Chiropractors do much more to help their patients than just adjust. In this article we are going to talk more about the other techniques that are often used in our clinic.
A major treatment technique that is used in our clinic is generally referred to as soft tissue therapy or muscle work. What this means is that we generally use our hands to strip muscles (breaking up any scar tissue found mostly in chronic conditions), we move and stretch the muscles, we use trigger point therapy to break down knots in the muscles, or we use small instruments to manipulate the body tissues into relaxing.
Another common treatment technique commonly used in our clinic is the use of physiotherapy modalities. This includes electrotherapy, TENS, ultrasound, laser, hot/cold therapy and paraffin wax. They are used for many different conditions to help reduce pain and swelling after an acute injury, or can be useful in breaking down scar tissue if the condition is more chronic.
When talking about different techniques used in our clinic, it is important to note that more and more chiropractors are beginning to use acupuncture as another tool when treating patients. It is a technique that involves inserting tiny, thin needles into the muscles or joints of the body. This is done to help alleviate pain, reduce swelling, decrease muscle tension or to help balance the nervous system.
Finally, one of the most important therapeutic tools that we us as chiropractors is the prescription of home stretches and exercises. These are essential for any type of injury whether it is a recent injury or a condition that a patient has been suffering with for years. Exercises are used to help strengthen a weakened area, loosen tight muscles that are pulling too much and most importantly, to prevent future injuries from occurring.
In addition to the hands on techniques used within the clinic, as chiropractors we are also able to prescribe various supportive devices to help manage pain at home and prevent future injury. Examples include pain-relieving lotions such as Biofreeze or Cryoderm, orthopedic cervical pillows, back and posture supports that can be worn under clothing and used at work to improve posture while sitting for long periods of time, and compression stockings that assist with circulation in the legs and feet. Chiropractors also have the ability to prescribe and dispense custom made orthotics to help patients that are having foot, ankle, knee or low back pain. These are used to help correct imbalances in the lower body reducing stress and fatigue in the feet and the back.
At our office, we believe that a combination of the above mentioned techniques is needed to get a patient feeling better and back to their activities of daily living as soon as possible. The type of treatment that you receive from a chiropractor can vary widely depending on which chiropractic office you visit. This is why it is important to ask the right questions when you are seeking treatment from a chiropractor to make sure you are getting the highest quality of care for your injuries.