General Phases of Care

Phase I: Acute Phase

During this initial phase, the treatment team focuses on diagnosis, treatment plan development (if not provided by their medical doctor), and instituting a treatment protocol to reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy modalities are utilized to reduce inflammation, address trigger point and scar tissue formation, decrease pain, assist in the correction of range of motion or bio-mechanical abnormalities.

Phase II: Recovery Phase

Once the initial pain and inflammation are reduced, emphasis is placed on helping the patient restore function. This includes returning the patient to normal daily activities, while starting an exercise program that is designed to help the patient regain flexibility and strength. Proper evaluation of the supportive muscles of the spine is critical to the long-term recovery of the patient. This applies to preoperative cases, in an attempt to avoid or delay surgical intervention. In post operative cases such an evaluation is imperative to properly rehabilitate the supportive structures and provide the patient a more rapid recovery, restore proper range of motion, and give the patient a more favorable overall outcome.

A proper evaluation includes isolating and testing the supportive muscles unilaterally. Failure to properly isolate the muscle groups can lead to asymmetrical development or rehabilitation and thus produce abnormal stresses on the spinal joints and inter-vertebral discs. Additionally a thorough evaluation includes evaluating the flexion/extension ratios to insure proper support of the spinal structures.

Phase III: Maintenance Phase

The goal of this phase is two fold: educating the patient on ways to prevent further injury and strain to the back and neck, and helping the patient to prevent further injury by improving strength and endurance.


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