Chiropractic Healing Therapy
Introduction to Chiropractic
The use of traditional and complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) has increased considerably in the last decade not only in developing countries but also in developed countries. Amongst many such practices is a system called Chiropractic, which is concerned with the diagnosis & treatment of mechanical disorders in human beings, especially in the spine.
History of Chiropractic Therapy
The name was chosen by the developer of chiropractic, Daniel David Palmer, from the Greek words ‘cheir’ (meaning ‘hand’) and ‘praktos’ (meaning ‘done’), i.e. done by hand, as per earlier spinal manipulation’s dating back to Hippocrates and the ancient Greeks.
DD Palmer performed the initial chiropractic adjustment in September 1895. Palmer examined a janitor who had become deaf 17 years prior after he felt something “give” in his back. Palmer examined the area and gave a crude “adjustment” to what was felt to be a misplaced vertebra in the upper back. The janitor then observed that his hearing improved. (read more… ‘Chiropractic – A New Science & Healing Art’)
How Chiropractic Healing works?
Every organ in our body is connected to the brain and spinal cord by nerves and blood vessels. So, a sensation or order is carried from the brain through the spinal cord and reaches the organ or up to the skin, and vice versa. Thus, whenever the spine gets injured at a particular segment; the organ(s) which are connected to nerves originating from that particular segment shows impairment in its function.
The chiropractor – a health professional, trained in anatomy, physiology and other concepts of physiology – finds the misalignment in the spine by thoroughly examining the patient’s spine. He/she even sometimes requests an X-ray or MRI for confirmation of his primary physical diagnosis. By setting the spine in the correct position, the pressure on the cord is mechanically released. This helps the body’s natural healing mechanism to initiate correction on the physiology and functioning of that organ(s).
Conditions for which Chiropractic Healing is helpful
You would require a Chiropractic’s help if you suffer from any of the following:
- Knee pain
- Sports injuries
- Low back pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Tennis and Golfer’s elbow
- Numbness and tingling in the arms or legs, ankle and foot pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Muscular imbalances
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Patella-femoral condition
Based on your physical therapy and medical examination, a chiropractic will design a therapy program for you.
Benefits of Chiropractic Healing
Chiropractic is a treatment where a non-invasive procedure, consisting of a precise directed movement, is used to help relieve pain and discomfort and in restoring range of motions. It is usually used with other therapies like massage, heat, laser, and ultrasound in healing a patient by a Chiropractor.
As chiropractic is mainly related to the mechanics of the spine, it has a limited but precise role in the treatment of a disease. The adjustment, performed by a chiropractor, is a very important part of the treatment requiring very good knowledge of anatomy, especially surface anatomy, and has to be learned practically under the supervision of an expert else it can cause harm instead of benefit. It can be safely used in association with other concurrent medical treatment.
New Therapies & Techniques in Chiropractic:
Many theories have been put forward in chiropractic, such as intervertebral encroachment, altered somatic afferent input, dentate ligament/ cord distortion, fixation, and postural permutations. The fact is that in most cases many of these separate theories overlap. Considering the disadvantages and lacunas in traditional chiropractic, Dr. Arlan Fuhr, after many efforts, developed a new method of treatment with an instrument which he named as Activator Technique. Established nearly 50 years ago, the Activator Method is the world’s most widely used instrument in adjusting chiropractic technique and is currently in use by more than 70% of all chiropractors.
10 of the therapies used as a part of Chiropractic healing are:
- Therapeutic exercise – Strengthening exercises for back, neck, and extremities problems to reduce pain and prevent further muscle deterioration.
- Therapeutic stretches – Post-injury stretching exercises to prevent scar tissue from forming, keeps the tissue flexible, mobile, and prevents further injury.
- Spinal traction – Using traction devices to gently separate the vertebrae, decompress the spinal disc, reduce nerve root pressure, and relieve pain.
- Soft tissue manual therapy – Hands-on therapy to improve function of soft tissues. Uses Active Release Technique and Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization.
- Muscle stimulation – Light electrical stimulation of areas of your body using electrodes to reduce inflammation, muscle spasm, muscle atrophy, and provide pain relief.
- Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS) – Uses a battery powered portable muscle stimulation machine recommended for people who suffer from periods of sever pain.
- Ultrasound – A form of deep heat therapy created by sound waves. The sound waves are a form of micro-massage that helps reduce swelling, increases blood flow, decreases pain, stiffness, and muscle spasm.
- Ice and Heat therapy – Ice therapy is used to reduce swelling and help control pain immediately after suffering an injury, while heat therapy helps relax the muscles, increases circulation, and provides relief to chronic pain.
- Diet and Nutritional Counseling – Poor diet and nutritional imbalances contribute to several serious illnesses; hence, your chiropractor will design a diet program specific for your needs to guide you down the right path.
- Lifestyle modification counseling – Your chiropractor will discuss your lifestyle choices with you, sorting through the healthy and unhealthy habits. The chiropractor will further give you practical strategies to deal with and manage them.