The 3 Day Rule (aka When to Consult)
Minor sprains and strains, back pain, neck pain and or headache should normally resolve within 2-3 days. When pain is not improving in 2-3 days then it is abnormal and you can get used to it rather than fix it. Getting used to a pain stimulus is technically called accommodation. The same phenomenon as when you stay in a bad smell. The smell (stimulus) seems to have gone away but you have simply gotten used to it. Look to consult a chiropractor on day 4.
The Importance of Finishing Your Course
Keeping your appointments not only helps you to make a better recovery , building upon any previous visits and avoiding unnecessary imaging but also facilitates the correct dose of treatment for your body to heal. Even if you are having (preventative) maintenance care your treatment frequency has been carefully chosen , not only to prevent reoccurrence but to allow slower healing tissues such as ligaments , tendons and connective tissue (Fascia) to also heal. Without this ongoing chiropractic care , patients experience reoccurring episodes (within 1-5 years) 50-75% of the time…. with each subsequent episode having a potential to be more painful.
Your recommended treatment plan will be designed based upon your symptoms, diagnosis and prognostic factors and your own preferences. The discussion between chiropractor and lay person is key: when a patient chooses their own treatment plan without discussing it with their chiropractor, they can fall into the trap of making health choices based upon their own level of knowledge about the human body. Clinical studies have shown that, even if this is your first episode of back pain, there is a difference between symptoms going away and actually getting your muscles and joints completely better. Skipping recommended appointments is usually a false economy and can lead to increased health care costs in the future.
Lee has years of experience in getting people better and then keeping them well through occasional scheduled chiropractic appointments. Recent clinical studies now support preventative care because it works in the short term and the long term whilst being cost effective in comparison to other musculoskeletal choices.
Taxonomy of Pain
Pain is a sensory emotional experience that can come on even when no tissue damage has occurred. Pain can signify difference and not just damage. When body tissues are damaged they are different to normal, hence why Lee says the pain system is a signifier of difference which could be chronic ongoing muscular imbalance or an obvious acute injury.