From FOX NEWS and the FDA to Consumer Reports and recognition of pro-sports chiropractors, like those of the NFL teams in Super Bowl LI, it is easy to see why more than 35 million Americans (adults and children) receive chiropractic care every year.
Chiropractic physicians practice a whole-person approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. The centerpiece of chiropractic is the adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation, which improves the motion of joints and structures to alleviate pain and optimize function.
Chiropractors are trained in multiple techniques to perform spinal correction and meet the specific needs of each patient. Virtually all chiropractic adjusting techniques utilize two factors, speed (velocity) and pressure (torque). These techniques can be divided into three categories.
The first includes manual methods that are accomplished by the doctor using their hands. The injured joint is placed at the end point of its range of motion and a quick precise pressure is applied often creating a ‘click’ or ‘pop.’ Some patients think this is a goal of the adjustment, but it is simply a by-product of the joint being shifted and a gas bubble is thought to be released. Diversified, Gonstead, Logan, and Palmer techniques are common examples of this type of adjustment.
A second category may use mechanical tables to accomplish the adjustment to help insure the correction is made as comfortably as possible. Some machine assisted techniques go by the names Distraction, Drop and Thompson.
The third category of adjustment utilizes instrumentation that may be either spring activated or electric powered and allow the doctor to perform a gentle correction. The adjusting tool produces a very quick, yet comfortable series of taps to the joint. This type of adjustment is generally referred to as Activator or Arthrostim, among others, and is safe for even the most fragile of patients.
Chiropractors hold physician status for the simple reason that in their four-year doctoral education after obtaining undergraduate degrees, they are well trained in differential diagnosis (the process of identifying the main tissue that is generating the symptom). Chiropractic physicians obtain a complete history, perform the appropriate examination and diagnostic imaging. By Tennessee law, they may order any test required to help determine your diagnosis including MRI, CT scans, diagnostic ultrasound, bone density testing, blood and fluid analysis or other lab work.
Is your mid-back pain caused by an aggravated muscle and joint or is your lung the problem from a hidden clot? Chiropractic physicians will determine the cause of the problem and either treat appropriately or refer to a medical specialist.
Chiropractic physicians may provide soft tissue treatments that include mobilization, myofascial trigger point therapy, active release technique (ART), stretches, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), laser therapy as well as dry needling. Bracing and taping treatments are used to help support the injured area. These therapies are aimed at speeding the healing process of muscle, tendon and ligament injuries.
Exercise rehabilitation therapies are routinely prescribed to provide patients with injury specific exercises to increase flexibility and strength. Chiropractors are trained to provide nutritional and dietary counseling as well as help you focus on any physical behaviors, such as sleeping or desk ergonomic habits, that may be contributing to your injury or condition.
While the chiropractic adjustment/spinal manipulation is a unique technique only chiropractic physicians can provide in Tennessee, chiropractic care is not just adjustments anymore. Chiropractic physicians offer highly-skilled hands on care as well as a variety of treatment options to help you feel better and reach your maximum health potential.
This article was provided by the Tennessee Chiropractic Association. The Tennessee Chiropractic Association proudly promotes and protects the practice of chiropractic. We are dedicated to bringing chiropractic awareness to all Tennesseans. To learn more about chiropractic’s positive benefits to your health, go to www.TNChiro.com or contact our Association staff at (615) 383-6231.
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