Stages of Chiropractic Care

Stages of Chiropractic Care

Many people seek chiropractic treatments when they are injured or in pain because chiropractic care is a natural process that aims to restore and maintain health without the use of medications or surgery. There are three stages of chiropractic care: acute care, corrective care and wellness care. Which stage your care is in depends upon your body’s current condition and how your body responds to treatment.

Each of the stages has different physical and functional goals, and you may receive different treatments and therapies in each of these three stages. There is no set timeline for the different stages: Your progress will depend on the severity of any injury, your health prior to injury, your lifestyle habits and daily activities, and your body’s response to treatment.

Acute Care (Relief)

Acute care is the first stage of chiropractic care, and the goal in this phase is pain relief. If you have suffered an injury or are experiencing pain, your treatment at this stage will focus on alleviating your pain so you can resume daily activities. To do this, your chiropractor will work with you to decrease inflammation and improve the way your muscles and joints are functioning. In this stage, you may be asked to come into the clinic frequently at first, but visits will become less frequent as you progress. You can expect multiple treatment techniques to be used to manage your pain and begin to improve your range of motion.

How long your care is in the relief stage depends on how severe your injury is, how often you see your chiropractor and, once again, how your condition is responding to care. Don’t be discouraged if your progress seems slow at first. Most problems don’t develop overnight; rather, they often result from an accumulation of events, traumas and poor habits. Therefore, don’t expect things to change overnight. The overall scope of care in this stage seeks to stabilize your condition so that the underlying cause of your symptoms can be addressed.

Corrective Care (Rehab)

In the corrective care stage, you and your chiropractor will work together using techniques and exercises for repairing and re-training muscles and joints to move correctly. This phase of care may focus on rehabilitating poor muscle patterns and other underlying causes of the symptoms targeted by relief care. Your physical condition, age and lifestyle all influence which treatment methods will be used, and your chiropractor will make sure that you aren’t experiencing pain or discomfort.

During this stage, your symptoms should be minimal, and you should feel that you can move and perform your everyday activities with little to no discomfort. You should be experiencing better pain-free ranges of motion. In this phase, you will continue with regular chiropractic visits, but the length of time between appointments will be longer than in the acute care stage.

Wellness Care (Retain)

This last phase of chiropractic care is one in which you and your chiropractor will work to retain the progress you made in the first two stages of care. Wellness care, which is also sometimes called “maintenance” care, is focused on maintaining the results achieved and keeping you pain-free, moving and functioning as well as possible.

Much like regular visits to the dentist’s office are key to maintaining the health of your teeth even when you aren’t experiencing obvious dental problems, chiropractic maintenance care is key to keeping you in the best spinal health—and chiropractors can spot potential problems with the health of your spine before symptoms develop. Studies show that a chiropractic maintenance care regimen reduces disability over the long term. In this stage of care, your visits to the chiropractor are spaced out further than in the acute and corrective stages, and the time between visits depends on your activity level, lifestyle habits and, as always, how your body responds to chiropractic care.

Keep in mind that everyone has different pain and activity levels, as well as different types and severity of injury—and every individual responds differently to different types of chiropractic treatment. We take all of this information into consideration when creating a treatment plan with you. Our goal is to get you moving and feeling well as quickly as possible, so you can return to enjoying life!

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I've been coming to see Dr. Bob since 1984 for my back pain. After each visit, the vast improvement lasts about one whole month. Even after all these years, Dr. Bob continues to provide outstanding care for me, my children, and my grandchildren. I've referred several people to HealthWise Chiropractic, so they too can see the results I have. My favorite part of my visits is the friendliness and professionalism of the staff and doctors and, of course, the results I get that improve my daily living."
    Danny S.
  • "About ten years ago I was at the gym, I bent over and couldn't get up, the pain was horrible. I contacted Healthwise and Dr. Mike gave me an emergency appointment that evening. He did a complete physical and x-ray before he started any treatment. After my first treatment I was able to stand up and walk with minimal pain. With a few visits I was back to normal. I continued treatments as needed for the next several years.
    I see Dr. Bob regularly to stay fit and pain-free. He tests my strength and weakness to determine the best treatment. Our open discussion led him to help my acid reflux. I now exercise and walk as is essential for a septuagenarian.
    I told Dr. Bob that I was starting to get knee pain that I thought was arthritis; I didn't think chiropractic care could help. He told me about new equipment to help. I look forward to improvement.
    I was a skeptic of chiropractic care, now I would recommend HealthWise to anyone with chronic/simple pain. It worked for me. It can work for you!"
    Sherry B.
  • "I was very miserable with constant pain in my leg while knowing it had something to do with my back. My friend surprised me with an appointment with Dr. Bob. After being treated by Dr. Bob I knew right away it was exactly what I needed. I learned a lot through my conversations with the doctor. I am really thankful to Dr. Bob and his staff."
    Ed L.
  • "I had a very limited understanding of chiropractic care until I tried it for the first time 12 years ago. I came in with severe pain in my neck, which prohibited me from moving my head. I was greeted by a kind staff, had an exam and x-rays done on my first appointment followed by an adjustment. I felt so much better after my first adjustment and by following the treatment plan my headaches and migraines improved. My overall health has improved because of chiropractic care. Dr. Bob helps make sure that I am taking the right supplements to optimize my health and fitness performance. They have helped me with allergies, knee and shoulder pain, and earaches. I had no idea when I began my chiropractic journey just how much help the doctors and staff at HealthWise would be at improving my quality of life."
    Britt H.
  • "I have been a patient at HealthWise Chiropractic for over 20 years. In the past and currently I am seeing Dr. Bob, however, I have seen all docs at Healthwise. My general issues are usually seasonally related to sinus and allergies. Recently I have been receiving treatment for my hip and lower back. Dr. Bob zeros in on trigger points and quickly relieves my pain. He is a wealth of knowledge and offers help and suggestion on my health issues. The staff is friendly and helpful. I leave feeling better and I believe helps to keep my body aligned and energized. I have also come in after falls, injuries and surgeries. I truly believe my adjustments at the time added to a quicker recovery."
    Liz B.
  • "I have been a patient of Dr. Bob for two and half months. . I see him for an adjustment every two weeks. I started seeing a chiropractor for the first time in January 2021 while working in Florida for my continued lower back pain and chronic bilateral hip bursitis. Because my pain was mostly relieved with continued adjustments, I decided to continue with treatment when returning to Wisconsin. I have been very happy with my continued pain relief/adjustments at HealthWise. I highly recommend anyone with chronic back and neck pain to try chiropractic adjustments here at HealthWise. It will make your life better."
    Marianne V.
  • "Really enjoyed the different things that they can do for you and your pain management. Would highly recommend."
    Rhiannon P.
  • "I enjoy coming, getting readjusted and any additional therapies. It has made my life healthier and less stressful. If I have questions, they are answered at that visit. The staff is very professional, personable and friendly. I always look forward to my next visit with them. I am glad to be part of Healthwise Chiropractic family:)"
    Marcella L.
  • "Dr. Mike is fantastic! He is very personable….will take time to really to your needs… I enjoy my visits…the maintenance has helped tremendously…..and he is there when the emergency pops up! Excellent Chiropractor!"
    Ann W.

Appointment Request

Schedule an Appointment Today

Our Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Find Out When We Are Open



9:00 am – 6:00 pm


9:00 am – 6:00 pm


9:00 am – 6:00 pm


9:00 am – 6:00 pm


9:00 am – 4:30 pm