Improving Wellness Through Chiropractic Care
I work to help patients improve their health in a variety of ways. In most cases treatment will require the active participation of the patient to be successful, and patients will usually feel better with such an approach. They get better with an individualized program of hands-on therapy (spinal adjustment, manipulation, mobilization, manual therapy, myofascial release, active release 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.
In many cases drugs, inactivity and bed rest can actually make muscle, joint, disc and spine related conditions worse, covering up protective pain signals, and causing further weakness, stiffness, spasm, injury and pain.
Instead patients are encouraged to become more active, to change their daily lifestyle or work style when necessary, to improve posture, spinal stability and alignment, and to exercise to enhance fitness and physical performance.
Patients are also encouraged 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 chiropractic, neurologic and orthopedic exams are performed.
After review of the clinical findings a course of treatment is recommended when your condition can be expected to respond favorably to care. If however your condition falls outside the scope of my 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 help to evaluate your condition in more detail.
If you have had recent x-rays, CT scans, MRI, EMG 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 patients are referred to local radiology facilities or specialist providers as indicated.
Step 3: Our Goal: Pain Relief and Restoring Spinal Function
Most conditions will improve through a combination of therapy and self care measure. The goal is to provide treatment to restore function to the spine, to help relieve pain, improve mobility, stability and strengthen the muscles that support the spine. With a stronger more stable spine there is less chance for future strain and pain.
In most cases back and neck related pain can be relieved through various techniques, including; self-care, and body mechanics instruction; manual therapy (spinal adjustment, manipulation, mobilization, flexion distraction, myofascial release, active release technique, trigger point therapy, soft tissue massage, traction therapy), hot moist packs, ice treatment and condition specific flexibility and stabilization exercise.
Patients are encouraged 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 re-injury.
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.
I don’t only treat spine problems, I try to help patients prevent them from happening. I provide education and information to help people sit, stand, lift, push, and pull in ways that don’t strain the spine. I 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.