More Than Adjustments for Back Pain…
Chiropractic therapy can treat a wide variety of conditions since it can correct both localized joint issues and general posture – two factors that can influence overall well being. Given the emphasis on natural health, many chiropractors like those at Brielle Integrated Health also assist patients with improving their nutrition, activity and other lifestyle concerns.
Approximately 35 percent of the 22 million Americans who see a chiropractor are being treated for back problems. Patients may seek treatment from chiropractors for overall discomfort, postural concerns, localized pain or more complex conditions like fibromyalgia. To treat back problems, a practitioner will typically begin by performing a physical examination to diagnose a condition. He or she will then use this information to create a customized treatment plan, which could include:
- Mobilization therapy
- Roller or traction table treatment
- Spinal Adjustment
- Ultrasound therapy
- Lifestyle recommendations
Millions of people suffer from arthritis, a condition that causes uncomfortable joint inflammation. Swollen, aching joints can limit range of motion and make daily activities difficult to participate in or complete. Rheumatoid arthritis results from an immune system disorder, while osteoarthritis is the result of tissue degeneration due to aging, hormonal imbalance or vitamin deficiencies. Chiropractors can help treat both types of arthritis by manipulating the joints and working to restore mobility.
Approximately 75 percent of all headaches are tension headaches, also called stress headaches. These create a dull soreness around the temples and behind the eyes on one side or both. Tension headaches can cause discomfort from your lower jaw to the top of your head. These and other tension headache symptoms often result from excessively tight neck and upper back muscles, which may lock or spasm. Suffering from misaligned posture or holding your neck and back in a fixed position (for example, at a desk at work) can exacerbate or bring about tension headaches.
Trigger points may include different muscle groups. Specific muscles are often connected to particular headache symptoms. For example, trigger points in the Trapezius, an upper and mid back muscle, can lead to jaw soreness. Once he or she has diagnosed the muscular source of your headaches, your chiropractor will work to realign your muscles, reduce inflammation and release your tissue to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms.
Your chiropractor will create a customized treatment plan to address your tension headaches. He or she may also collaborate with your general physician, nutritionist, and any other relevant medical professionals to help you.
Your neck is one of your most important yet delicate body parts. It consists of seven small vertebrae, which chiropractors refer to as the “cervical spine.” Remaining in a fixed position, having abnormal posture, the aging process, accidents, and injuries can damage the cervical spine and cause uncomfortable aching, tightness, and immobility. Your chiropractor can adjust your cervical spine and surrounding joints to help restore your neck and spinal health while relieving unpleasant symptoms.
Chiropractic care for neck pain can include:
- Cervical adjustment and manipulation. There are several techniques your practitioner can use. Cervical mobilization involves massage back, forth, around, and across the neck to gently expand the neck’s range of motion. Using another method, cervical manual traction, your chiropractor will stretch your neck muscles forward and backward while you lie on an adjustment table. Your chiropractor may also perform a cervical “drop,” resting your neck on its side on the adjustment table and applying precise motion to remove the top section of the table so that your head drops and your cervical spine releases. Most chiropractors use a combination of these adjustment methods according to patients’ unique needs and preferences.
- Trigger point therapy. As with tension headaches, your chiropractor may find and modify specific trigger points in your neck tissues.
Electrical stimulation. Your chiropractor may pass low-frequency electrical energy through your neck joints to diminish inflammation and tightness.
- Ultrasound therapy. Transmitting ultrasonic waves through your neck muscles and joints can help to loosen them.
- Soft tissue massage. This technique can temporarily or permanently relieve neck tension.
Physical therapy exercises. Your chiropractor may recommend regular exercises to help stretch and release your neck, especially if your job requires you to sit in a fixed position for many hours each day.
- Lifestyle changes. Some chiropractors suggest using orthopedic devices such as neck pillows to alleviate pain. Your practitioner may also recommend nutritional changes or prescribe certain supplements.
Your chiropractor will tailor your neck pain treatment plan to suit your needs, wishes, and budget.
Chiropractic therapy adjusts the body’s joints and overall alignment to help correct a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. Your chiropractor may be able to assist you if you suffer from any of the following:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis
- Ligament injuries
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Frozen joints
- Muscle, joint, or ligament tears and pulls
- Herniated discs
- Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS)
- Ruptured discs or tendons
- Shin splints
- Chronic discomfort
- Cumulative injury (musculoskeletal disorders that result from repetitive movements or overuse)
Your practitioner can help diagnose your disorder by taking x-rays, palpating (feeling) your tissues, and discussing your symptoms. Depending on the severity and type of your musculoskeletal condition, your chiropractor will design an individualized treatment plan. This program may be used alone or in conjunction with surgery, orthopedic therapy, or other procedures to rehabilitate your musculoskeletal function.
Many patients turn to chiropractic as a gentle, effective therapy to help rehabilitate them after traumatic injuries. Chiropractors can treat patients who have endured:
- Automobile, motorcycle, and truck accidents
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian injuries
- “Slip and fall” accidents
Chiropractors can assist patients with all types of traumatic injuries, including milder cases such as whiplash or concussion and more severe accident-related disabilities. Of course, chiropractic therapy cannot serve as a substitute for emergency medical care or necessary surgery, but it can help patients recover, restore their abilities, and alleviate their uncomfortable symptoms.
Chiropractors can address the chronic discomfort, limited range of motion, and structural misalignment that often result from traumatic injuries. In addition, since many of your nerves are located in your spinal column, improving your posture can help enhance your overall well-being.
Improving your spinal health and posture can affect every aspect of your well-being.
Many patients associate chiropractic therapy with musculoskeletal treatment alone, but this technique can also assist patients with non-musculoskeletal conditions. In addition, many chiropractors take a holistic approach to care and help patients with their nutrition, exercise, activity, relaxation, and other components of health.
According to a report on Swedish chiropractic patients in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 23 percent of patients who initially began chiropractic treatment for musculoskeletal disorders noticed non-musculoskeletal benefits, which most often manifested as improved respiratory and digestive function. Subjects also reported improvements in vision and circulation.
Speak with your practitioner to learn more about how chiropractic treatment can improve your non-musculoskeletal health and what you can do to enhance the efficacy of your treatment.