Chiropractic is the branch of health care concerned with diagnosing, treating, and preventing injuries and disorders of the nerves, muscles and bones. It addresses pain and dysfunction with a non-pharmaceutical, hands-on approach. The philosophy of Chiropractic makes use of the body’s innate ability to heal itself with appropriate support. It emphasizes the relationship between structure and function, primarily of the spine and nervous system.
Chiropractic care has been around since 1895 and has proven itself very safe and effective. It has evolved over the years but the basic premise remains the same. The body’s innate intelligence can mobilize healing if we remove obstacles in the neuro-musculo-skeletal system and elsewhere in the body.
Chiropractic adjustments are a powerful tool to assist healing and stabilizing a wide range of conditions of the spine and other joints. Adjustments correct joint mis-alignments, known as subluxations. Spinal joints that aren’t moving correctly can affect nearby nerves, causing pain and weakness. Introducing motion into these joints with a chiropractic adjustment reduces nervous system irritation, decreases muscle spasm, reduces pain, and improves function. Comfort and range of motion are thereby increased. We enhance the effectiveness of traditional chiropractic adjustments by incorporating a variety of supporting techniques for a more complete therapeutic approach.
The purpose of chiropractic is not just relieving pain, although that is often why people seek chiropractic care initially. Rather, it is to optimize overall health. When the body is structurally balanced, its systems are in better communication with each other, which enhances general vitality and well being. Feeling good makes you happier and more productive! By integrating chiropractic treatment into your health care regimen you can prevent injury and encourage healthy aging by:
- maintaining alignment with periodic adjustments
- improving spinal stability and balance with prescribed stretches and exercises
- learning principles of healthy nutrition augmented with supplementation where needed
Your First Appointment
Your first chiropractic appointment in our office begins with a medical history and a thorough discussion of your areas of concern. Our initial evaluation is visual. We look at your posture and note any asymmetries—for example a high shoulder, a short leg, or severely pronated ankles. These observations can provide clues about imbalances in your neuro-musculo-skeletal system. We may then evaluate the range of motion through which you can move the affected area. Here we are looking for limitations in mobility as well as altered patterns of movement.
We often use manual resistive muscle testing to identify individual muscles or functional groups of muscles that are not firing appropriately. This test shows muscles that are compromised or weaker than normal. Identifying tight and inhibited muscles provides indicators we can use to assess the effectiveness and progress of treatment.
Another way we assess the involved areas is by carefully palpating them with our hands. We feel for information like tenderness, muscle spasm, and mobility of individual spinal segments or non-spinal joints.
Chiropractic adjustments are usually then performed to introduce movement into the affected joints with very specific vectors of force. Adjustments can be done by hand, using a specialized table (the drop table or traction table), and also by using either spring-loaded or electric adjusting tools like the Activator or Impulse instruments. Motion thus introduced into the joint stimulates receptors in many stretch-sensitive tissues around the joint. This input into the nervous system causes a reflex change in muscle tone and a decrease in the pain signal coming from the area. Involved muscles my be treated with any combination of massage, ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation, and elastic therapeutic taping. We will usually have suggestions for appropriate home care, such as stretches and specific exercises to facilitate healing or improve function and stability.
There is no set treatment plan or schedule of care in our office. Each patient’s needs are evaluated and recommendations are made accordingly. We are happy to provide short term care to help you through a specific injury or to develop a more in-depth therapeutic relationship. We are happy to be a part of your health care team.