Treatment plans in our office ALL begin with the same step: YOUR goal or intention. Ours stays the same: to help you reach yours!
Many people have a similar intent when receiving treatment; to reduce or eliminate pain for a higher quality of life. Some of you receive care from us for other reasons, such as relaxation and bliss or to maintain physical strength and competitive edge. Either way, our intent is to help you achieve YOUR goal.
There are essentially three different “plans” you can choose from when your goal is to reduce or eliminate the pain you have been experiencing, once we have determined that the cause of such pain is muscle, connective tissue, or joint dysfunction.
The first option we will discuss in this forum is the OPTIMAL plan; it requires multiple visits within a short period of time in the beginning (ex. 2-3 visits per week for 1+ weeks). We then gradually spread the time between visits as your status improves. This plan of care is generally the least expensive over time and the most effective in giving you a pain-less quality of life.
Our best guide for number of visits and frequency is your body. Basically, if your goal or intention is to reduce or eliminate pain, we need to stay ahead or above the pain rather than behind or below it. If you look at your treatment as a race between you and your pain, your goal is to win! So, for example, if you have headaches and our goal is to not have them, we need to see you before you have another headache to stay ahead. If you have a headache before your next visit then we are falling behind in the race. And because the first option can be a time commitment, as well as financial, during the first week or so, the second option may be the better choice for you.
Option number two is a good plan; the “two strides for you, but only one stride for your pain” approach. It may require multiple visits in a short period of time, but we are a little less concerned about staying ahead of the pain, therefore it requires fewer visits during the first few weeks than the optimal plan of care. Staying ahead of pain is still important and will determine the total length of time it takes for you to recover fully. As you can imagine with this analogy, you will still win the race!
The third option is the “band-aid” approach; wait until you have pain then have us alleviate the pain temporarily until it comes back or becomes severe again, then repeat. This is better than no treatment at all, however we don’t generally recommend it. It is the option that will leave you with the most pain and cost you the most money over a long period of time. But we know that sometimes this is what you have to choose. If this is all you can do, you are better doing this with LESS pain than you would feel with NO treatment at all.
We love working with you at all the stages of treatment and hope this helps you to understand our strategy in your journey toward feeling great! In the next blog, I will go over the three stages of care: critical, transition, and lifestyle.