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Chiropractic treatments, aren’t they the satisfying ‘pop’ sounds we see in online trending videos? However, what are they actually, and are they as effective as they seem? In this article, we’ll be breaking down different chiropractic therapy techniques and their effectiveness so you know what to ask for.
Why Choose Chiropractic Treatments?
Whether you’ve been in a car accident, suffered from a sports injury, or dealing with a recurring pain that won’t go away, going for chiropractic would be a good idea. Chiropractors have a plethora of treatment techniques that can help you solve these problems!
The majority of people generally gravitate towards the best chiropractor in California because of the natural and non-invasive approach that they use in treatments –– this means it’s both surgery and medication-free! Instead, chiropractic care uses a treatment that is holistic and manual, where the practitioner works with your body’s inner musculoskeletal and nervous system. Before every treatment, chiropractics diagnose whether the pain is either down or upstream by checking the muscles, joints, and bones above and below the affected area. This allows them to know whether the pain is a front for a serious issue, or the problem occurs somewhere else.
Different Chiropractic Treatments
Chiropractic Therapy Treatments are broken down into four main categories. First, manual treatments involve traction techniques, spinal decompression, and adjustments. Secondly, instrument-led treatments would include the well-known Activator and Graston. Thirdly, chiropractic therapies include using electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and heat or ice. Lastly, nutrition and exercise will include functional movement and anti-inflammatory dietary counseling services.
These are the most basic form of treatments practiced by chiropractors.
Spinal manipulation involves a controlled yet quick adjustment and thrust to the body, where chiropractic practitioners use the relationship between the spine, and nervous system to treat various pain symptoms. Once the adjustment and manipulation are complete, your body’s overall skeletal alignment will be enhanced and each joint will return to its natural range of motion. This is also where the trademark ‘pop’ sound is heard, which is a signifier of the areas that require adjustment.
This form of controlled force is done manually by a chiropractor who puts weight as assistance to help your upper back, lower back, joints in arms and legs as well as your neck.
Similarly, this method also aims to restore body alignment and enhance joint movement. However, instead of using controlled, quick thrusts, spinal mobilization uses slower, gentler movements to the joints. These are chosen over spinal adjustments for patients who have a sensitive nervous system, are in severe pain, to reduce muscle spasms, or if they are extremely overweight.
This method aims to relax and stretch the lumbar spine. Patients are made to lie on a traction table where they can experience a seamless, healthy, and pain-free process of stretching their spine. Spinal decompression is commonly used for patients suffering from slipped and herniated discs, as well as those experiencing significant leg pain. Plus, there is no irritation or pain reported throughout this treatment!
Instrumental Assisted Treatments
These methods utilize the assistance of chiropractic instruments in manual treatments.
This is an efficient treatment that utilizes a small, hand-held chiropractic instrument that places a pulsing sensation on the spine in hopes of restoring lost motion. The Activator uses low force but with an extremely quick pulse that the muscle has no time to tense in response or bend in a manner that is uncomfortable for the body. Such a method is especially efficient for patients who are elderly or those in severe pain.
Alternatively, this technique uses a rounded, concave-convex steel-shaped instrument to rub and massage over the affected area. This mobilizes any soft tissues in your body by gently breaking and massaging up the scar tissue, which creates an optimal healing environment for tissues to recover and restructure themselves. Although small amounts of trauma and inflammation may be triggered by the massaging, it greatly encourages the affected area to self-recover and self-heal.
Chiropractic Therapy Techniques
Other than the ones mentioned above, this method helps to alleviate pain, increase mobility and help with a patient’s recovery process. These processes will be used during chiropractic sessions as well as daily tips that you can do on your own.
Icing and heating are pretty common techniques that relax soft tissue and aids in its recovery process. Icing is used primarily to minimize inflammation and numb the pain, whilst heating helps in restoring blood flow and promotes faster healing.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation
In this treatment, electrodes are placed on the skin of the patient’s affected area and releases impulses throughout the body. Contrary to popular belief, this does not cause any pain to the body but sends soothing sensations to the patient. This process is commonly used to curb muscle spasms, as it causes the muscle to experience fatigue and relax.
Using ultrasound is effective as it can micro-massage joints and soft tissue by using high-frequency waves that are beyond our hearing range. Similar to heating, ultrasound promotes increased healing, better blood flow, and reduces pain and stiffness.
Nutrition And Exercise
Not everything can be cured through a chiropractor –– you have to put in some work as well, such as regulating your nutrition and following exercise tips.
When your body is healing, it is beneficial to eat well. In the same way that you sought natural remedies, your chiropractor will encourage you to maintain your results by using natural methods as well. For example, they might suggest foods to eat, diet plans to follow or even implement full-on eating regimens. Furthermore, they might provide you with additional supplements such as Omega 3 Fish Oils, Magnesium, and Probiotics to further assist your recovery.
Eating right is one half of the battle –– you need to follow it up by moving and stretching around. Whilst you’re probably bound to light exercise, there are several exercises or stretches that can make massive improvements to your recovery. It’s crazy how much a little stretching, strength training, or cardiovascular exercise can do to the body!
No one knows your body better than yourself; listen to it and don’t ignore any warning signs! If you feel a nagging physical pain in your knees, neck, calves, and arms, go and see a chiropractor as it’s probably joint or muscle related. These specialists are trained to understand how the body’s anatomy works, so you’re in safe hands! If you have suffered any severe injuries in the past, let them know beforehand to work out a specialized treatment procedure for you.