Active Care vs. Passive Care and Why Does It Matter?

*Recap on last week’s blog: Thanks for the positive feedback, everyone! It’s great to see so many taking the initiative to get more active despite this gloomy Fall. My routine has changed again as David and I have added a puppy into the mix! He is an eight week old golden retriever  named Lennox. Lennox is still learning the ins and outs of his new house but when he’s ready we can’t wait to show him around the clinic!*

When patients are presented with a plan of management which includes a home exercise program, some patients may chose to forego this active care in lieu of their weekly visits. The chiropractor will likely use a variation of the 4 Ms: manipulation, mobilizations, muscle release, or modalities. These interventions fall under the category of passive care. While these techniques can be useful in providing relief of symptoms, they don’t often solve the problem.

True tissue adaptation comes from dynamically challenging the tissue itself through variations of regular exercise. This is imperative for creating lasting, functional differences in the tissue and, subsequently, decreasing pain. This active care component is crucial for a successful plan of management and can help to decrease the chances of recurrence in the future.

Active care consists of chiropractors providing tools that patients can use in their day to day lives to help them in recovery, deal with everyday aches and pains, and prevention of future injury.

The best way of describing why active care can be so beneficial is using what some call the 168 Hour Rule. One hundred and sixty eight hours are in a week. If you see a chiropractor twice weekly, this leaves you with approximately 167 hours where it’s up to you to monitor how your body feels and to make positive changes to enable you to get on doing the things you need to! While this may seem slightly overwhelming to manage, chiropractors can help by recommending educational advice for pain management at home, exercise prescription, prehab and rehabilitation, and everyday recommendations like stretches for deskwork. The passive component of care is merely a fraction of what we can offer patients; when both passive and active care are paired, this is when patients are more likely to see effective and lasting changes in their day to day lives.