A Doctor of Chiropractor (DC) offers non-invasive and drug-free treatments intended to treat you as a whole person. Spinal manipulation or adjustments are a staple of chiropractic care that may include passive therapies such as electrical stimulation, ultrasound, myofascial release, and deep tissue massage.
Chiropractors believe good health depends on a normal and well-functioning central nervous system. Your central nervous system includes the spinal cord and nerve roots.
- Overall health depends on your central nervous system
- It is vital to treat the cause of the problem, not only the symptoms
- Prevention, diagnosis, and early intervention are important
- Eat nutritious foods, exercise, and modify lifestyle to promote good health
Is chiropractic care for me?
You may be a candidate for chiropractic care if your neck or back is stable. Some spinal problems cause parts of the spine to abnormally move or curve. It is good to know your diagnosis before starting any treatment.
A chiropractic diagnostic examination is similar to that performed by a medical doctor. The chiropractor carefully reviews your medical history, current symptoms, examines your spine, and orders x-rays or other imaging studies. Further, he evaluates the position and mobility of your spine’s joints, muscle function, posture, and range of motion.
What is a vertebral subluxation and how it is treated?
Vertebral subluxation is a chiropractic term meaning spinal joint dysfunction. When a joint is not properly aligned, it does not move correctly and can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and other sensations can develop. During spinal manipulation, the chiropractor applies very specific and controlled pressure directly to a joint or muscle. This causes the joint or muscle to release. The joint is restored to a more correct position, which moves more freely. These maneuvers can help alleviate muscle spasms that cause spinal nerve irritation too. Flexion and distraction are another type of spinal maneuver performed while you lay on a special treatment table that moves. The treatment replicates a body movement by slowly going up and down, side to side, and/or rotating.
This is simply an overview of a few chiropractic techniques. Your program of chiropractic care may be different and include passive therapies, some of which are like those offered by a physical therapist.
- Cold therapies help reduce inflammation and pain by reducing blood flow. Because excessive cold (temperature, duration) can injure soft tissue (skin), a barrier, such as a towel is placed between the skin and cold source.
- Heat therapy increases blood circulation and, thereby aids healing and relaxes stiff, sore muscles. Blood circulation delivers healing nutrients and removes cellular waste from an injury site.
- Electrical stimulation, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), delivers mild and painless electrical current through the skin targeting specific nerves. The mild heat produced by the current helps to alleviate stiffness, reduce pain, and increase range of motion.
- Massage can help reduce muscle spasm. There are many different types of massage therapy.
- Myofascial release is localized massage aimed at a particular muscle’s fascia; the connective tissue that encases individual and groups of muscle. The therapist uses their fingers, palms, elbows, and forearms to release tight fascia and increase mobility and reduce pain.
- Spinal decompression machines use computer guidance to apply traction to your cervical (neck) or lumbar (low back) spine. Traction decompresses spinal nerves by distracting disc space and increasing the size of neural passageways. Our practice utilizes the Accu-SPINA Therapy Table system. This spinal decompression system applies controlled, gentle tension to the neck and low back.
- Ultrasound uses high-energy sound waves to transmit heat deep into soft tissues (ligaments, muscles). A hypoallergenic gel is applied to the skin to reduce friction. Then the ultrasound device is gently moved on the skin’s surface to aid circulation, healing, reduce a muscle spasm, inflammation and pain.
Your program of chiropractic may include one-on-one instruction about how to improve your posture at rest and during activity. Other health-specific tips include regular exercise to keep joints flexible and muscles strong. Your chiropractor may recommend adjusting your diet to increase nutrition and maintain a healthier body weight. Remember, chiropractic is more than spinal manipulation—rather; it treats you, the whole person.