Have you ever been to a Chiropractor? Do you know what they do? Many individuals are ignorant to what Chiropractors do and are unaware of the health benefits. Chiropractic has been around since the late 1800’s and was founded by D.D. Palmer and later developed by his son B.J. Palmer. The school was founded in Davenport, Iowa near the Mississippi River. A Chiropractor works to balance the nervous system by eliminating irritation by removing subluxation or mis-alignment of the spine. When there is a subluxation, it can impinge on the nerve root causing local inflammation of the surrounding soft tissue structures like joints, ligaments, and muscles and therefore cause pain. The Chiropractor will utilize specific diagnostic skills to locate and treat any areas of mis-alignment, or subluxation. They will then deliver an HVLA thrust to that particular segment to correct the abnormality.
In addition, the Chiropractor may administer various corrective care modalities like CBP (Chiropractic Biophysics) or Pettibon to re-shape the abnormal curves. This is accomplished by stretching the ligaments for at least six minutes and plateauing until twenty minutes of stretch is achieved. There should be a constant stretch on the ligaments to allow them to keep stretching. This is why the recommendations for mechanical traction should be at least two to three times per week on average.
The Chiropractor may incorporate various physiotherapy modalities in addition to Chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, and acupuncture. Such modalities may include but are not limited to: ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, diathermy, cold laser, hot and cold application, paraffin application, and much more. They may send the patient home with a portable tens unit which is basically a home muscle stimulation as well as instructions for hot/cold application for home use. As a general rule, ice should be applied for inflammation control for a minimum of twenty minutes on and twenty to sixty minutes off. This should be repeated 2-5 times throughout the day depending on the severity of the inflammation process. Generally, it is always safer to ice than to apply heat. If heat should be applied, always use moist heat to the affected area. Moist heat doesn’t dry out the muscle tissue and cause dehydration. Dry heating pads that you plug into the wall are horrible for dehydration of the muscle tissue. These should be eliminated at all costs. If you’re uncertain about what modality to use or for how long then consult your primary care provider.