Chi­ro­prac­tic Care for All Ages

Alternative Medicine - - Editor’s Picks -

Spinal ma­nip­u­la­tion is the pri­mary ba­sis of chi­ro­prac­tic care. Pop­u­lar­ized in the 1980s, tech­niques like mas­sage and spinal ma­nip­u­la­tion help ad­just not only the spine, but also its sur­round­ing tis­sues— and th­ese tech­niques are es­pe­cially help­ful for those who suf­fer from back pain.

The Amer­i­can Chi­ro­prac­tic As­so­ci­a­tion (ACA) re­ports that there are seven most com­monly used chi­ro­prac­tic tech­niques:

DI­VER­SI­FIED TECH­NIQUE is char­ac­ter­ized by short, quick thrusts of pres­sure to re­stricted joints, with the goal of restor­ing proper move­ment.

EX­TREM­ITY MA­NIP­U­LA­TION AND AD­JUST­MENT treats joints other than the spine, such as wrists or knees, and may help cor­rect con­di­tions like carpal tun­nel syn­drome or pos­ture prob­lems.

AC­TI­VA­TOR METH­ODS use a hand-held, spring-loaded tool to gen­er­ate the light, quick force be­hind the ad­just­ment.

GONSTEAD TECH­NIQUE fo­cuses dis­tinctly on bal­anc­ing the body—par­tic­u­larly the spinal col­umn, through ad­just­ing the pelvis, ver­te­brae, and legs—to re­store nor­mal align­ment and mo­tion.

COX FLEX­ION DIS­TRAC­TION uses a spe­cial ta­ble where the spine is de­com­pressed and flexed for­ward; it's used to treat con­di­tions like lum­bar disc her­ni­a­tions and to in­crease spinal joint mo­bil­ity.

THOMP­SON TECH­NIQUE em­ploys a spe­cial ta­ble with “drop pieces,” seg­ments that will al­low the ta­ble to drop a frac­tion of an inch when the thrust is de­liv­ered; the goal is to open the joint dur­ing the ad­just­ment and min­i­mize the force re­quired.

SACRO OC­CIP­I­TAL TECH­NIQUE uses low force and slow pres­sure; tri­an­gle-shaped blocks, usu­ally placed un­der the pa­tient's pelvis, are used to treat lower back prob­lems.

Chi­ro­prac­tors choose the best tech­nique for each in­di­vid­ual pa­tient, de­pend­ing on their clients' unique pains and in­juries. One spe­cific tech­nique, such as the sacro oc­cip­i­tal tech­nique, will not rem­edy all pains. Chi­ro­prac­tors will also mod­ify the specifics of each tech­nique ac­cord­ing to the pa­tient's needs and de­sires. Just like tra­di­tional doc­tors, chi­ro­prac­tors treat all age groups—from chil­dren to the el­derly. Any­one who suf­fers from spe­cific mus­cu­loskele­tal prob­lems can ben­e­fit from chi­ro­prac­tic care that is uniquely tailored to the nu­ances of his or her spe­cific pain. As peo­ple get older, they of­ten be­gin to won­der whether they can still re­ceive safe chi­ro­prac­tic care; some wrongly be­lieve that chi­ro­prac­tic care will worsen their pain or pos­si­bly cre­ate a new in­jury. The truth is that it doesn't mat­ter how old a pa­tient is. Chi­ro­prac­tic care tailored to the pa­tient's spe­cific pain will in­crease vi­tal­ity as well as mo­bil­ity.

Be­fore de­cid­ing on a par­tic­u­lar treat­ment, the chi­ro­prac­tor will study the pa­tient's pains and med­i­cal his­tory. Pa­tients have unique mal­adies, and some ad­just­ments are specif­i­cally meant for those who fall within a cer­tain age range. For ex­am­ple, se­nior citizens will re­ceive gen­tle chi­ro­prac­tic ad­just­ments to ac­com­mo­date their sen­si­tive bones. ver­te­bre. Nu­mer­ous stud­ies in­di­cate that chi­ro­prac­tic care can help chil­dren with neck and back pain, as well as chronic ear in­fec­tions, colic, asthma, and even bed­wet­ting. Chi­ro­prac­tors em­ploy tech­niques that ad­dress the ver­te­bral mis­align­ment or spinal joint dys­func­tion. There is solid ev­i­dence, for ex­am­ple, that chi­ro­prac­tic soft tis­sue ma­nip­u­la­tive tech­niques ad­min­is­tered over the neck help chil­dren re­cover from se­cre­tory oti­tis, an in­fla­tion of the mid­dle sec­tion of the ear. Th­ese ma­nip­u­la­tive tech­niques of­ten stretch the eus­tachian tube (a small canal con­nect­ing the mid­dle ear to the back of the nose and up­per throat) enough to help drain flu­ids from the ear. Some par­ents of chil­dren with the afore­men­tioned mal­adies will visit chi­ro­prac­tors to check for mis­align­ments as fre­quently as once per month.

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