Phase I: Acute Care
This phase of care lasts from 14 to 21 days. Its focus is on pain relief, restoration of cervical lordosis, and A to P (front to back) spine balancing. During acute care, patients receive training on their home care equipment and procedures.
For patients, each clinic visit includes their performing warm up exercises and stretching; receiving functional, neurological, and postural examinations by the doctor; getting a mobilization based on their examinations and x-rays if they need a temporary increase in joint mobility, and wearing their prescribed Pettibon System Weights.
At the end of acute care, patients are re-x-rayed. The x-rays helps the doctor assess patients’ progress and qualification for the next phase of care. Re-x-raying serves another purpose. If patients have been in an accident, it's only after their muscles are no longer in spasm, guarding the spine, that the exact damage can be seen.
In The Pettibon System, a mobilization is performed in order to provide a temporary increase in joint mobility so that the rehabilitative exercises can take advantage of this increased range of motion. After patients have performed warm up and stretching exercises and are examined, they’ll only get a mobilization if there is a need to increase joint mobility. That mobilization won’t apply painful compressive thrusts typically associated with a conventional chiropractic adjustment. Instead, it will be a distraction-type force that stretches the spinal column. This type of mobilizing procedure is more aligned with biological functions and more effective for relieving nerve compression, pain, and dysfunction.
Phase II: Rehabilitation and Correction
The goal of this phase of care is for patients to achieve permanent correction. This requires a minimum of three rehabilitation sessions per week in the clinic for a period of at least 90 days. Patients continue doing their home care procedures twice a day. And the clinic staff checks compliance after 30 to 45 days of rehabilitation. Based on the patients' height and cervical muscle strength measured at the beginning of treatment, there should be a height increase of ½ to 1 ½ inches and an increase of 30% to 50% in cervical flexor muscle strength.
Rehabilitation continues until the correction goals are achieved. For many patients, that’s the minimum period of 90 days. Others may take 24 months or more, especially if they have torn ligaments.
Phase III: Maintenance and Supportive Care
The purpose of this last phase of care is to maintain and enhance patients' spine and posture correction, muscle strength, and endurance. Once a week, for a year, patients come to the clinic to do a full workout using the Linked Exercise Trainer and receive a brief functional, neurological, and postural exam. The doctor will only mobilize patients if the exam indicates the need.
What happens after patients’ spine and posture have been corrected? Like brushing their teeth, they make the home care exercises a daily part of their everyday health regime. They schedule yearly check-ups. And see the doctor for emergencies or other changes that affect the health of their spine.
As you can tell by now, for doctor, staff, and patients, The Pettibon System® represents very different chiropractic care. Yet it's care that consistently gets results and kudos!