Top Tips to Chiropractic Treatment, Part Two
A holistic approach to disease and treatment is the hallmark of the chiropractic physician as illustrated in The Chiropractic Treatments, Part One. Part Two continues with the other treatments and therapies available to the chiropractic patient.
Electrical muscle stimulation, EMS, works by sending electronic pulses through the skin to stimulate the nerves and muscles. It usually is a compact battery operated device that the chiropractor places over an injured area. The low frequency electrical pulses cause the muscles to exercise to prevent atrophy. It is an excellent choice when muscles cannot be stimulated in other ways. For example, prolonged bed rest or inactivity of a limb after an injury can result in serious muscle weakness. The low frequency of the EMS also stimulates the brain which drives impulses through involuntary muscles and stimulating them also. EMS is especially recommended for the loss of mobility resulting from fractures and operative procedures like arthroscopy in shoulders, knees, and back. EMS can help relieve and manage chronic pain from back pain and arthritis. EMS is successfully used to treat carpal tunnel.
Interferential therapy is a therapeutic treatment that sends small amounts of electrical impulses to an injury by a hand held device. The waves emitted by the device intersect below the skin to create a low level stimulation. The body responds by secreting endorphins and other natural pain killers to relieve pain. Blood circulation to the injured area increases to help heal muscle weakness. Combined with chiropractic adjustments, interferential therapy is an effective method to reduce pain. Interferential treatment generally lasts twenty minutes. Relief from pain using interferential therapy is longer lasting than some other chiropractic treatments.
Diathermy uses high frequency currents to produce specific thermal effects. There are two forms of diathermy widely used: ultrasound and short wave. Both produce moderate heat to increase blood flow and speed up metabolism. Tissues in tendons, joints, and scars are more easily stretched when heat is applied, therefore, relieving stiffness of joints and relaxing muscles by decreasing muscle spasms.
Therapeutic ultrasound generates a high frequency alternating current which is converted into vibrations. An apparatus is slowly moved across the treated surface. Ultrasound is effective in applying heat to increase blood flow to reduce pain.
Short wave diathermy machines operate with two condenser plates placed on either side of the body to be treated. High frequency waves travel through the body tissues between the condenser plates and are converted into heat. The depth of heat penetration depends upon the absorption of the tissues the waves encounter. Short wave diathermy is prescribed for deep muscles and joints that are covered with heavy soft tissue mass like the hip.
Cryotherapy is the application of two procedures. One is the super freezing of damaged tissues in order to destroy it. This procedure is performed either with a cotton swab dipped into liquid nitrogen or a probe that has liquid nitrogen flowing through it. The freezing may cause some discomfort which is solved by first applying a numbing medicine to the area first. Cryotherapy is a common treatment for the removal of warts. When ice packs or ice therapy is used in cryotherapy is for the control of joint pain and inflammation. The ice packs are placed on the area to be treated.
Hydrocollator packs use a technique of heat application. Hot packs are used to raise the surface temperature of soft tissues. Such moist heat therapy is recommended for relaxing tissues associated with pain and muscle tightness.
Chiropractic treatments offer a holistic approach to therapy which is founded on the belief the body is the best healer. These top tips to the chiropractic treatment are the philosophy of non-invasion healing.