Improving Wellness Through Chiropractic Care
New patients often come to us with different ideas as to what we do. Some may expect that we will miraculously make pain disappear. Others may simply be looking for us to help them feel better and improve their health. But actually we work to help patients improve health in a variety of ways. In most cases treatment will require the active participation of the patient to be successful, and patients usually find that they will feel better with our treatment approach. They get better with an individualized program of hands-on therapy (spinal adjustment, manipulation, mobilization, manual therapy, trigger point therapy, and massage), physiotherapy (hot moist packs, traction), exercise, and by learning new ways to bend, lift, sit, and use their bodies to help limit future problems. We believe that in many cases drugs, inactivity, and bed rest can actually make spinal conditions worse, covering up protective pain signals, and causing further weakness, stiffness, muscle spasm, injury and pain.
Instead we encourage our patients to become more active, to change their daily lifestyle or workstyle when necessary, to improve posture and spinal alignment, and to exercise their spine for enhanced stability, flexibility, fitness and performance.
We also encourage patients to commit to taking the time necessary to stick with their treatment program – even as they start to feel better.
Step 1: Consultation and Evaluation
During the initial visit, the health history is reviewed, and patients are examined neurologically, chiropractically, and orthopedically. X-rays or other tests are then prescribed as necessary.
After review of the clinical findings a course of treatment may then be recommended when we believe that your condition can be expected to respond favorably to our approach. If however your condition falls outside the scope of our care you will be referred back to the referring physician, or another specialist as necessary.
Step 2: Diagnostic Techniques
In some cases, x-rays, CT scans, MRI, EMG, or other tests may be recommended to evaluate the condition in more detail.
If you have had recent x-rays or other tests performed please bring the reports and studies with you along with any other doctors reports which are available.
If additional x-rays or imaging studies are necessary we refer our patients to local radiology facilities or specialist providers available to our practice.
Step 3: Our Goal: Pain Relief and Restoring Spinal Function
In our experience most conditions that we begin to treat will improve through a combination of therapy and self care measures, such as stretching or exercise. Our goal is to provide treatment to restore function to the spine, to help relieve pain, improve flexibility, and strengthen the muscles that support the spine. With stronger spine muscles and a flexible spine there is less chance for future strain and pain.
In most cases we can help relieve back and neck pain through various techniques, including; self-care, and bodymechanics instruction; manual therapy (spinal adjustment, manipulation, mobilization, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, soft tissue massage, traction therapy), and by using a form of therapy called distraction: we also may use heat, or ice treatment: and condition specific spinal flexibility and stabilization exercise.
We encourage our patients to play an active role in their own spinal health and recovery. Completing the recommended therapy program is important for successful rehab. A home exercise program may be prescribed as part of the new daily routine. Staying in shape through home exercise is essential to maintaining spinal strength and resistance to reinjury.
Step 4: Learning How to Prevent Future Injury and Back Problems
The risk of spine problems may often be related to a persons habits. The way you sit, the way you use your body when lifting, even the pillow you sleep with may be a problem.
We don’t only treat spine problems, we try to help prevent them from happening. We provide education and information to help people sit, stand, lift, push, and pull in ways that don’t strain the spine. We also teach first-aid methods for a spine pain attack, and specific pain-relieving exercises for patients to do at home, correct body mechanics principles, and practical ways to prevent further injury and pain.
When Surgery, Injections, Interventional Procedures or Medication are Necessary
In a small percentage of cases surgery may be indicated for management of a patients condition. In such cases a referral for surgical consultation will be made. After surgery, virtually all patients should be prescribed follow-up therapy to help relieve pain, strengthen weak back muscles and to facilitate return to activity.
In other cases, epidural steroid injections, steroid injections or medications may be helpful to help relieve inflammation, muscle spasm or pain. Injections when required are typically provided by either a physical medicine specialist, anesthesiologist, neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon.