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Chiropractic and pain management: we got your back!

5394141_origMany people correlate chiropractic care with cracking or popping joints. They seek chiropractic for spine related problems such as neck, mid or low back pain. What they don’t realize is how advanced chiropractic therapy has become as research has shown the effectiveness of manipulation (instantaneous but short term fix) in combination with exercise based rehab ( strengthening, stretching and releasing or postural changes) is the most efficient approach to preventative pain management, even more effective than any medication which is used only for symptom relief. And the best part? It’s not only for your back! Our scope of practice involves any joint, nerve or muscle in your body, from your jaw to your big toe!

At our clinic, the doctors of chiropractic are focused not only on manipulation and mobilization of the joints but also myofascial health- the muscles and connective tissue supporting the spinal column.

Unless if there is repetitive trauma or direct trauma to a joint, what we commonly see in practice is myofascial pain; pain arising from dysfunctional muscle and fascia due to poor posture, poor ergonomics from sitting to sleeping patterns, and repetitive trauma causing stiffness or spasticity, inflammation, weakness and fatigue, in turn causing limited range of motion in the joints which causes a poorly functioning system. The patient will complain of lack of motion in a part of the body or inability to perform an activity of daily living: i can’t turn my neck, or I can’t stand from a seated position without pain, or I can’t get out of the car without pain, I have pain and swelling in my wrist.

Movement is created from sensory input from the brain to the muscle, which is transferred to the muscle, connective tissue and then skeleton. The system works as a whole, so why would a practitioner isolate a muscle or a single joint in regards to therapy?

Our approach to pain management at Diversified Integrated Sports Clinic focuses on manual therapy so we can create biomechanical change in soft tissue structures, such as reducing swelling and spasm, easing out trigger points and promoting blood flow;  in combination with joint mobilization, fascial stretching, dry needling or instrument assisted techniques such as Graston, cupping and taping, the patient will have a well rounded approach to inflammatory control and return to function. We don’t use machines, mainly because we don’t see permanent change with ultrasound or electrical stimulation which can’t change the structure of tissue. Once our job is done, we then work in integration with the physiotherapist or sports therapist for movement based rehabilitation which is the long term preventative solution.

Many patients often ask how long does it take to become pain free. That depends on the individual, your biomechanics, whether you are willing to work for physical change and break bad habits. It doesn’t take the brain and body long to adapt to a new behavior or movement pattern as long as we are willing to make the change.

What we try to teach our patients is that nothing works in isolation. Our body is a complex system that works optimally when all the structures, from bone to blood vessels, are healthy. As doctors of chiropractic, we never have a reductionist approach but a holistic approach to the patients health and causes of pain. The rest is up to you to follow through!

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