CHIROPRACTIC SPINAL MANIPULATION
Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation is a series of techniques used to correct many different problems and is not exclusive to joint pain. The objective is to reduce the subluxation and restore alignment. Subluxations are joint misalignments that put pressure on a nerve and result in the loss of function. Many patients find tremendous relief after treatment. Traditionally treatment involves the use of a specific and controlled, short, quick thrust to the affected area. The amount of speed and force are varied depending on several factors.
At our clinic we specialize in Torque Release Technique (TRT) which is a modern form of chiropractic manipulation. It does not use maneuvers such as twisting, turning, cracking, or popping commonly associated with traditional techniques. Instead TRT uses a gentle approach. After identifying the issue, a small handheld device is placed over the affected area. This instrument assisted technique then applies a precise and small thrust that delivers powerful results.
Typically, we start the patient with TRT while occasionally using interspersed traditional chiropractic techniques. We have found that this pattern gets the best results. Some of our patients prefer traditional techniques. By request the patient can decide which technique is used.
Chiropractic Extremity Adjustments and Manipulation
Some cases involve symptoms outside of the back and spine. We can treat many complaints with knees, ankles, toes, hips, shoulders, wrists, fingers, and the jaw (TMJ). Also, adjustment of the cranial bones has been shown to help with migraines, sinus drainage, seasonal allergies, and colds. Furthermore, cranial adjustments can help with headaches especially when pain is behind the eye.
Therapeutic Exercises and Therapeutic Activities
Prescription Exercise is an important part of recovery. Exercise can be used to primarily treat a condition or can complement an existing therapy. Exercise not only helps strengthen imbalanced muscles, increase healing and decrease time to heal, it also helps maintain spine alignment. These exercises are very specific to the condition. As a patient follows through a treatment protocol, the prescription exercises are assessed, progressed/modified, and reassessed.
Traction is a very important part of spinal care because it can correct abnormal curves of the spine. The normal spine has an ‘S’ like shape front to back and acts like a spring cushioning the weight placed upon it. If the curves are lost, significant degeneration can follow leading to not only back pain but also can affect the organs inside the chest and abdomen. Therefore, degeneration of the spine can lead to degeneration of the organs. Muscle spasms, neck pain, headaches, low back pain, sciatica, posture related pain, abdominal pain, gastritis, hiatal hernia, pelvic pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, sleep apnea are only a few of the symptoms that can be helped with traction. Besides correcting the front to back ‘S’ shaped curve, to some degree, scoliosis, a curve from side to side, can be corrected.
This type of therapy is incredibly exciting because it corrects a major cause of back and neck pain. At integral med we offer 2 types of traction: Weight-counter weight and Denneroll. Weight-counterweight is more aggressive but delivers faster results. Whereas the Denneroll orthotic, a milder approach, can be used at home under closely monitored guidance of the physician.
NEUROMASCULAR TECHNIQUES & MANUAL THERAPY
There are several different types of Neuromuscular and Manual Therapy techniques including Post-Isometric Relaxation, Reciprocal Inhibition, Pin and Stretch, and several others. What they all have in common is that they are a form of hands-on Manual Therapy similar to massage but with specific purpose. It takes a qualified practitioner to apply these techniques properly. Therefore, a Neuromuscular Technique and Manual Therapy session will feel very different from a typical massage. Sessions are short and very specific to the complaint ranging from 8 to 15 minutes. Usually these short sessions are all that are required to achieve the maximum benefit. If further work needs to be done, patients are referred for massage.
INSTRUMENT ASSISTED SOFT TISSUE MANIPULATION (IASTM)
This is a special technique to enhance muscular and tendon recovery. It is used during the chronic phase and is very useful to fix stubborn injuries that don’t want to heal with exercise alone. It is a modern technique, comparable to Gua Sha, that uses a metal tool to break up granular tissues, realign muscle and tendon fibers, and increase blood flow reducing healing time. When IASTM is used properly, a neurological benefit can occur, further enhancing recovery. The response to IASTM is similar to certain types of manual therapies that activate proprioceptors, giving better joint-position-sense.
ELECTRONIC MUSCLE STIMULATION (E-STIM)
Electronic Muscle Stimulation (E-Stim) is used to relax certain muscles and change local sympathetic tone. It involves the use of a mild therapeutic electrical current, at specific frequencies, which are fine-tuned by the Doctor to achieve a specific outcome. It is described by patients as a massage or as a buzzing sensation. When applied by a skilled practitioner it can not only be used to reduce muscle tension, but also reduce abnormal spinal curves and reduce subluxations. When the muscle is weak and inhibited, it can also be used to enhance muscular tone. This can greatly speed up the rehabilitation process.
Patients are asked to wear loose clothing and remove any jewelry while receiving E-Stim treatment. Patients typically lie down or can remain seated. Pads are specifically placed at key points near the treatment area. The Doctor turns on the device to a low setting and increases the settings until the desired level is reached. This treatment is typically applied for 15 minutes and can be combined with moist hot packs for additional benefit. Many patients take a short nap because this therapy is very relaxing.
