What is Chiropractic?
The modern chiropractor is an important cog in the evolving healthcare system. Chiropractic is profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to conservatively treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, headache, pain in the joints of the: arms, legs, and jaw. Doctors of Chiropractic practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis, treatment, and patient education. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills, trained in a multimodal approach to manual treatment, recommend a range 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. Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation doctors 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 members of the health care team. We pride ourselves on developing strong working relationships with many of the local healthcare providers. This provides a great referral network but also insures that if one of our patients needs another form of healthcare, we can provide the most appropriate referral to doctors who specialize in the involved region and display excellent bedside manner.
The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as “manipulation,” also called a “chiropractic adjustment.” An adjustment can be performed on the spine or in the extremities. The type(s) of adjustment techniques that are administered depends on individual patient needs. The purpose of adjusting is to restore joint mobility and range of motion to joint by manually applying a controlled force into a joint that has become restricted in its normal movement (hypomobile). Typically, adjusting involves applying a conservative and specific low amplitude force to the area to allow for better movement. Loss of joint motion in a joint is typically a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injuries 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 for an extended period of time. Once the injury has occurred, the injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function. Allowing joints to remain in a restricted state will ultimately lead to degenerative changes, soft tissue imbalances, movement dysfunction, and pain. The goal of adjusting is to restore mobility of the affected joint and tissues, thereby alleviating bio-mechanical stress and tension, allow surrounding tissues to heal, and hopefully retard degeneration.
The doctors of Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation do not only rely on adjustments to correct a patient’s problem. We believe strongly in using an integrated multifaceted approach of treating a neuromusculoskeletal condition. The chiropractic adjustment is a very effective and powerful treatment. However, in many situations, adjusting does not correct imbalances and dysfunction in the “soft tissues” including: muscles, tendons, ligaments, and even nerves. We implement a verity of manual therapy techniques to effectively treat the soft tissues; such as treatments based on the clinically proven Active Release Technique (ART) and SASTM Technique. By complementing adjusting or solely using these soft tissue techniques, we can produce fast, effective, and long lasting results for patient’s problems.
The final stage of Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation’s integrated treatment model is the prescription of specific progressive rehabilitative exercises. Rehabilitative/Stabilization exercises are often necessary to help the patient "hold" the effects of chiropractic manipulation and soft tissue treatment. Whereas chiropractic manipulation in conjunction with soft tissue treatment will help to eliminate pain and restore proper function, rehabilitative/stabilization exercises will allow the patient to improve strength and function to prevent future injuries. You may be able to Google many of the exercises we prescribe at our clinic. However, at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames, we get down on the ground and individually instruct you on each exercise. Remember only perfect practice makes perfect. After proper instruction, patients feel exercises working their bodies in a whole different way compared to exercising using incorrect posture and muscle activation.
Involving the patient in his or her own care plan is important, as chiropractic care should not be administered indefinitely for a specific complaint. The patient should ultimately be reliant upon him/herself to maintain their progress, and a transition will occur from dependence of care to independence. In many cases patients may continue to see the doctors of Team Chiro and Rehab after their symptoms have diminished and they have returned to normal function, in a performance care program.