inflammation –Corrective care, like other types of chiropractic care, is anti-inflammatory. That means each time you have a visit, you are relieving tension as you alleviate pain and improve your joint conditions. Since chronic inflammation can contribute to cancer and heart disease along with chronic pain, it is good to know that chiropractors can help keep it controlled. You will alleviate inflammation with corrective chiropractic care, in turn lowering muscular tension, mitigating joint pain, and relieving chronic back pain. So it’s conceivable that your risk for diseases associated with heightened inflammation levels to drop as well.
- Marked reduction in neurological symptoms – People with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and similar diseases can benefit from chiropractic corrective care’s capacity to improve the blood flow to your brain, as well as its ability to bolster the circulation of cerebral spinal fluid. Researchers are currently investigating possible therapeutic methods that can be derived from the circulation improvements that chiropractic allows.
Custom treatment to optimize your performance
Do you think chiropractic might be right for you? At chiroFX, our corrective care plans treat your whole body through a range of services for the relief of stress, pain, discomfort and improving your nervous system function. See our approach.