The DMR Method’s recovery curve is used to explain how the body recovers when it receives proper, timely treatment. The recovery curve was created after the clinical observation of thousands of patients following a predictable path throughout treatment. It’s important for patients to move through each of the three phases of the recovery curve before discontinuing treatment. If treatment discontinues prematurely, your same symptoms, pains, and discomforts are likely to return.
The Recovery Curve
Comprised of three individual phases, the recovery curve helps keep both patients and providers coordinated and on track toward recovery. Each phase is equally important and must occur in the correct order. Below, I’ll describe each of the DMR Method’s three phases of the recovery curve in greater detail.
Recovery Curve Phase #1: Relief
During the relief phase, there are three primary goals:
- Providing some measure of relief from your pain
- Decreasing inflammation
- Starting to restore normal mobility to the injured areas of your body
You’ll likely have restrictions placed on what tasks you can and cannot do, as well as at what level you may safely perform them. These limits help protect your body from additional injury. Since inflammation interferes with swift and proper healing, your provider will help you manage and limit inflammation during this phase.
Recovery Curve Phase #2: Repair
When you enter the repair phase, your pain will have improved significantly, and your mobility will be at or near normal levels. Throughout this phase, your posture and alignment will improve, and your ability to move and do the things you like to do will improve. Patients experience great benefits during this phase and occasionally will decide they are fully recovered and elect to discontinue treatment. However, it’s important for patients to continue their treatment all the way through the rehab phase to avoid the development of scar tissue and the return of pain and symptoms.
Recovery Curve Phase #3: Rehab
During the third and final phase of recovery, it’s likely your symptoms will be completely resolved, and you’ll be able to engage in your normal daily activities. Although your body has mostly healed from injury, your risk of re-injury still remains. You’ll need to focus on developing soft-tissue strength and neurological coordination, both of which require a longer-term approach. While there is a time and effort commitment, the benefit of fully resolving your condition is much greater than the responsibility of investing in self-care.
The DMR Method: Pain-Free is Not Problem-Free
One of the most important realizations patients of the DMR Method need to make is that just because they are pain-free doesn’t mean they are problem-free. It’s both common and unfortunate for individuals to think their condition is resolved once the pain goes away, but that is just the first sign that treatment is working. When beginning the DMR Method, pain is one of the first things to disappear. But, when this occurs, the underlying condition is still there. Stopping treatment early is like an invitation for your pain and disability to come back.