Chiropractic care focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a variety of injuries and conditions associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Specializing on the spine and its surrounding structures, chiropractic treatment commonly utilizes spinal adjustments and manual manipulations to restore the proper function of the body, however, many chiropractors use other therapies to treat patients.
The following are other common therapeutic treatment methods that chiropractors can additionally offer along with a brief description of each.
After an individual has experienced an injury or aggravated a previous condition, rehabilitation stretches can be essential to prevent the formation of scar tissue. Even after the damage has healed, maintaining a regular program of stretches recommended by a healthcare professional or chiropractor can help maintain and improve flexibility and mobility as well as help protect the tissues from suffering further injury. Your chiropractor will instruct you on the best stretching techniques for you depending on your specific injury or condition and they will supervise you throughout the process.
Together with the recommended set of stretches, a healthcare specialist or chiropractor can follow up by recommending specific exercises to strengthen the structures surrounding the spine of patients with neck and back complications. Strengthening exercises can help eliminate symptoms of pain as well as help prevent the degeneration of the muscles, promotes joint health and can increase strength, stability and range of motion to protect the body from suffering further injuries or aggravating conditions.
Your chiropractor will demonstrate how to do the exercises and supervise you until you are comfortable doing them on your own. It’s fundamental to keep up with your exercises as recommended by your healthcare provides. Research studies have demonstrated that individuals who follow their specific exercise instructions carefully heal faster than those who do not.
Many chiropractors utilize traction devices to apply traction to different areas of the body in order to distract different regions of the spine. This treatment helps separate the vertebrae, decompressing the discs to reduce and eliminate nerve root pressure.
Soft-Tissue Manual Therapy
Many chiropractors will utilize a variety of hands-on soft tissue therapies to help improve the function of the soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments, tendons and joint capsules. Soft-tissue manual therapies such as the pin and stretch, best known as the active release technique, or ART, and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, best known as the Graston technique, are some of the most common soft-tissue manual therapies used.
Muscle stimulation is performed by transmitting light electrical pulses to specific areas of the body through electrodes placed against the skin. There’s a variety of electrical stimulation therapies available. Several types can be more beneficial towards eliminating pain, reducing inflammation and for treating muscle spasms while others may actually cause muscles to contract in order to reduce muscle atrophy. Some forms of electrical muscular stimulation can have a combination of benefits and effects.
A transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation or TENS unit is a small, battery-powered, portable muscle stimulation machine which can be utilized at home to help control pain. Variable intensities of electric current can be utilized by healthcare professionals to control the symptoms of pain. This treatment is recommended to help patients get through periods of severe or acute pain caused by their specific type of injury or condition. TENS units are generally not recommended for chronic pain, however. As a matter of fact, a 2009 report from the American Academy of Neurology determined that transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation units may not be effective for treating chronic low back pain.
Therapeutic ultrasound is a form of deep heat therapy created by sound waves. When applied to soft tissues and joints, the sound waves function as a form of micro-massage which helps decrease pain, reduce swelling, stiffness and spasms as well as increase blood flow.
Ice and Heat Therapy
The application of ice and heat have been used for many years to treat many painful injuries and conditions. Ice therapy is often recommended to reduce swelling and help control pain immediately after an injury. Heat therapy is often recommended to relax the muscles, increase circulation, and can provide relief to patients with chronic pain. According to the patient’s condition, a combination of ice and heat can be used.
Research studies have concluded that following an improper diet and nutrition can provide imbalances in the body which may contribute to a variety of serious illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. Many chiropractors are especially trained in diet and nutritional counseling. Your chiropractor can design a nutritional program depending on your needs in order to help you maintain overall health and wellness as well as to minimize the risk of developing these serious health conditions.
Lifestyle Modification Counseling
Good health is much more than the absence of pain or disease. The lifestyle choices you make on a daily basis can greatly affect your entire well-being. Over time, a lifestyle of unhealthy lifestyle choices can ultimately lead to a wide array of health complications. Examples of lifestyle choices and behaviors that can have negative effects on your health include:
- lack of regular exercise
- poor diet
- excessive mental stress
- over-reliance on medication
- excessive consumption of alcohol
- poor posture
- improper lifting
A healthcare specialist or chiropractor will discuss a patient’s lifestyle choices and habits in order to help them identify which of them could be considered an unhealthy health habit. These can then be altered and modified using practical strategies.
Chiropractic care focuses on using much more than spinal adjustments and manual manipulations to ensure the patient achieves their health goals. Doctors of chiropractic use a variety of treatment modalities to help the body naturally heal itself and return the patient to healthier life.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic care is an well-known, alternative treatment option utilized to prevent, diagnose and treat a variety of injuries and conditions associated with the spine, primarily subluxations or spinal misalignments. Chiropractic focuses on restoring and maintaining the overall health and wellness of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, a chiropractor, or doctor of chiropractic, can carefully re-align the spine, improving a patient’s strength, mobility and flexibility.