If you're suffering from chronic pain, or you're recovering from an injury, you may be considering alternative therapy known as chiropractic care. Chiropractors are not medical doctors, but they do have extensive training with the musculoskeletal function of the human body, and have developed a number of methods to treat and alleviate pain. To help you understand what chiropractors can do, here are the common services you can expect on a typical visit.
Spinal Manipulation -- Manipulation, also known as an adjustment, refers to a hands-on technique that chiropractors use. They position your body into a number of different positions in order to apply a quick, powerful thrust that often makes a popping or cracking sound. This manipulation is designed to realign your joints, as back, leg, and shoulder pain can be the result of your joints being thrown out of alignment. Spinal manipulation can relieve not just back pain, but it can also improve your posture, take pressure off your knees, and restore a range of motion to your arms and shoulders. Manipulation is one of the main methods chiropractors use in their treatment.
Electric Muscle Stimulation -- Electric muscle stimulation (EMS) is a method of chiropractic care in which electrodes are attached to areas of your body where you are feeling pain or discomfort, and electric pulses are activated that stimulate your nerves and tissue, helping to increase blood flow and speed healing. EMS can also be an effective countermeasure to muscle spasms caused by inflamed nerves, especially in your back. EMS is thought to obstruct your body's pain signals, and help release endorphins, which are pleasure chemicals your body produces.
Ultrasound -- Chiropractic care also makes use of ultrasound therapy, which utilizes sound waves to penetrate deep into your tissue for pain relief and inflammation reduction. Ultrasound devices typically feature a round wand that is placed directly against your skin with a gel to ease movement across areas of your body. The sound waves move at a high frequency that generates heat in your joints and muscles. This acts as a sort of deep-tissue massage that can reduce swelling and stimulate blood flow to the affected area.
The goal of chiropractic care is to view your body holistically, instead of isolating the areas that are experiencing pain. Chiropractors, like those at North Pole Chiropractic, have many other tools in their arsenal, including hydrotherapy, low level laser therapy and special exercises designed to restore range of motion.