Active E-Stim is like passive E-Stim, above, except that the Doctor uses his clinical knowledge to guide the patient through specific movements during the treatment time. This treatment is used for rehabilitation and to aid recovery from muscle and tendon injuries especially when the patient has a weak muscle or a muscle that does not function properly. Attended E-Stim can also be used to break up scar tissue and adhesions that commonly form shortly after an injury. Specifically, they are used to activate muscles, break up scar tissue, strengthen muscles, increase range of motion, enhance the effect of rehabilitation exercises, and improve gait (walking). Treatment times will vary and typically last around 15 – 30 minutes. Patients are asked to wear loose, comfortable clothing to allow pad placement during treatment.
E-Stim Pads are necessary for E-Stim therapy. These pads are made from silver combined with cloth or foam and a high-quality adhesive. These pads deliver this therapy to the treatment area and can be re-used by the same patient over multiple sessions. There are several sizes the doctor may choose from. The patient should notify the Doctor if he or she has more than a mild sensitivity to adhesives like band-aids. The Doctor can order special adhesive pads for additional cost for sensitive individuals.
Our clinic offers E-Stim machine rental for minimal cost. They are used to mitigate chronic pain and reduce need or dependence for medical pain relievers. The Doctor will initially place the pads, adjust the settings, and instruct the patient how to replace the pads in the future. These machines are to be worn during waking hours and are to be removed at night and when moisture might be an issue as when exercising or showering. Units are battery operated and batteries can be easily replaced by the patient when necessary. All instructions will be provided.
KINESIO TAPE (KT) (Rock Tape)
Unlike other athletic tapes, KT is used to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal issues. KT can be used to treat swelling, edema, and bruising especially after an injury. It can also be used for sport-specific performance enhancement. In the hands of a professional, KT can be cut to fit over particular muscles and tissues and be applied in different manners to either inhibit or activate these tissues. Furthermore, it can be cut in different patterns to achieve very different results. Usually several different pieces of tape are used to complement each other to achieve maximum benefit to the kinetic chain of muscles. Here at our clinic we use a premium KT called “Rock Tape”. We find that the stretching characteristics and premium adhesive work very well for a wide variety of conditions. Patients who are planning on performing a sports activity soon after the KT is applied should ask for additional adhesive spray application.
KT works in several ways. One is by gently lifting the skin and underlying tissues causing a “tenting” effect, which allows blood and other fluids to circulate freely removing toxins and waste products while bringing nutrients and healing factors. Additionally, KT can either enhance mobility or protect the body from further injury. Lastly, KT increases the body’s proprioception in which the patient becomes more aware of their body’s position and allows them to make more precise muscle movements.
MOIST HOT PACKS & AROMATHERAPY
Moist Hot Packs are heated, cloth-covered pouches that provide deep heat. Moist Hot packs provide not only relief for the patient’s back and limbs, but also aid in the healing process, reducing the time it takes to heal. Furthermore, this technique reduces muscle tension and spasms, increases blood flow, and increases cellular metabolic rate. They are a common treatment for arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, back pain, shoulder pain, joint pain, and even for upset stomachs. Hot packs can ease digestion and promote abdominal organ function. The body often responds with both local and systemic effects. Some forms of heat are superficial, whereas moist heat aids in the heat transfer process providing heat to more than twice the depth than dry or electric hot packs.
Aromatherapy may be added to enhance the therapy providing additional relief and therapeutic benefits. It can be specifically tailored to the patient’s needs whether the essential oils need to be chosen for relaxation, healing, cleansing, or to increase mental clarity. Many oils are available to the Doctor to choose from and are blended specifically for each patient.
At Integral Med we realize that losing weight can be a difficult process and that many patients who diet without guidance from a doctor fail within the first month. That is why we have combined an easy to follow weight loss program, with mild to moderate exercise, all while under the guidance of a trained physician. It is said that calorie deficit is equal to fat loss, but it is not that simple. The body’s hormones play a major roll. Therefore some people can eat a considerable amount and not seem to gain any weight, while others look at food and almost gain weight. Also, not all foods are created equal. Some foods take considerably more energy to digest than others. According to a recent study, a slice of white bread and a slice of whole-wheat bread have the same number of calories, but after digestion the whole-wheat bread provides only about ½ the same calories.
Exercise, although not necessary for weight loss, helps speed up the process. If over-done while dieting, exercise can place abnormal strain on the heart and other muscles of the body. Dieting and exercise is always about moderation. Another problem patients run into while dieting is that they seem to hit a plateau. This occurs because the body is very good at adapting to conditions. Therefore food-timing and macronutrient ratios need to be adjusted. Lastly, there are many muscle and joint benefits of losing weight. If you have back pain or lower limb pain and are overweight losing weight will most likely help. Please inquire if you are considering a weight loss program.
Cupping is a technique that has worked since 1500BC. Cupping involves the use of small round instruments which are placed on the skin to provide suction and facilitate blood flow to affected area. During cupping, the patient will experience a mild suction sensation on the skin as the instrument increases blood flow to the affected area. Increasing blood flow to an affected area is vitally important for fast recovery. Patients notice effects of cupping similar to a deep tissue massage.