The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as “spinal manipulation,” also called “chiropractic adjustment.” The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile – or restricted in their movement – as a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.
Chiropractic adjustment rarely causes discomfort. However, patients may sometimes experience mild soreness or aching following treatment (as with some forms of exercise) that usually resolves within 12 to 48 hours.
Performed in conjunction with manipulative therapy, Manual Soft Tissue Massage/Trigger Point Therapy is a form of soft tissue therapy intended for pain relief and increasing range of motion. Techniques include manual massage for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia, integument, muscles, and bones are applied. The fascia is manipulated, directly or indirectly, supposedly to allow the connective tissue fibers to reorganize themselves in a more flexible, functional fashion. Trigger points are discrete, focal, hyperirritable spots located in a taut band of skeletal muscle. They produce pain locally and in a referred pattern and often accompany chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Acute trauma or repetitive microtrauma may lead to the development of stress on muscle fibers and the formation of trigger points. Patients may have regional, persistent pain resulting in a decreased range of motion in the affected muscles. These include muscles used to maintain body posture, such as those in the neck, shoulders, and pelvic girdle. Trigger points may also manifest as tension headache, tinnitus, temporomandibular joint pain, decreased range of motion in the legs, and low back pain.*For any and all conditions involving surgery or other serious conditions, please consult your physician. You may be asked to provide a note.
A piece of equipment commonly used by Chiropractors is the interferential current machine. This machine produces electrical currents that pass through the affected area of the patient.1. An increase in localized blood flow which can improve healing by reducing swelling (the additional blood flowing through the area takes edematous fluid away with it) and as a result helps remove damaged tissue and bring nutrients necessary for healing to the injured area2. The stimulation of local nerve cells that can have a pain reducing/anaesthetic effect due to potentially blocking the transmission of the pain signals (pain gate mechanism) or by stimulating the release of pain reducing endorphins (opiod mechanism)3. Some degree of muscle stimulation as muscle contraction can be achieved through external application of an electrical current, overcoming some of the muscle inhibition often caused by local injury and swelling The electrical current is applied to the affected area using four electrodes. The four electrodes are placed in such a way that the two currents produced cross each other in the affected area. For example, if it is a knee injury that is being treated, the two currents can be applied so that they cross deep within the actual knee joint itself. Where the two currents meet, they actually ‘interfere’ with each other; hence the name ‘interferential.’
Kinesiology taping is a therapeutic taping method that utilizes a latex-free elastic tape. Whereas most athletic tape is stiff and is used to hold muscles or joints in one position, kinesiology tape is stretchy—to serve as a gentle reminder to your body to hold your shoulder in a certain way or to keep a kneecap in line while biking or running. There are four main functions of kinesiology tape:
1. Correcting muscle function. Kinesiology tape supports muscles during movement, and research has shown that it can provide a bit more stamina than the muscle alone.2. Improving circulation of blood and lymph. Studies show that the tape increases the flow of both blood and lymph, which can help in the treatment of lymphedema, mastectomy recovery, and swelling, to name a few. 3. Correcting joint movement. The tape can be used to keep a joint, such as a knee, gliding and tracking smoothly while in use. 4. Relieving pain. The tape has an analgesic effect, similar to what has been described as the “mother’s hand effect.”
Rehabilitation is the process to regain full function following injury. This involves restoring strength, flexibility, endurance and power and is achieved through various exercises and drills. Rehabilitation is as important as treatment following an injury but unfortunately is often overlooked.The aim of a rehabilitation program is to regain pre-injury levels in all aspects of physical fitness. A full rehabilitation and strengthening program is essential to ensure full recovery and in order to prevent re-injuries.
Nutritional counseling that takes place in a health care practitioner’s office may include broad topics, such as healthy eating habits for your age group, or specific advice about your particular health concerns and eating habits.
Spinal traction is a form of decompression therapy that relieves pressure on the spine. It can be performed manually or mechanically.Spinal traction is used to treat herniated discs, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, pinched nerves, and many other back conditions.Spinal traction stretches the spine to take pressure off compressed discs. This straightens the spine and improves the body’s ability to heal itself..
Though doctors of chiropractic (DCs) have always used their hands to increase blood flow and break up restrictions in injured soft tissue, fingers alone can’t detect restrictions at deeper levels or treat the full range of restrictions.Graston is the leading technique when it comes to IASTM. It has developed a set of six stainless steel instruments of various shapes and sizes.It has two main functions: to break up abnormal densities in tissue, such as scar tissue, and to reinitiate first-stage healing in the body. “When a body is injured, it sends blood, specifically the healing substances found in white blood cells, to the wounded area to begin laying down new collagen tissues and repairing the injury—building scar tissue,” says Dr. Heller. “IASTM is like a mild injury to the tissue which starts this process over again and helps the body to heal itself.
Cupping is a type of alternative therapy that originated in China. It involves placing special silicone cups on the skin to create suction. The suction facilitates healing with blood flow and blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This can relieve muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It can also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue. Cupping has been used to treat a wide variety of conditions. It may be particularly effective at easing conditions that create muscle aches and pains. Since the cups can also be applied to major acupressure points, the practice is possibly effective at treating digestive issues, skin issues, and other conditions commonly treated with acupressure.