Chiropractors are the mechanical doctors for the body. We may use joint manipulation, stretching, strengthening, posture and balance training to get the mechanical stress off the area of the body that is overloaded. This allows the body to get into better balance and function normally with less pain.
When you bend over and pick something up or throw a basketball, the muscles in that area turn on and off in a specific sequence to allow you to do that movement efficiently and safely. This is called a muscle firing pattern.
After a moderate or severe injury, a group of muscles may tighten to protect that area. Once the area has healed, those muscles may stay tight. This throws off the sequence of contraction or firing pattern of these muscles. This leads to less efficient movement with loss of strength and increased fatigue in that area. It also leaves you more susceptible to injury in that area because it may not support you properly when you get into a certain position or do a certain movement. Many people with recurrant back or neck pain have this problem.
Troubleshooting the body with manual muscle testing, range of motion testing, as well as spinal and extremity testing, can point treatment to muscle and joint imbalances in the body. X-ray and M.R.I. may be necessary in some cases to evaluate joint degeneration or disc involvement. The more dysfunctional or out of balance the area of the body is the more likely it is to be painful. Medication may offer a reduction in pain, but the problem that is causing the pain is still present. The goal in my practice is to identify the mechanical imbalances and restrictions, correct them and teach the patient how to maintain improvement.
Treatment may include:
Sometimes a long term problem can be easy to correct and need no further attention. Other conditions may be more involved with many layers to them where various treatment options need to be utilized. The patient may need to be taught a series of exercises and stretches to maintain proper function. Work, home postures and activities may also need to be evaluated and altered.
The goals in my office are to treat and educate the patient so they are able to understand and maintain their improved function.