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What is a chiropractic adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is a specific procedure done by a licensed chiropractor with the use of their hands and/or mechanical devices to create a gentle movement to a specific joint in a specific direction to improve range of motion and function. Chiropractic adjustments also are known as spinal manipulation or extra-spinal manipulation if performed on an extremity.

How can chiropractic adjustment help me?

The objective of a chiropractic spinal manipulation or extra-spinal manipulation is to:

  • improve range of motion,
  • maximize joint function,
  • re-educate the adjacent soft tissues,
  • decrease pain, and
  • reduce any nerve pressure or interference.

Before a chiropractic adjustment can be performed on a patient, the doctor will complete a proper clinical examination. This examination will include a history, physical exam, x-rays, and possibly additional testing depending on the case. The purpose of these examinations is to rule out any “red flags” that might be contraindicated for chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments are safe when performed by an experienced and highly trained licensed Doctor of Chiropractic. 

Are there different types of chiropractic adjustments?

Chiropractic adjustments or manipulations fall into two categories of manual or mechanical.  Manual chiropractic adjustments are performed by the hands of the doctor.  Mechanical chiropractic adjustments are performed using an instrument or particular table.  One of the most widely used instruments used in mechanical adjustments is called an activator.  An activator is a spring-controlled instrument that provides a specific soft thrust into a joint or the surrounding tissues. This tool is used if a patient’s spinal bones are less dense, such as with aging females who have osteoporosis. 

Another mechanical technique is called “Thompson Drop” and is used to establish function to a patient’s low back and pelvis region.  Chiro-Med S.C. performs both manual and mechanical spinal mobilization adjustments based on each patient’s individual spinal condition.

When are manual vs. mechanical chiropractic adjustments performed?

Manual chiropractic adjustments or spinal manipulations are considered the most common type of chiropractic treatment. With this type of spinal manipulation, an audible sound is most often heard by the patient and doctor. This reassures the chiropractor that the manipulation was successful. Manual chiropractic adjustments are performed on spines or joints that demonstrate no arthritis or minor arthritic changes.

Mechanical adjustments are performed when a patient’s history and exam demonstrate severe arthritis or if a patient has a history of cardiovascular disease.  Instrument or mechanical mobilizations are considered low force adjustments and are commonly used in chiropractic care for patients dealing with certain conditions like weakness of bones, tumors, or other pathologies. This technique is done in a gentle approach and some patients might hear an audible sound; however, hearing an audible sound is not the goal during this specific chiropractic technique. 

Chiro-Med S.C. uses manual and/or mechanical chiropractic adjustments on spines and extremities, such as shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles.

What is a chiropractic adjusting table?

Your chiropractor will instruct you on how to position yourself on the chiropractic adjusting table to prepare you for your adjustment. The chiropractic adjustment table allows the doctor to properly assess you before performing the adjustment without the additional stress of your body weight and gravity.  This approach allows for a comfortable, relaxed, and quick adjustment.  You may or may not hear a popping noise, depending on which technique the chiropractor uses.  This sound is evident of the joint motion as gas is exiting a synovial joint as it is adjusted or mobilized.  There is an art and science mastered by the doctors at Chiro-Med to allow this phenomenon to happen. If the doctor uses a mechanical adjustment, joint function is improved; however, remember an audible release is rarely heard.

Are other modalities used with a chiropractic adjustment?

Chiro-Med S.C. doctors use physical therapy modalities as part of their treatment plans. Chiro-Med S.C. doctors properly administer the physical therapy modalities in conjunction with chiropractic adjustments for the best results. Physical therapy modalities address the supporting tissues to an injured joint.  Chiro-Med uses the following physical therapy modalities in conjunction with the chiropractic adjustments to:

  • decrease pain,
  • decrease inflammation,
  • decrease muscle spasms, and
  • promote healing by decreasing blood supply to the affected injury site.

