In chiropractic care there are said to be three different phases or types of treatment: Intensive care, Rehabilitative care, and subsequent checkups. Although the amount of time spent in each phase depends on the individual and his or her goals or pain, each of the three stages are similar for each patient.
Intensive Care: At this point in treatment, the client has just started seeing a chiropractor and the goal is to relieve any painful symptoms. These appointments are frequent so that the client may be relieved of pain and be able to return to day-to-day life. This stage can last several weeks to several months depending on the associated injury.
Rehabilitative Care: Once the client is feeling better and functioning better, treatment continues in order to completely heal any underlying muscle or soft tissue injuries. During these visits, the client is usually free of pain but it is important to continue seeing a chiropractor in order to prevent injuries from worsening or pain from returning. These visits are far less frequent and will monitor progress so that the client knows when he or she can return to normal exercise and lifestyle routines without the risk of relapse.
Checkups: After injuries are healed, regular, infrequent checkups are strongly recommended for several reasons. First, checkups are part of a healthy lifestyle and can save you a lot of time and money in the long run in preventing injuries. Secondly, regular checkups can stop any minor problems in their track so they don’t become major issues in which this three-step process needs to be repeated. Lastly, these checkups can track progress and best monitor what lifestyle changes are working or need to be modified.
An adjustment is when a chiropractor applies the perfect amount of pressure in the right place and in order to realign vertebrae that have moved out of position in order to normalize spinal function. Of the 24 bones in the spine, if just one is out of place it can cause problems, most commonly back pain. When a bone moves out of place or loses its normal range of motion, the nerve tissue around the bones can become aggravated or choked.
Rather than using surgery or drugs, a chiropractic approach goes directly to the problem and works to correct it. Chiropractors find the malfunctioning area where a joint is not moving properly and return them to where they need to be, allowing them to move properly. Instead of just relieving the pain, this approach works towards fixing the underlying cause and prevents relapse and further problems.
Each chiropractic treatment is different depending on the individual. Factors such as age, size, spinal problems, and past health problems all influence the method in which the chiropractor makes an adjustment to the spine. Whether they are using their hands or a specially designed instrument, chiropractors are highly trained and experienced to know exactly what to do and how to best approach each client.
These adjustments are not just an alleviation of pain; the chiropractic approach aligns the body to its natural position so that it is able to heal itself and protect itself from future injuries. Follow-up chiropractic care monitors the injury to make sure it is healing correctly and detects any minor problems to prevent them from growing into something more serious.
Electro-Muscle Stimulation is a method of treating pain in which a specific form of electric current is administered to a site where soft tissue damage is present, specifically muscle injuries. In this procedure small doses of the electric current are induced into the soft tissues to strengthen the muscles, reduce swelling and inflammation, and lessen the painful symptoms associated with the injury.
The procedure is widely used among chiropractors, safe, and fairly painless for the patient. At the beginning of the 10-20 minute procedure, the patient will experience a slight tingling until one’s body becomes accustomed to the feeling. At that point the intensity may be elevated for maximum healing and pain reduction.
This form of treatment is recommended when pain and inflammation occur together due to a muscle injury. As a result of the procedure patients will likely experience a reduction in pain and swelling, a shorter healing time, and a general increase in muscle tone and strength.
What is a Disc?
An intervertebral disc is a small cartilage pad with a jelly-like center located between all of the spinal bones. Layers of fibrous tissue work to contain the center fluid and connect the bones, provide space between vertebrae, and absorb shock in the spine. These discs, if normal and healthy, are what make everyday bending and turning painless.
Problems arise if any of these discs bulge, herniate, or rupture. Blood does not easily get in and out of the spinal discs and so they rely on joint fluid circulation to bring in nutrients and get rid of any waste products. If this circulation is compromised in any way then the discs dry out and deteriorate, causing a lot of discomfort in the back and potentially causing a disc to bulge, herniate, or rupture. If this occurs then the discs cannot properly cushion nor support the spine and can cause a lot of pain because of the pressure put onto nerve roots.
A chiropractic approach works to prevent any of these injuries from happening and to restore normal spinal joint function and position. By correcting the spine, the risk of bulging is reduced, swelling is lessened, and the surrounding soft tissues are able to begin the healing process.
Despite commonly held belief, chiropractors are not just there for accidents and back pain; we are here for your overall health and wellness. A desire for wellness is not simply a desire for a lack of pain, but rather it is a desire to be at one’s absolute best at all times. The “wellness hexagon” is comprised of health in all areas including physical, social, environmental, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional, all of which start with one’s nervous system.
Chiropractic care is a focus on the nervous system in order to promote good health and wellness, as the nervous system is what controls nearly every aspect of one’s life. Regular checkups with a chiropractor are recommended to maintain a healthy body and a healthy life. It is these checkups that can provide you with more energy, endurance, and a stronger sense of fulfillment and well-being.
In the same way that one makes healthy eating and exercise a regular part of their routine, a visit to the chiropractor should be viewed in the same light in order to stay healthy, happy, and pain-free.
Children benefit from chiropractic care before they are born by having a mother who receives prenatal chiropractic checkups. Combines with a healthy diet, proper exercise, a stress-free environment, a chiropractic lifestyle helps prepare for a happy, healthy baby. Pregnancies also offer a significant challenge: many times the additional demand on the body results in physical pain for the expecting mother. In fact, studies show that around 50% of expectant mothers will suffer from low back pain at some time during their pregnancy. Although the female body is equipped to carry a developing baby, the process nevertheless puts you under a good deal of physical strain.
There are a number of important health benefits in receiving chiropractic care during your pregnancy. These benefits include: Maintenance of a healthier pregnancy, reduction in attacks of nausea, reduction of time spent in labor and delivery, relief from back/ neck/ joint pain, and prevention of the need for cesarean delivery.
During your pregnancy, regular visits to your chiropractor to keep your spine aligned and your pelvis balanced will greatly reduce your likelihood of developing back pain in the later stages. It’s perfectly safe to have chiropractic care while you are pregnant.
Children and Chiropractic
The birth process may be one of the most traumatic events of our lives. Even “natural” birthing methods can put stress a developing spine. The resulting irritation to the nervous system can be a contributing cause to many newborn health complaints. Colic, unexplained crying, poor appetite, breathing problems, and allergic reactions can often be traced to nervous system dysfunction caused by a malfunctioning spine.
Head support, followed by crawling, and a baby’s first few steps should be followed by chiropractic checkups. If neglected, the bumps and falls during this period of rapid growth may lead to serious spinal deformities later in life. This can set the stage for scoliosis, “growing pains,” and a weakened immune system response. Chiropractic adjusting techniques are modified to fit a child’s size, weight, and unique spinal problem. Children enjoy their adjustments with Dr. Oteo! Parents often report that their children seem healthier than other kids their age. Many spinal problems seen in adults begin in childhood. Regular chiropractic checkups are especially beneficial as head support and natural spinal curves are established.