Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to be a safe and effective alternative treatment for pain and injury.
Chiropractors perform 95 percent of all adjustments in the world to correct the subluxations, or misalignments, of the vertebrae in the spine. Chiropractic adjustments are performed by applying gentle, yet firm pressure to a bone. The goal of any adjustment is to restore the bone to its natural, or original, position. The important thing to remember is the act the adjustment frees—not forces—a vertebra to allow it to find its natural position. This is accomplished by the body’s innate intelligence.
Chiropractic adjustments are performed to treat a wide variety of conditions, including (but not limited to):
Adjustments can be performed while sitting, standing, or lying down. Some adjustments involve special instruments or tables.
Some common adjustment techniques include:
Chiropractors take many factors—including size, weight, and muscle structure—into consideration when deciding on which adjustment to make. Sometimes, ice, electrical stimulation, or massage therapy (including traction massage) are used prior to a spinal manipulation in order to relax the muscles.
In some cases, it may necessary to perform an adjustment while you are sedated.
Spinal manipulation under anesthesia, which is considered a very safe procedure, is usually reserved for patients with conditions such as chronic neck, back, and joint pain, muscle spasm, shortened muscles, and fibrous adhesions.
Another form of adjustment called craniosacral therapy, or “CST,” involves exerting very mild pressure to the body’s craniosacral system, which is comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. This includes cranium—which is composed of the skull, face and mouth, and the “sacrum,” or tailbone.
CST has been shown to provide relief from chronic neck and back pain, scoliosis, brain and spinal cord injuries, migraines, chronic fatigue, nervous system disorders, jaw joint problems, and stress disorders. (Conditions such as aneurysm and intracranial hemorrhage prohibit this kind of therapy.)
Adjustments almost always do not involve any pain or discomfort. The important thing for a patient to keep in mind is to remain relaxed, because stiffening up may impede the adjustment process. Popping sounds are sometimes heard during adjustments; these are usually pockets of air being released behind a joint or other bony structure.
Adjustments can leave you with a greater sense of well-being, calm, and most importantly, on the road to a life without pain. Following an adjustment, some patients experience mild aching or soreness in their spinal joints or muscles, which can usually be relieved by an ice or heat pack.
Adjustments have been shown to:
This is a great therapy if there is a spasm in a back or neck muscle. It works well in relaxing the muscle and allowing it to return to its normal state rather quickly. Short therapy sessions are excellent at facilitating healing from acute and chronic pain.
What is EMS and What Can it Do?
Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) mimics your body’s nervous system by sending safe, low frequency electrical pulses to your affected area, causing the muscle to contract and increase temperature and blood circulation. Your body’s natural process to repair injuries works with EMS to relieve common nervous system disorders, including constant headaches, numbness of limbs, back pain and neck pain.
By using and encouraging the body’s natural healing mechanisms, EMS and can drastically reduce the dependence on medications and unnecessary surgeries while resolving the symptoms of underlying causes faster.
What Conditions Does Electric Muscle Stimulation Treat?
EMS is used to help treat and prevent a surprising number of medical issues. These include, but are not limited to:
carpal tunnel syndrome
connective and dermal tissue repair
increase in the range of motion in joints caused by such problems as arthritis and injury
muscle tension associated with long periods of sitting, standing, or lifting heavy objects
post-surgical muscle regeneration
ulcers and chronic wounds
At Lakeview Regional Chiropractic Clinic we are dedicated to providing our patients with solutions that work for their body. Since we realize everyone is created differently we only prescribe electric muscle stimulation to some of our patients, the patients who will benefit from this therapy. If you have any questions about EMS therapy or think you may be a good candidate for this therapy please contact either our Appleton, or Brookfield clinic to set up a private consultation.
Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), also known as neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) or electromyostimulation, is the elicitation of muscle contraction using electric impulses. The impulses are generated by a device and delivered through electrodes on the skin in direct proximity to the muscles to be stimulated. The impulses mimic the action potential coming from the central nervous system, causing the muscles to contract. The electrodes are generally pads that adhere to the skin. EMS is both a form of electrotherapy and of muscle training.
EMS causes adaptation, i.e. training, of muscle fibers. Because of the characteristics of skeletal muscle fibers, different types of fibers can be activated to differing degrees by different types of EMS, and the modifications induced depend on the pattern of EMS activity. These patterns, referred to as protocols or programs, will cause a different response from contraction of different fiber types. Some programs will improve fatigue resistance, i.e. endurance, others will increase force production.
Heat treatment is often used in patients who have chronic or long-lasting pain. Heat treatment can involve many kinds of methods, from simple heating pads, wraps, and warm gel packs, to sophisticated techniques, such as therapeutic ultrasound.
Back injuries can create tension and stiffness in the muscles and soft tissues of the lumbar region, or lower back. In many cases, your circulation may be impeded.
The tension in the muscles can sometimes escalate to spasms.
Dilates the blood vessels of the affected muscles, allowing them to relax and begin healing.
Helps lower discomfort by reducing the amount of pain signals going to the brain.
Increases the ability of your muscles to easily flex and stretch, thereby decreasing stiffness.
Heat treatment, as well as ice therapy, are normally parts of an overall chiropractic treatment plan and rarely accomplish maximum results without it.
Heat treatment is not used on swollen or bruised tissues, or in patients who have dermatitis, deep vein thrombosis, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, open wounds, and cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension.
Ice causes the veins in the affected tissue area to constrict. This reduces the flow of blood while acting as kind of anesthetic to numb the pain. But when the ice is removed (and this is key), the veins compensate by expanding, which then allows a large volume of blood to rush to the affected area. The blood brings with it important chemicals that aid in the healing process.
Back and neck injuries frequently involve muscle sprains and strained ligaments, which can spasm and become inflamed.
Ice massage, or cryotherapy, is effectively used to treat many kinds of injuries, including those associated with back or neck pain.
Ice massage can provide a number of benefits, including:
Assisting the body in minimizing tissue damage
Mitigating muscle spasms
Reducing or eliminating pain by numbing sore soft tissues
Ice therapy is not recommended as a form of treatment for any kinds of rheumatoid arthritis, Raynaud’s Syndrome (a circulatory disorder of blood vessels of the extremities), colds or allergic conditions, paralysis, or areas of impaired sensation.
The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile – or restricted in their movement – as a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.