What Does This Chiropractor Do?
Chiropractors practice many different styles of patient care. It can be daunting for a potential patient to choose the right one for them. Rather than compare my approach to others, I thought it would be best to discuss how I personally treat.
I have tried to fill my toolbox with multiple techniques. Just like many projects, one can get by with the basics. However, when the right tool is applied to the right problem, everything goes much smoother. I have trained and crafted my practice to include a few different modalities. Here is a breakdown of each one.
Active Release Technique (ART)
This is the most common therapy I use. It involves the use of my thumbs to apply some pressure and tension on a muscle, tendon, ligament, and/or fascia and take that tissue through a range of motion. It can be uncomfortable but should be tolerable. Typically, after holding a ‘pass’ of ART for a few seconds, a ‘release’ or relaxation of that structure is felt.
Needles can be scary for many people. However, these needles are extremely thin compared to a needle used for injections/vaccines and usually are painless. Functional acupuncture targets muscles, nerves, ligaments and/or fascia rather than focus on Meridian Lines like Traditional Acupuncture. Needles are often hooked up to electrical stimulation to provide increased input to the area.
Graston is much like ART but with the use of a stainless steel tool. These tools are not sharp and should be tolerated well by the patient. Light to moderate gliding pressure is applied with the tool to the skin. Range of motion is sometimes also included to increase the effectiveness of Graston.
Call it what you want – manipulation, adjustments, cracking, etc. There are many types of named techniques out there, such as Diversified, Gonstead, Drop, Activator (clicker gun), and more. I use a diversified set of manipulations, meaning I don’t subscribe to any specific protocols or techniques but use a blend of many. Manipulation remains one of, if not the most, instantaneous ways to feel relief.
I DO NOT PERFORM MANIPULATIONS ON EVERY SINGLE PATIENT! Sometimes, patients should not receive this treatment due to specific injuries or conditions. Other times, patients may not be comfortable having it performed on them. And still other times it is not warranted.
Ultimately, research suggests that exercises are key in any successful long term treatment plan. Combined with the therapies above, exercises help prevent pain from returning or reinjury.
The goals of each technique is to help decrease pain and increase function of the patient. That’s the goal – treat an injury or problem so you can be as active as possible.
I will always discuss the pros and cons of any treatment before using them. This is all part of informed consent. You, as the patient, always have the final say in what happens during a visit. There are lots of different ways to tackle problems and it’s what makes this job fun and challenging