Doctorate of Chiropractic degree (D.C.) in 1977 from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto.
Definition of chiropractic
Anatomy
First Visit
Chiropractic Treatment
Chiropractic Treatment & Management of Headaches
Conditions Treated At Dr. Fuller's Clinic
Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVAs)
Weight Training Injuries & Management
Nutrition Corner
Orthotics
Origins
Research & Other Updates
When To Consult A Chiropractor
Laser Therapy & Phototherapy
 
Chiropractic “adjustments” (often termed ‘manipulation’) is a treatment in which the chiropractor uses his or her hands to apply a very quick, precise, and safe amount of pressure directly on the affected area of your spine or other joints such as those of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, knee, ankle, or feet.
 

This pressure may momentarily separate the joints, allowing a gas bubble to escape (“cavitation”) and may cause a popping or cracking type sound.

 

This starts to relieve pressure on the joint and its surrounding nerves, and should cause some relief and improved movement in the hours afterward.

 
Chiropractors take pride in bringing the patient’s attention to factors that contribute to recovery as well as minimizing or preventing future recurrence.
 

Treatment may also include use of electrical muscle stimulation machines (often called EMS, interferential therapy, low volt, analgesic, tetanizing, which can produce pain relief, relaxation of tight muscles, muscle strengthening), as well as ultrasound (sound waves pass from the machine’s “sound head” through the skin causing a vibration of the local tissues but the patient feels nothing), manual (hands-on) myofascial therapies (similar to massage, sometimes including trigger point therapy) on muscles, percussion (vibration), and other techniques

 

Also involved is timely exercise instruction, daily activity verbal and written advice (do’s and don’ts), and other helpful adjunctive approaches.

 
What is meant by instability and stabilization of the spine and body?
 
Spinal stability is defined as the ability of the spine to resist buckling when undergoing a load demand.
 
There are 3 body systems which function to maintain spinal stability:
1. The central nervous system for control.
2. The osteoligamentous system (bones and ligaments, which act passively)
3. The muscle system (active function)
 
Minor trauma or injury can stretch tissues beyond their elastic limit without causing ruptures or tearing in many instances (Panjabi in Spinal Disorders 1992;5:383 and in Clinical Biomechanics 1999;14:24). Since there may be no ruptures or tears, imaging procedures (eg. xrays, CT, MRI) will not detect this problem.
 
Such stretching injury causes an expansion of the passive neutral zone of joints and this is “joint instability”.
 
The most common examination finding will be “excessive agonist-antagonist muscular co-activation.” (per Cholewicki in Spine 1997;22:2207)…. in simple terms, opposing muscle groups fighting against each other instead of working harmoniously. Such muscle imbalances alter the performance of movement patterns including activities of daily living which results in “instability.”
Muscle imbalances bring about substitution or compensation by other muscle groups.
In addition, a trained chiropractor may find some joints to be ‘hypermobile’ or loose and unstable while other joints are ‘hypomobile’ or “stiff.” In addition, it is important that the managing chiropractor provide rehabilitation at some point to develop co-ordination between agonist muscles (those that move us) and antagonist muscles (those that work in the opposite direction… eg. biceps and triceps).
 
How to achieve “stability” after injury? …… in a blending of passive chiropractic treatment including electrical muscle stimulation, hands-on myofascial therapy, joint mobilization and manipulation,  WITH exercises that are appropriate in timing and nature, one should strive toward  “load sharing” during functional tasks such as bending, kneeling, lunging, squatting, reaching, pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, and more. When in acute pain, one should be instructed as to the type of exercises that are appropriate to the injured tissues, avoiding for instance end-range flexion or extension exercises.
 
In particular, an injured back during its vulnerable recovery phase should avoid forward flexion (bending forward) exercises or activities early in the morning or after sitting or stopping as these reinjure spinal ligaments, joint capsules, and discs  (Bogduk & Twomey in Clinical Anatomy of the Lumbar Spine 1997).
 
An injured spine (which includes the neck) requires expert chiropractic treatment that will blend with properly timed and designed rehabilitation which focuses on developing co-ordination between agonist and antagonist muscles, a fast speed of contraction of stabilizing muscles, increased aerobic conditioning, and muscle endurance. When these elements are properly and conscientiously applied by the chiropractor and patient, these yield better joint stability (sources – Buchbinder in Spine 2001;26:2535; Coste in BMJ 1994;308:577; Deyo in Spine 1998;23:2003; Radebold in Spine 2001;26:724; Levitt in Manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Motor System 1999.
 
Specific stabilization exercises for spinal and pelvic pains underwent recent review by Ferriera et al in the Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 2006;52:79 which reviewed 194 studies, of which they found 13 met inclusion criteria.
 
Overall they determined that stabilization exercises have no place for acute low back pain, but are “modestly beneficial” for chronic neck and back pain, as well as for treatment of cervicogenic headache (headaches caused by the neck). It is noted that the effects of stabilization exercises did not appear to be any greater than effects of spinal manipulation.
 
Best Lifting advice?
Avoid early morning lifting.
Avoid lifting after prolonged sitting or stooping.
Get frequent rest breaks.
Change job tasks to vary loads (eg. get up from sitting and do other activities).
Keep the low back curved while lifting.
Keep loads close to the body when lifting.
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