What should we know about chiropractors techniques?
Since the techniques that a chiropractor uses need adjustments in your spine which are usually followed by a cracking sound, most people are scared of chiropractors. You might have noticed people saying, “I don’t want to be cracked” when asked to pay a visit to the chiropractor. Trust me, here at Pillars of Wellness in Burlington, in Aldershot, we don’t crack you, rather we fix your cracks. In this article, you will learn all about the chiropractors techniques.
The cracking sound that you hear when the chiropractor in working on your is basically the sound of pressure being released from inside the vertebra. The process is similar to cracking your knuckles the only difference is cracking your knuckles is not healthy and the techniques that chiropractor follows are actually for your betterment.
Here at the Pillar of Wellness in Burlington, in Aldershot, we consider it our responsibility to brief you about the treatment that you will be undergoing. This not only helps the patient in being less anxious but improves the overall comfort during the process which also helps in the healing process.
The main chiropractors techniques used at Pillars of Wellness are:
These treatments include the adjustment of parts of your spine and other b parts of your body either by using force or with the help of instruments.
- Spine manipulation: The main focus of this part is the connection of the spine with the nervous system. A slight adjustment in the spine results in adjustments in the nervous system as well which causes betterment and decrease in pain and other symptoms. The main technique used for these adjustments is thrust adjustment, but the thrust is not very forceful. It might cause slight discomfort which goes away in a day or two. It is during this session that the popping sound is heard.
The Gonstead technique and the Thompson terminal point technique is used in spine adjustment. The Gonstead technique is when a particular joint is focused on and adjusted while the Thompson terminal point technique focuses on a certain table in which a drop is seen. This drop is fixed with a thrust.
- Mobilization of the spine: The process of spinal manipulation and mobilization is somewhat similar; the main difference lies in the intensity of force applied and the way it is applied. In spine manipulation, the thrusts are forceful, quick and controlled but in spine mobilization gentle force is applied slowly to increase and enhance the mobilization of the spine.
The typical techniques used for this process are Cox flexion distraction and toggle drop. The cox flexion method is applying gentle forces for improving the movement of the spine, especially in the lower back. It also helps the chiropractor to understand the muscle spasms and its intensity. The toggle drop method is a gentler version Thompson terminal point technique.
- Decompression: This is basically a stretching and relaxation technique which requires the patient to lie down on a traction table. The traction table used by different chiropractors are different. Some are motorized while the others are not. During this process, the lumbar spine is targeted to a number of stretching exercises and techniques which result in the mobilization of the spine as well as it helps in reducing the symptoms of herniated discs. The stretching and relaxing motion of the spine mobilizes the discs and helps them in realigning them to their proper position.
- Traction: A traction is a form of spinal decompression, but it has a few techniques that are different from the typical spinal decompression. The total process includes detecting the area of problem and then deciding whether the traction process will be done with the help of an instrument or manually. This decision is based on the area where the problem lies and the intensity of the problem.
Stretching and relaxation of the area are carried out either manually, with a wedge or mechanically. Manually, the chiropractor uses his/her hands and a wedge is used when the problematic area is the lower pine or some joints. Mechanical process is only chosen when the whole spine needs the stretching and relaxation therapy. Usually, pulleys are used.
- Mayofascial release: this technique is applied in case of trauma or inflammation in the myofascial tissue which causes a restriction in the movement. Slow and steady but sustained pressure is applied to the tissue and slowly the motion is retrieved. It is a very effective method that works for most patients.
Use of instruments: It is not necessary that the chiropractor only uses his/her hands in the process of fixing the spine. Most of the times they refer to their toolbox. Some of the chiropractors techniques that use instruments are:
- Sacro-occipital technique: This technique is completed using a wedge-like an instrument. It is done for the realignment of the pelvis. The wedge-like instrument is placed under the patient’s pelvis and force is applied for realigning it.
- Activators method: This method requires the patient to lie down face down and the chiropractor finds the problem areas with the help of a small hammer-like a tool. It is slowly struck on the neck and back to find the areas causing pain and muscle spasms.
- Graston technique: The tool used for this technique is a steel rod that comes in different shapes and sizes. Some are concave, some are convex, and some are a combination of both. The rods are massaged on different tissues of the body which breaks the scar tissue and removes the stiffness.
- Athletic taping: this method is basically used when the position of the spine or any other bone in the body is not proper and is causing restrictions in movement. A strong white tape is applied, similar to what athletes use. this tape keeps the bone in a certain position until it starts adapting to the position.
Apart from applying force and using tools, chiropractors techniques use certain therapies for reducing the pain and inflammation when they see the need. These therapies are:
- Heat/ice therapy: This is a common therapy that is a part of most physical therapy. Combination of hot and cold pads are applied to the affected area to reduce the pain and inflammation.
- Ultrasound rays: These rays are applied to the affected area as they have a massaging effect on the molecules of the tissue which help in reducing pain and inflammation.
- Electrical stimulation: Electric pulses are sent into the tissues using electric rods. The sensation is very soothing rather than being painful.
- Hydrotherapy: This therapy includes warm baths, exercises in the swimming pool as well as saunas for improving the muscle mobility.
Chiropractic care and treatment is a well-researched field with various techniques and therapies included. These chiropractors techniques do nothing but helping the patient in better mobilization and reducing the symptoms of pain, numbness, and tingling. For better insight on chiropractic care and your back health refer to Ontario chiropractic association.