The word "Chiropractic" has Greek origins, meaning, "Done by Hand." As a Chiropractor, I get the question often of "Is what you do considered Chiropractic?" The answer to this is YES!
Chiropractors, or Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) are a regulated health care profession that is one of five professions that is able to render a diagnosis (the other four are medical doctors, dentists, psychologists, and optometrists) and are concerned with how the body’s nerves, muscles and joints function as a whole. They focus on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the body. They are specialists in using manipulations of joints to improve range of motion and flexibility, and to restore proper function to joints. Joint Manipulation is a highly controlled procedure with scientific studies showing that it is safe and helps improve the function of joints and is effective for common conditions such as headache, neck, and back pain. In addition to moving joints, Chiropractors use other soft tissue therapy, stretches and strengthening programs to help with your individual condition. Essentially they specialize in the neuromusculoskeletal system. However each chiropractor is different and their approach may vary as well.
For more details on the history of chiropractic, feel free to read my blog article, What is a Chiropractor.
What is involved with Chiropractic Care at my office?
When visiting me, once you have undergone a thorough assessment and you have been provided with a diagnosis, a plan of management is created. This plan of management may include Joint Manipulation. By definition, a Joint manipulation is a type of passive movement of a skeletal joint, using high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) thrusting maneuvers and are often associated with the production of ‘pop’ or 'click' sound. This sound is believed to be the result of a phenomenon known as cavitation. When a joint manipulation is performed, the applied force separates the articular surfaces of the joint. This deforms the joint capsule and intra-articular tissues, which in turn creates a reduction in pressure within the joint cavity. In the low pressure environment, some of the gases that are dissolved in the synovial fluid, create a bubble or cavity. It rapidly collapses upon itself, resulting in a 'clicking' sound.
What can joint manipulations help with?
The clinical effects of joint manipulation have been shown to include:
Relief of musculoskeletal pain
Unlocks joints, e.g. stiff neck/acute back sprains
Improves joint range of motion
What are the side effects and risks of joint manipulations?
Common side effects of spinal joint manipulation therapy are characterized as mild to moderate and may include: local discomfort, headache, tiredness, or radiating discomfort.
There are risks associated with joint manipulation, especially spinal joint manipulation. Potentially serious side effects include: vertebrobasilar accidents (VBA), strokes, spinal disc herniation, vertebral and rib fractures, and cauda equina syndrome. That being said, every patient is different and through a detailed evaluation of your condition any contraindications to joint manipulations, especially to the neck and lower back are determined and the risks to benefits are discussed prior to any therapy beginning.
Call Now to Find Out if You Could Benefit from Chiropractic Care!