The Idea Behind Retracing (Healing)

When you visit an Upper Cervical specific spine specialist, you may come across the idea of “retracing.” Your Chiropractor may explain the strange phenomenon to you and at first you might think, this can’t be real. However, this phenomenon holds true for every Upper Cervical Chiropractic specialist. I’ll explain more about it below.

Retracing means going over ground which has already been covered until the individual reaches the point from which he/she started. When a patient is under upper cervical care, sometimes symptoms that have not manifested for months or even years will reoccur. Patient’s first impression is that they are getting worse when they are really experiencing a retracing of the several stages through which the disease/disorder progressed in the making (Upper Cervical Health Centers).


Retracing varies for every one as we are individually very unique. The time it takes to recover does not always equate to the time it took for the disease process to happen. For example: It may have taken years for your first migraine develop. It will not take the same amount of time to recover from it. However, as a rule of thumb – acute disease processes respond rapidly to upper cervical care, while chronic cases of long-standing take little longer. In an upper cervical focused office/clinic, your Chiropractor will tell you that true healing takes time. While it is important for any doctor to set realistic time expectations, do not be surprised if it takes more than a few weeks to respond to care.

Cycles of Repair

Cycles of Repair refers to the up and down healing cycle. What this means, roughly, is – after your first upper cervical correction, you will have a few weeks of “repair.” During this phase, you may notice extra discomfort, maybe even random aches and pains. When this phase finishes, you will be greeted with a “rest” phase, during which you will have little to no symptoms. This phase is usually longer than your “repair” phase. Just like this, you will have this up and down, repair and rest, cycle until you are, overall, doing much better since the beginning. Overall, the healing cycle is upward – however, not linear.

What Should You Do During Your Retracing Cycle?

Sometimes, retracing can be a difficult process. Aches and pains may become amplified during this time and I encourage you to remain resilient. During this time, use ice or heat to your own discretion. Walking is a great exercise if you are able. Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins and remain hydrated.

One Final Note

Please remember that your upper cervical Chiropractic journey will not be like a light switch. While acute pain may be of instant onset, chronic pain and other disease processes develop over many months and years. Getting to the root cause and correcting it will take patience, time, effort, and most importantly – faith.

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