After practicing for almost 20 years as a chiropractor, I have definitely seen patterns that occur as I evaluate and treat patients. Some of them are bit difficult to explain. Why do knees tend to misalign laterally much more often than medially? Others are more obvious. The forward head posture brought about by our computers and cell phones tends to give many people very similar neck and upper back pain with all the accompanying misalignments that entails.
As I evaluate a new patient I am always looking for indications of how that patient will respond to care. These variables go into my recommendations of a care plan for them. Their age, level of fitness, general nutrition status, severity of injury will all affect how well their body will heal.
While I am occasionally surprised when a patient recovers more quickly than I foresaw or takes a bit longer than anticipated, one indication does stand out as a very good indicator. If a new patient experiences improvement in the first two weeks of care, that is usually a very good harbinger that they will respond care and continued to improve to an acceptable level. While some patients do take a bit longer to turn around and respond, I find these patients tend to improve more slowly and perhaps will plateau in their improvement at a lower level.
Therefore, it stands to reason that taking care of one’s self in general and getting care soon after an injury, as opposed to waiting for the injury to become a chronic, are all factors that will tilt the odds in the patient’s favor.
The good news is that the vast majority people do respond to care and see a decrease in pain and increase in their daily function.