By Dr. P. Andrew Richetto, D.C.
Why does the Chiropractor have me go back every week or two when he has already fixed me? The very same reason why your MD prescribes you Physical Therapy for 3 visits per week for 4-6 weeks. The same reason why your dentist wants you to brush your teeth three times daily. The same reason you exercise three or four times per week, and not once per month, etc. The question is, what do you define being “fixed” as? Most likely, your definition will be far different than your MD’s, PT’s, or DC’s professional opinion.
Your MD fully understands, just as your Chiropractor, that the structures in your body are designed to respond to stimuli slowly, whether it by positive stimulus, or negative stimulus… your body will respond. A few basic examples are as follows: when the orthodontist puts braces on your teeth, your teeth respond and adapt very slowly to the forces acting on them in order to correct the function of your bite (1-2 years minimum). Also, your liver responds very negatively, and slowly, to a person consuming large amounts of alcohol over a long period of time by building up fatty cells, causing cirrhosis. Joe Workout in the gym, spends 4-5 days per week in the gym, the muscle tissue, very slowly, starts to respond to the stimuli with hypertrophy (becoming larger) over an extended period of time, usually about 6-12 months. To drive the point home, when you brush your teeth, you don’t call it good for a month, you brush your teeth 2-3 times per day to PREVENT plaque and tooth decay.
So when a Chiropractor recommends you visit the office once or twice a week for the next few weeks, understand that this runs parallel to the majority of all other traditional treatment methods and frequencies. The most important issue to understand is how pain plays a role in determining your treatment. You may feel that your pain has subsided even after the initial visit. However, it is presumptuous to take this as a sign that you need not follow through with the treatment plan your Chiropractor has recommended. The body has a magnificent way of adapting to negative stimulus and when it is unable to continue, your body sends pain signals to your brain, letting you know something is wrong. Unfortunately, pain is the last thing to show up when there is a problem, as well as the first symptom to go away after treatment starts. DO NOT use pain as a means to determine whether or not your condition is improving or getting worse. Leave this up to your health care provider to conclude.
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Dr. Richetto is a Tempe Chiropractor practicing at Richetto Chiropractic in Tempe, Arizona 85283. Call the office at 480-775-3503 and visit them at 2163 E. Baseline Rd., Suite 105, Tempe AZ 85283.
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