Doctors of Chiropractic – often referred to as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians – practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment of subluxations. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
Doctors of Chiropractic may assess patients through clinical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging and other diagnostic interventions to determine when chiropractic treatment is appropriate or when it is not appropriate. Chiropractors will readily refer patients to the appropriate health care provider when chiropractic care is not suitable for the patient’s condition, or the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other health care providers.
In many cases, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care may be a patient's primary method of treatment. When other medical conditions exist, chiropractic services may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.
One of the most common and well known therapeutic procedures performed by doctors of chiropractic is spinal manipulation (sometimes referred to as a "chiropractic adjustment"). The purpose of spinal manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile – or restricted in their movement – as a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for an individual. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, allowing tissues to heal.
Chiropractic adjustment rarely causes discomfort. However, patients may sometimes experience mild soreness or aching following treatment (as with some forms of exercise) that usually resolves within 12 to 48 hours. Compared to other common treatments for pain, such as over-the-counter and prescription pain medications, chiropractic's conservative approach offers a safe and effective option. We recommend ice after the initial visit applied to the pain site for 20 minutes two to three times per day. If soreness or pain increases, please call the office.
"Adjustments" are usually the central part of chiropractic treatment. The chiropractic adjustment is a therapeutic manipulation that uses controlled force, leverage, direction, amplitude, and velocity directed at specific joints. In other words, an adjustment involves a lot more than simply opening up a joint.
Dr. Vaughn will most often make these adjustments to the spine, but he might adjust other joints, such as the ankle, knee, wrist, elbow, or shoulder in order to restore structural alignment or to improve joint function. Again, proper structure is necessary for proper function, and proper extremity function is an important part of healthy daily living.
When being treated for a complaint such as back or neck pain, you will most likely receive a series of adjustments, separated by either a day or a few days, to incrementally reduce the irritation and improve normal function. This might continue for several weeks, usually diminishing in frequency.
If you can't tolerate the manual adjustments, you may instead receive mild or non-force techniques. Adjustments are often accompanied by non-manual therapies such as application of heat or ice, electrical stimulation, orthotic supports for your shoes, rehabilitative exercise, counseling about diet, weight loss, and other lifestyle factors, and nutritional supplements.
A patient with previous back surgery can receive chiropractic care depending on certain surgical procedures. Although chiropractic adjustment may not be recommended to the surgical area, other therapies may be warranted. This may include soft tissue mobilization, stretching, heat, ice strength exercise and traction.
The type of care varies from patient to patient. The type of care is dependent upon the type of injury, previous injuries, previous surgeries, and disease (osteoporosis). Part of the initial examination is to establish a history and decide on a treatment plan designed for YOU!
Chiropractic care has been proven by research to help athletic performance and prevent injury. A healthy spine and muscular system will improve endurance, strength and prevent injuries from occurring.
Although patients will sometimes complain of soreness after an adjustment, chiropractic care is safe. We treat a multitude of spinal problems that have responded well to chiropractic care.
Soreness is expected after the first two to three visits. We like to compare it to exercising when you have not exercised in a while. You will be sore the first few visits, but it will improve.
Shoes and/or orthotics are VERY important in spinal alignment. If the foundation (feet) is out of balance than any structure above is out of balance.
Many people say, “Once you go to a chiropractor, you must keep going to a chiropractor.” Some patients choose to go until the pain goes away and some continue with maintenance care. The patients that choose maintenance care understand the value of ‘preventative care’ rather than ‘reactive care’. We do not make our patients sign contracts, so the choice is solely on the patient to decide which care plan is best for them.
Chiropractic care is one part of the ‘health wheel’ and is not meant as a ‘cure all’. Perhaps chiropractic care could help you relieve pain and perhaps alleviate the dependency on some pain medications, but it also depends on your injury, disease and overall health.
Filing insurance may help reduce overall out of pocket expenses for our patients, but it is not necessary for us to treat our patients. Our office is 50% self-pay and 50% insurance. We do offer self-pay discounts and family discounts.
The general answer to this question is “yes”. There are a few instances where
massage therapy is contraindicated, which means you should not book a massage. That list includes: fever, contagious diseases, including any cold or flu, no matter how mild it may seem, under the influence of drugs or alcohol-inducing prescription pain meds, right after major surgery (speak to physician prior to booking), Neuritis, Infectious Skin Conditions, Meningitis, severe unexplained internal pain, Hemorrhage/Hemophilia, Eclampsia. If you are ever concerned about a condition in relation to massage, just ask! We are here to help and answer your questions. There are a lot of conditions where massage can be performed, but just not on a specific area, such as Cancer, chronic health conditions, fractures, joint instability, etc. Many of these issues require further information, and in some cases a note from a physician to receive treatment.
Each massage therapy patient is treated as an individual, and therefore receives a massage
specifically tailored to their needs. Our massage therapist is trained in deep tissue massage, pregnancy massage and Swedish (relaxation) massage and uses the techniques necessary to treat the patient’s needs on the day of their appointment.
Massage therapy is never intended to hurt a patient or make them sore. In every
appointment, our massage therapist will talk with you about your concerns and areas of discomfort to be sure they are addressing your pain in the best manner possible. They generally use more deep tissue techniques which can be uncomfortable at times. This is why open lines of communication are so important. We tell every patient to let us know if the pressure is too deep or if there are any sharp pains. You should NEVER “gut it out” if you are uncomfortable - please always tell your therapist!
Depending on how you came into your appointment (already sore, feeling great,
etc.) and the reason you scheduled (muscle tension, injury, etc.), you may
experience soreness in the days following. our massage therapist will speak with you about that on your appointment date, but the general rule applies: if you have not had regular massage (at least once a month), your body will probably have an acclimation period. That can be helped by drinking a lot of water both prior to your appointment and after, to keep hydrated and flush away toxins that are released during the massage.
There are many ways massage therapy can help from reduction in pain to reduction in
stress. It can be used for increased flexibility, mental stress relief and as a therapeutic complimentary therapy for pain. Everyone reacts differently to a massage, but there are documented benefits in many areas. Studies have shown massage to be effective in reducing pain and disability among people with acute/sub-acute back and neck pain (from the article “Complimentary and alternative therapies for back pain II; Evid Rep Technical Assess, 2010 Oct., (194): 1-764).
Massage also effects the entire body in specific ways to each body system. Follow the link below to read how massage helps the Circulatory, Nervous, Musculoskeletal, Digestive and Respiratory Systems:
We usually tell our massage therapy patients that the answer to this question depends on 2 things:
1. How you feel and 2. How much money you want to invest. If you are trying to manage a stressful situation or if you are dealing with chronic pain/discomfort (such as from sitting at a desk), once a week is ideal until the issue starts to resolve. The more often you get massaged, the quicker the tissues can be affected and healing can begin. However, those who cannot come weekly can still gain benefits from massage - the process will just take longer to resolve the
issues. If you are getting massage more to maintain tissue health, once a month is ideal. Preventative medicine will help you in the long run! See the link above to learn more about the benefits received from massage.