How can I recover as fast as possible?
So you've done the right thing and consulted your chiropractor about your condition. But you want to know the answer to the burning question: how long is this going to take?
How many treatments will it take?
This is often dependent on the specific condition being treated (some take 1 or 2 sessions, some take 3 months), how long the condition was present before treatment started (generally the longer the problem has been present, the longer it takes to treat), as well as the patient’s individual immune system, biomechanics and daily stress levels (physical and mental).
From the initial treatment, a plan will be discussed for how long it should take. On average, for most conditions, 3-5 treatments are usually adequate to control the worst symptoms – more severe and/or longstanding conditions will usually take longer. And once the worst of the symptoms are relieved, follow up appointments in the future are often advised to ensure your return to full health and activity.
Avoiding re-injury or aggravation
Generally speaking, the cause of most pain in the muscles and joints is due to overload. This may be sudden (like a fall or lifting something heavy) or take a long time to present (poor sitting posture). While you are healing, it is of paramount importance that you avoid any overload to the area. This may involve avoiding lifting or carrying heavy things, correcting poor posture (sitting and standing), avoiding repetitive movements, and avoiding placing the joints and muscles in compressed/stretched positions for extended periods of time. That being said, the sooner you can start your regular activities and exercise, the better you’ll recover. Load your body, don’t OVERload it.
There are certain things that you can do to improve your healing response.
Avoid things that may aggravate your condition (as mentioned above)
If the area is throbbing and painful: ice for 20mins every hour; or 15mins on/15mins off as necessary. Don’t leave it on for longer that 20mins as it can cause frost-bite.
A heat pack can also be used for pain, but is usually better on stiff/tight muscles. Try not to leave the pack on for longer that 20mins as it causes blood to pool in the area.
Tight muscles can be lightly stretched: stretch the muscle until you feel light tension, then gently pull the stretch slightly deeper and hold for 30seconds; release the stretch slowly, rest for 5-10s and then repeat 2-3 more times
Rub on gels and creams such as Bio Soothe™ or Voltaren™ can provide some relief
Pain killers and anti-inflammatories can be used to manage the pain but don’t become dependent on them – they are treating symptoms not the underlying cause.