It’s the largest complementary and alternative health profession; the third largest area of health care (after standard medicine and dentistry). Originating from the Greek words meaning "treatment by hand," chiropractic involves manual manipulation of the body in order to promote healing and wellness. After an assessment of your condition, you will receive a diagnosis and an individualized treatment plan will be developed.
Although the ultimate goals are to reduce pain and normalize function, chiropractic care prides itself in assisting the improvement of the overall health of an individual and thus quality of life. Your chiropractor may incorporate specific recommendations, such as nutritional counseling, exercise and pain management techniques to encourage the practice of health choices that create a more successful and balanced lifestyle.
Chiropractic care utilizes traditional diagnostic methods involving a thorough history and evaluation and, when necessary, testing methods such as X-rays, MRIs and lab work. Treatments may include manipulation (adjustments) of spinal or other joints, stretching, and applications of physiotherapies including cold or hot packs. Treatment frequency and duration varies according to the condition being treated.
Today, people are becoming increasingly aware that chiropractic relieves many conditions, including treatment for:
- Neck and back pain
- Muscle spasms
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Numbness or tingling to the arms or legs
- Injuries to extremities such as shoulders, wrists, knees and ankles
Chiropractic Manipulation (Adjustment)
The goal of chiropractic adjustment, also known as manipulation, is to correct structural alignment and improve the body's physical function. The chiropractic adjustment is a procedure in which trained specialists (chiropractors) use their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to the joints of the body, particularly the spine. Adjustments rarely cause discomfort and can be adapted to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.
In addition to manipulation, additional adjunctive therapies may be used to augment your care. While the list below is not all-inclusive, the most common treatments used by chiropractors are:
Moist heat packs are used to help ease muscle pain and spasms. They are also a great way to prepare damaged muscles and joints for chiropractic adjustments and other therapeutic techniques.
The benefits of moist heat include increasing the blood flow and circulation of affected areas. This aids in relieving muscle spasms, decreases joint stiffness and increases the extensibility of collagen tissues. It is most beneficial in the post-acute stages of healing by increasing blood flow and circulation.
If an injury or condition is chronic, moist heat can help with residual soreness/stiffness.
Also known as cryotherapy – the use of ice packs, cold towels or ice compresses over an acutely injured area. The cooling effect of this therapy has several positive effects. First, it constricts the blood vessels, thereby reducing circulation and the formation of inflammation. Second, it numbs the area to help with pain control and finally it helps the muscles relax.
Interferential therapy is an electric modality that sends electrical impulses through the skin to the injured area. These impulses are set at specific frequencies which actually stimulate the cells in the area to release endorphins, which work like natural pain killers.
These frequencies also stimulate the cellular metabolism to promote healing and the reduction of inflammation. This type of modality has been around for many years and its effectiveness has been well documented in dealing with acute spasms, pain relief, the reduction of inflammation, and stimulating the healing process.
Therapeutic ultrasound is the application of sound waves to help reduce pain and inflammation, while at the same time promoting tissue healing.
The basic principle is that high frequency sound waves, unperceivable to the human ear, are used to increase circulation and stimulate the cell membranes. This promotes a healing effect, while at the same time reducing swelling, increasing blood flow, and decreasing pain, stiffness, and spasms.
Laser treatment is one of the most recent modalities used to help reduce acute and chronic pain. It is also known as phototherapy or low level laser therapy.
The application of low-power coherent light to injuries stimulates healing and reduces pain. Low-level laser therapy has been found to increase the speed of tissue repair, reduce inflammation and give pain relief. It is effective when dealing with both chronic and acute injuries.
This therapy has been cleared by the FDA and enables patients to have an alternative to drugs and surgery.
ConnecTX is an instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization system (IASTM) that helps chiropractors treat many soft tissue issues more quickly and efficiently than by simply using their hands. The ConnecTX system can speed pain reduction and promotes healing of acute or chronic connective tissue disorders. The ConnecTX system utilizes evidence-based, research-reflective data to achieve improved results, and is duly registered with the FDA.