Preventative vs. Reactive Care

Why react when you can prevent?

Most of us have a mentality towards dealing with pain and health issues without ever actively deciding we do. It becomes established as we’re growing up, and unless there is some sort of intervention as an adult, we never consider if our learned mentality suits us best. This mentality can shape not only our healthcare choices, but also our day-to-day choices.  


Reactive care addresses symptoms after they appear, such as pain or muscle weakness. At LMMT, you may hear us distinguish between care that is considered “treatment” and care that is considered “maintenance.” Reactionary care will always be considered “treatment” since it is addressing a specific problem that already exists.

Reactive care is appropriate after non-preventable, acute injuries such as after a motor vehicle accident, getting hit in a sports game, a fall, or certain overuse injuries (such as from unplanned repetitive movements). 

Many injuries or pain issues could be considered to be preventable. These are pain or soft tissue injuries that may heal faster or even may have never happened if the musculoskeletal and nervous system had been functioning in a healthier place at the time of the incident. These can include contractile injuries such as a pulled muscle during sports, a tweaked neck “from sleeping,” many low back pains, overuse injuries from expected repetitive movements (such as a job or hobby), and severe pain responses from minor accidents and injuries. In our experience, when imbalances, weaknesses, and compensatory patterns are addressed before they cause pain issues, and when the nervous system is more balanced, clients experience far fewer of these types of injuries, and the injuries they do sustain are less severe.

If we treat these “preventable” injuries reactively, we often end up spending more time and money being injured. The “cost” of reacting to a preventable injury is so much higher with the amount of time spent injured, loss of work, loss of physical gains, loss of technical practice time, not to mention the much higher frequency of care needed to treat a preventable injury, which increases an unanticipated cost. 

Of course, non-preventable injuries happen, but the goal is to decrease the number of times and amount of time we have to spend reacting to an injury that could have been prevented, or made less severe with preventative care.


Preventative care is everything you do to keep your body at a healthier baseline prior to symptoms presenting. More often than not, this type of care is considered “maintenance.” Quality maintenance care both allows your body to sustain its progress, and supports healthier response to and faster recovery from negative stimulation (injuries, stress, etc.).

In some cases, treatment care can still be considered preventative, such as if some is preparing their body to become pregnant or is currently pregnant. Other times, a temporary increase in sessions to prepare for or get through a more demanding training or work schedule is considered “preventative treatment.” 

Every body is different, but here are how some common preventative care or maintenance care plans can look for different groups of people (keeping in mind that our standards for “baseline” are high – we’re looking for little to no pain, headaches, or dysfunction to be considered in maintenance):

20sAny, goal is wellness1x/mo
30-65Lightly active1-2x/mo + stretching & self-care work at home
30-65Moderate2x/mo + stretching & self-care work at home
65+Active, with stretching & self-care at home2-3x/mo
65+Little, with no stretching or self-care at home.4x/mo, but will be difficult to feel your best without increasing activity & home-care activities
Any AgeElite/Pro Athlete3-4x/mo

Of course, this is just a sample, and can completely change depending on your specific needs, activity levels, goals, pre existing injuries, etc.

What it comes down to is, if you have fewer injuries, you can spend more time doing the things you love. If you have fewer headache days per month, you can spend more time enjoying what you do. If you have less pain each day, you can have more energy for the things that need your attention. And if your care requires fewer trips to our office, you can definitely have more time for you.


Care with our team, whether treatment or maintenance, isn’t like other places. A massage with our staff is not just a massage. Our LMTs are highly trained in orthopedic assessment, fascial patterns, and body reading, which means they are constantly proactively addressing root issues, fascial restrictions, and compensatory patterns to ensure healthier functioning movement patterns for your body. You know that thought, “I had no idea I was even sore there!” Well, we did – and it’s because your body is following a pattern. Our goal is to undo those patterns before you notice them because they’re causing you pain.

The same assessment occurs during our chiropractic sessions. Not only do you get the benefit of two brains, integrated massage and chiropractic adjustments allows us to create more change in a single session, without overdoing it, leaving you feeling your best and having very little downtime when you leave the office. With traditional chiropractic, you’d typically require more frequent sessions, and massage/soft-tissue work would still be needed to experience the same results. 

Why experience more pain, when you can just prevent it?

We excel at providing individualized, high-quality treatment and maintenance care. When you choose preventative care, you choose to be in the driver’s seat, and we are committed to being your “pit crew” – a team of people whose sole purpose is to make sure that you’re functioning at your best. We pay attention to how your body is responding and what patterns show up using your check-in information and our notes.. We analyze the amount of time you can healthily take between sessions. We are looking for that sweet spot for frequency that is often enough that we’re staying ahead of that pain, but not so often we have nothing to work on (we like seeing you, but absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?!). Our memberships help you to commit to yourself – keeping you on track to achieve and maintain your movement, training, and quality-of-life goals.