Acute Care

Acute care usually refers to the care provided to those that are suffering from restricted body movement, body aches, pains, and injuries.

Tissue injury causes restriction of motion due to inflammation and swelling, pain, and muscle spasm.  Chiropractic provides safe and effective management of pain and inflammation, restores proper joint biomechanics and promotes proper healing of soft tissues.

Post injury stages:

  1. During active swelling, motion is lost and pain increases, which occurs for 12 to 72 hours.  Chiropractic care helps decrease swelling, pain and spasm during this stage.
  2. By the 2nd to 4th day, passive congestion occurs where fluid and wastes get trapped in tissues and restrict motion and cause pain and delay healing. Chiropractic care at this stage can help restore motion, block pain, restore normal sensation, relax tight muscles, decrease swelling and accelerate healing.
  3. Beginning 5 days after injury, repair will begin.  Chiropractic care helps by restoring and maintaining motion so tissues can heal in a functional way, thus preventing scar tissue formation.

Two phases of acute care treatment:

The chiropractic acute care involves two phases of treatment, Passive and Active. Passive treatments are considered "passive" in that the doctor performs or utilizes these procedures on the patient without the patient engaging in any activity. The Active treatments are considered "active" in that the individuals perform the prescribed movement patterns and exercises.

Passive Phase of Treatment:

The Acute care period involves the passive phase of Chiropractic treatment, which consists of chiropractic adjustments coupled with various modalities:

  1. Ultrasound Therapy
  2. Electrical Stimulation
  3. Soft Tissue Therapy (e.g. myofascial release, tranverse friction massage, etc.)
  4. Heat Therapy
  5. Cryotherapy
  6. Infrared Light Therapy

These treatment methods are considered “passive” in that the doctor performs or utilizes these procedures on the patient without the patient engaging in any activity. We use this to improve proper joint biomechanics, minimize the inflammatory response, and promote proper soft tissue healing in order to reduce pain and improve function, which are usually the initial therapeutic goals.

Goals of Passive Phase Treatment:

  1. Reduce pain
  2. Reduce Swelling
  3. Reduce muscle spasms
  4. Restore normal ranges of motion
  5. Promote soft tissue healing

Active Phase of Treatment:

Once the initial treatment goals (relatively normal and pain-free ranges of motion) have been established, the doctor will design an individualized training exercise program to progressively further the recovery process by increasing the functional capacity, which includes flexibility, strength, endurance, and coordination of the involved areas). Changes involving ergonomics, biomechanics of activities of daily living, and/or nutrition may also be discussed and implemented.

The patients are “active” during this phase as they perform the prescribed movement patterns and exercises.

Goals of Active Phase Treatment:

  1. Restore optimal and pain-free range of motion
  2. Restore optimal strength throughout the range of motion
  3. Strengthen supportive muscle and tissues (e.g. core, rotator cuff, etc.)
  4. Increase local muscular endurance

We accomplish these by designing and individualized exercise rehabilitation program that includes cardiovascular conditioning, flexibility training, balance & coordination, and resistance training. The rehabilitation programs are progressive and will adapt to patients’ increasing functional capacity. Our own exercise and rehabilitation center next door to the office provides a safe and convenient location for the custom designed programs.