Chiropractic is a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care. Chiropractors focus on disorders of the musculoskeletal system, nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. They are able to examine, diagnose and treat a multitude of neuromusculoskeletal complaints, as well as nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle issues.
Chiropractors are most known for joint manipulation, also called a “chiropractic adjustment.” Joint manipulation is a passive musculoskeletal procedure performed by the doctor to create a stretch and re-alignment to the joint. The purpose is to restore joint mobility by applying a controlled force into specific joints that have become hypomobile (or restricted in movement) as a result of tissue injury. The effects of joint manipulation to areas of injury include relief from musculoskeletal pain, a shorter recovery time from sprains, an increase in range of motion, and positive influences on the nervous system.
Joint manipulation is an important therapeutic component when addressing dysfunctional movements. There are many different chiropractic techniques, and patients may respond better to one technique over another. In our office we practice Diversified Techniques and Gonstead Techniques, characterized by a very precise high velocity, low amplitude manual thrust. This often produces a “cracking” sound called a cavitation, which is simply the result of pockets of gas in the fluid surrounding the joints being released. For patients who are uncomfortable with the cavitation, or are not good candidates for these techniques, we also offer more gentle techniques utilizing the Activator Technique We have joint manipulation techniques to suit all patients.
Laser therapy is a drug-free, non-surgical modality used for treatment of acute or chronic pain. Class IV “high powered” laser therapy utilizes photons, or light energy, to penetrate deep to damaged tissues effecting biological and chemical reactions at the cellular level.
Laser therapy floods the tissues with photons thereby energizing the damaged cells and increasing circulation to the painful area. This produces a cascade of healing responses in your body, reducing inflammation, and minimizing or even eliminating your pain. And, although the treatment sessions are brief, the therapeutic effect continues to soothe and heal long after you leave the office.
Class IV Laser Therapy Promotes:
- Increased Circulation
- Immune Stimulation
- Muscle Relaxation
- Improved Vascular Activity
- Accelerated Cell Reproduction and Growth
- Stimulation of Nerve Regeneration
- Increased Cellular Energy (ATP) Production
- Increased Metabolic Activity
How does it work?
Our cells have photoreceptors that, when triggered by photons, activate a number of biological reactions such as DNA/RNA synthesis, increased ATP production, blood and lymphatic vessel vasodilation, protein and collagen synthesis and cellular proliferation. These biological reactions occur naturally in the body, however laser therapy enhances and accelerates these reactions, thereby speeding up the healing process and reducing recovery time.
During each treatment, laser energy increases circulation drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.
soft tissue mobilization
Soft tissue includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, bursae, fascia, and nerves. The treatment of these structures is called soft tissue mobilization. When trauma occurs, whether from a single traumatic event or repeated microtrauma, inflammation follows. The inflammation leads to scar tissue formation, decreasing the ability of the muscle to lengthen and contract normally, which negatively impacts range of motion. The effect can be very specific within a muscle or can affect entire muscle groups leading to faulty biomechanics. The scar tissue can also cause pain and predispose you to re-injury.
The purpose of soft tissue mobilization is to restore normal texture, tightness, flexibility and function to the affected tissue. We utilize several techniques such as Active Release Techniques (ART®), Graston Technique®, Rocktape®, and myofascial release.
Active Release Technique (ART®) – involves placing tension on the affected tissue and then instructing the patient to move through a range of motion in order to lengthen the tissue and remove microscopic scar tissue.
Graston Technique® – is an instrument-assisted technique designed to detect and treat adhesions, scar tissue and other restrictions. The clinician uses the instruments to break up cross-fiber scar tissue links, splay these fibers and increase fascial mobility.
Myofascial Release – focuses on removing fascial adhesions by using gentle sustained pressure applied in a specific direction. Fascia is the tough connective tissue that surrounds most structures in the body providing support, protection, and improved shock absorption. Myofascial release is beneficial for treatment of chronic pain, peripheral nerve entrapments, and various other injuries.
Laser therapy can be provided as a standalone treatment or incorporated into a more comprehensive rehabilitation program. Laser therapy treatments last between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on the condition being treated. Treatment must be administered directly to the skin, as laser light cannot penetrate through layers of clothing.
Treatments are administered using the hand wand which focuses the laser light directly on the skin, through either a contact or non-contact head piece. You will feel a soothing warmth as the tissues absorb the light beginning the 18-24 hour process of modulated cellular activity.
Although each individual will respond differently to treatment, most patients will start to see results within 3 to 5 treatments. Your doctor will develop a treatment plan that is optimal for your condition.
Kinesiology tape is an elastic cotton band with an acrylic adhesive used for treating athletic injuries and a variety of physical disorders. In general kinesiology tape is able to stretch up to 120–140% of its original length. As a result, if the tape is applied with a stretch greater than its normal length, it will "recoil" after application and create a pulling force on the skin or muscle involved.
Kinesiology Tape helps:
- Enhance performance
- Prevent fatigue
- Promote circulation
- Remove lactic acid
Unlike traditional athletic tape, which binds and doesn’t stretch, kinesiology tape is engineered to mimic the human skin. It can be applied as compression to promote recovery or used as decompression to relieve pain and swelling. Kinesiology tape can also be used to stabilize muscles and joints that have been sprained or hurt and provides support and stability without constraining and reducing blood flow – which are downsides of utilizing braces and sleeves. Thus, the tape’s capabilities make it well suited to the repair of localized muscle groups.
The same science that is used to treat injuries can be applied to promote better circulation and lymph drainage for sports applications. By applying kinesiology tape to a specific muscle group, we are able to reduce muscle vibration, accelerate blood flow out of the muscles to encourage oxygenation and promote lymph drainage, which helps remove lactic acid. These functions provide the active individual with additional endurance and help promote recovery.
Whether used for muscle repair, stability management, recovery or enhanced performance, kinesiology tape can be a valuable component in your toolkit, and can be purchased right here in our clinic.