If you read Doctor Becerra’s post from last week about his recurring shoulder injury due to overuse, you know he had to take care of his body with some more intense treatment for a while! One of the key parts of his recovery included daily adjustments for nearly two weeks. Something we’ve had patients ask is why anyone would need to be adjusted that frequently – isn’t once a week enough? What we have found, however, is that in certain circumstances, more frequent visits – even daily – can help a patient get through an intense period of pain.
So why would someone need daily adjustments?
Daily adjustments are occasionally recommended when a patient is in severe pain and distress. Generally, this isn’t the norm for starting out chiropractic care. Sometimes, though, your body will need the extra, daily help! Doctor Becerra has four reasons why he would recommend that certain patients experiencing severe and debilitating pain would need daily treatments:
- The adjustments will release pressure off the nerves coming from the spine. Our nervous system is all connected; Doctor Becerra has found that a neck adjustment can help reduce high blood pressure in some patients. If that can happen in one part of the body, imagine what a full body adjustment can do! When the body is in severe distress, having your nervous system working at the best it can is a great help.
- The adjustments will reestablish normal function to discs and facet joints. When a serious condition occurs, sometimes the facet joints – the joints in your spine that allow you to flex and bend your back and neck – can lock up and restrict movement. Adjustments bring movement and synovial fluid (the lubricating substance created within the joints) back to the disc spaces and joints.
- The adjustments will calm inflammation and muscle spasms. Severe flare-ups can be accompanied by muscles problems in addition to subluxated vertebrae. Inflammation causes tenderness and pain, and muscle spasms only increase the discomfort. Once the underlying subluxation is corrected, the inflammation and muscle spasms will settle as well.
- The adjustments will establish muscle memory and tone. As the body settles into having less stress on your nervous system as a result of the daily treatments, your muscles will start to remember where they need to be in order to work best. Once the muscles are working properly in relation to the spine, muscle tone will be the next goal. Without strengthening the muscles, the cycle of no pain to severe pain will continue.
All of these objectives are achieved through adjustments on a less frequent basis, but with a severe condition, daily adjustments may be needed to achieve the desired results.
When would someone need daily adjustments?
Obviously, not everyone will need intense, frequent treatment when they first start care. Our bodies react differently to stress, and there may be varied underlying conditions; there are many variables that affect a treatment plan. Daily adjustments would be needed for someone who is experiencing symptoms that are severe enough to inhibit an adjustment from taking hold. Some situations that would cause this sort of reaction include, but aren’t limited to: personal emotional stress, injuries caused from car accidents, physical altercations, and pregnancy.
How long would the daily adjustments continue?
Daily treatments wouldn’t continue for a great amount of time; usually by the end of two weeks, the body should have learned how to adapt and recover from the stress. If there is no improvement by the end of that time period, Doctor Becerra will refer that patient out to a specialist to determine if there are more underlying factors than originally diagnosed.
While daily adjustments aren’t commonly employed, they can – like in Doctor Becerra’s case with his shoulder injury – assist the body in relearning how to hold and strengthen itself to correct the root cause of severe pain.