A common question that I often get from new patients is “how long will this take to fix?” This is a tricky question to answer. The beauty of physical medicine is that we don’t prescribe any foreign substances to mask pain, instead we focus on correcting the cause of it. That being said, this can take more than one or two adjustments to occur.
Yes, some of us get a “tweak” every now and again when lifting something or being active, the pain can usually be resolved quite quickly. However, many of us have faulty movement patters due to postural imbalances that took YEARS to create and often results in that “nagging” neck and/or low back pain that may not subside as quickly. Our muscles have memory. Just like when you workout in the gym, it may of taken quite a while to get to that 300lb bench press mark. However, if you were to take a couple of months off and come back, you may not be able to bench press 300lbs right away, but you would get back to that level much quicker than it took you to initially get there. The same thing occurs with our postural muscles. Eliminating neck pain that you have had for a few years from sitting at a desk all day just simply can’t be fixed over night; it’s science! Over time the muscle get use to being in that position and become weakened (or overactive). This condition initially requires frequent care in the form of adjustments, muscle work, exercises, and stretching in order to essentially re-train these muscles to behave how they are suppose to. This is person dependent and should not be treated with a standardized approach. I focus on individualized care that is monitored every visit to see how the patient is progressing. As progression occurs you should expect to be seen less and less if you do what you are instructed to do (exercise’s, stretches, posture, etc.)
Once problem is taken care of and well controlled everyone should be assessed a few times a year to be sure that you are moving properly and avoid any muscle imbalances which will eventually result in pain. Why not take the time for a check up every 6 weeks and avoid the pain later? Our bodies are constantly changing on a daily basis (even more so for those that weight train and work-out!) By assuring that the joints are moving properly we can be sure that all muscles are doing their job and firing at max capacity, ultimately making you better at whatever it is you do!