Chiropractic: In Depth

Chiropractic: In Depth Blog

You may be familiar with the term chiropractic, but you may not fully understand what it is or why it is considered beneficial.

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a branch of alternative healthcare that is often used in conjunction with the care of a primary doctor to help alleviate certain types of pain.

It generally centers around specific spinal manipulations that help improve your body’s alignment. Chiropractic is a form of hands-on therapy that makes small adjustments in your body’s structure, usually around the spine, in order to produce improvements in your body’s overall health.

What is the Science Behind It?

Plenty of research has been done regarding the effects of spinal manipulation on conditions such as back pain, neck pain, asthma, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia and migraines. A bulk of the studies have focused on how chiropractic can help lower-back pain with the conclusion that it can be very beneficial to those with this issue. Studies have also shown that it can be effective for whiplash, migraines, neck-related headaches and certain joint conditions.

It is important to note, however, that there have also been many studies that could not definitively say that this treatment method improved conditions like asthma, menstrual pain or fibromyalgia, so it’s important to speak with your primary care physician about complementary medicine to ensure you are getting the best care possible.

Is Chiropractic Safe?

While it is always vital to go to your doctor with any health or safety concerns regarding alternative treatments, the research done supports the conclusion that this is a safe treatment method.

There are some potential temporary side effects such as fatigue, headaches or soreness in the treatment areas, but they typically resolve themselves quickly. Other rare side effects such as strokes and pinched nerves have been reported, but they have not been conclusively linked to chiropractic treatment specifically.

What Can I Expect During a Chiropractic Visit?

During your first visit, the chiropractor will most likely take your full health history and perform an initial physical examination. This will include special emphasis on your spinal health and additional tests or X-rays may be ordered at the chiropractor’s discretion.

Once this has been completed, your chiropractor will develop an appropriate treatment plan with you. Any chiropractor’s goal will be to administer treatments that will increase your range of motion as well as the quality of your joint mobility. To do this, they will often use spinal manipulation alongside other holistic approaches to give you the best possible outcome.

Common treatments include:

  • Electrical stimulation
  • Dietary supplement recommendations
  • Rehabilitative exercise
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Lifestyle counseling

Is Chiropractic Right For Me?

If you believe you could benefit from chiropractic treatments, discuss the idea with your primary physician beforehand. Once you have the permission of your doctor, be sure to inform the chiropractor you choose of any medical conditions or concerns you have about treatment during your initial visit.

Chiropractic care is an excellent way to supplement the medical care you receive, so don’t be afraid to speak with your doctor about this treatment method.

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In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)

image

Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)

image

Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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