As chiropractors, we’re concerned about your overall health and well-being. It’s why we perform a comprehensive initial exam, find out about your medical history and ask questions to help us get to the root of any problems you may be having. To help you regain or retain optimal health, particularly after an accident, we practice a three-step approach to healing that works best when the patient and chiropractor participate in the process.
Stage 1: Proper Spinal Alignment
The Chiropractic adjustment is sometimes referred to as joint or spinal manipulation, and depending on your pain, your comfort level, and what we need to help fix, we may perform an adjustment in your first or second visit at Stucky Chiropractic.
To do this, we will use either our hands (manual) or special instruments to move your joints. An adjustment can provide pain relief, as well as help to correct your body’s alignment. This can also help to improve your overall physical health and function. In most cases, you may need several adjustments to help your joints stay in their correct position.
Putting Your Spine in its Natural Position
During your adjustment, we will use a quick arm thrust to move your joint(s). You may experience a “popping” sound during the procedure, which is the result of the joint releasing carbon dioxide, nitrogen and oxygen that has built up. This process is known as joint cavitation. Some patients feel an immediate sense of relief after the adjustment, as the pressure on the joints and nerves is released. In some cases, patients experience minor discomfort or soreness after the first couple of adjustments as muscles are being used differently.
Any pain and discomfort is usually relieved with the application of ice. If you are tense during your exam, you may not experience the “popping” sounds on adjustment. To help relax you and the area of your body we need to work on, we may perform minor electrical stimulation, massage or allow you to rest before attempting the adjustment again.
Depending on the type of adjustment you need, we may use special instruments to help move your joints back into correct alignment. We receive specialized training to help us know what type of adjustment would best help you and will determine the best course of treatment for your body.
Stage 2: Re-Building Strength
When your body has been compensating for an injury that has thrown your body out of its natural alignment, your muscles can become weaker in some areas and may not correctly support your muscles in their proper place. Once your body has returned to the correct position, your muscles will need to be strengthened in order to support the proper bone placement and maintain alignment.
To facilitate your strength development, we may suggest specific exercises to strengthen your muscles. It is important you do these exercises between visits to the chiropractor to help your body regain strength and heal.
Strengthen Your Body
Studies have shown that patients who perform strengthening exercises after their chiropractic adjustments will heal faster than those who only have an adjustment performed. During your appointment, we will show you the exercises that will benefit you, and then have you practice them in the office. It allows us to observe the way you are performing the exercise, and offer correction as needed. It also gives you the confidence that you are performing the exercises properly.
Working out right after an adjustment may undo the work your chiropractor has just completed. Allow your body at least 30 minutes to adjust to the new joint position before exercising after your adjustment. Your doctor will discuss appropriate types of exercise that can improve your muscle strength and discuss the types of exercise you should avoid.
Stage 3: Improving Overall Flexibility
The final step in our comprehensive care approach is to improve flexibility. When your body is aligned correctly, you can bend and move more smoothly and without pain. Strengthened muscles can support your bones more effectively, provide ease of movement and help you avoid injury in the future. Flexibility can reduce your overall joint and muscle pain, as well as improve your balance.
To aid in your flexibility, we may recommend exercises and stretching for you to perform. Yoga stretches can help, as well as specific stretching exercises that will target weakened areas of your body. Hip flexor stretches, hamstring stretching, glute stretching or other moves are a few of the exercises that can help your body heal while increasing strength and improving flexibility. Flexibility and strength work hand-in-hand. Both are equally important to your recovery.
By using this three-step approach to care, we correct any misalignments, strengthen your muscles to preserve the correct alignment and then improve flexibility to prevent future injury and damage. When all three components are working together, you are able to heal properly. Help us help you.
Contact us today to schedule your comprehensive appointment and find out how we can put our experience to help heal your body.