The specific physical therapy modalities used at Chiro-Med S.C. include:

  • therapeutic ultrasound,
  • electrical stimulation for muscles,
  • infrared & cold laser therapy,
  • neck and low back traction,
  • intersegmental traction,
  • superficial dry needling,
  • kinesio taping, and
  • percussion therapy.

What types of cases and conditions are successfully treated at Chiro-Med S.C.?

Chiro-Med S.C. has successfully treated more than 750,000 patients in the past 36 years in Waukesha County.  The doctors at Chiro-Med S.C. make sure the patient understands their condition and how long it will take to reach maximum medical improvement.  A large portion of the patient base treated is for degenerative spinal conditions (arthritis) or healthy individuals who want to live with less pain as they age through our wellness care.  The injured patients were either hurt at work and treated as a workman’s compensation patient, involved in an auto accident, or injured while participating in a sports event; thus, we provide sports medicine care, too. 

How can I become a patient at Chiro-Med S.C.?

If you would like to become a patient at Chiro-Med S.C., you can select Contact Us on our website and complete the form for us to contact you, or you can call us at 262-542-4700.  We accept patients of all ages.  We hope when you are searching for the best chiropractor near me, you choose Chiro-Med S.C. now that you have learned about chiropractic adjustments.

 

 

Chiropractic Care treats Shoulder Pain

Chiropractic care aims to identify the root cause of pain and avoid masking it with medication alone. Chiropractic care works with the musculoskeletal system to help patients get out of pain and return to their daily activities. The shoulder is an integral joint of the body and must be able to function in collaboration with the whole spine. However, the shoulder can be a common site of injury, pain, and other issues for patients. Some of the most common shoulder problems include tendinitis, bursitis, strain or sprain, dislocation, rotator cuff injury, and frozen shoulder.

Many people believe that they have to adjust to living with their shoulder pain, or that surgery is the only treatment option available. Fortunately, patients have the option to seek chiropractic care for treatment of their shoulder pain. A proper examination done by an experienced, licensed chiropractor can help determine the root cause of shoulder pain to guide a non-surgical treatment plan.

Frozen Shoulder – What is it and how can chiropractic care help?

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is a very painful shoulder condition that can make it difficult for patients to complete their everyday tasks. The condition is most common in people between age 40 and age 60 and is more prevalent among women. While the exact cause of frozen shoulder is unclear, it is understood that the connective tissue in the shoulder joint becomes abnormally thick and forms adhesions. Without proper treatment, frozen shoulder can prevent patients from using the effected shoulder for months and sometimes even years.

Chiropractic care can help treat frozen shoulder by reducing pain and improving the joint’s range of motion, while reducing or eliminating the need for pain medications, injections, and/or surgery. Some treatments a chiropractor may use for frozen shoulder include ultrasound therapy, laser therapy, and superficial dry needling, which have shown to be effective treatment for patients with this condition. Additionally, chiropractic adjustments to the neck and mid-back help to increase functionality, as other parts of the spine may compensate for a frozen shoulder.

Shoulder Bursitis – What is it and how can chiropractic care help?

Bursitis refers to inflammation of the bursa, which is a fluid filled sac that helps joints have a full range of motion and withstand compressive forces. Shoulder bursitis involves painful inflammation of the shoulder joint bursa, and it can take weeks or months to heal without proper treatment. Chiropractic care can be an effective way to treat shoulder bursitis and reduce its symptoms in patients.

One research study found that patients who received chiropractic care, including ultrasound therapy, reported no pain and fully returned to their normal activities by the end of treatment (2). Ultrasound therapy given before a chiropractic adjustment is highly effective in treating bursitis, because ultrasound helps reduce inflammation, pain, and adhesions. The reduction in inflammation is important to “loosen” the joint and provide a much better outcome for a chiropractic manipulation to the joint. Finally, treatment with chiropractic adjustments helps alleviate pressure and friction over the affected bursa area to prevent further inflammation and pain.

Rotator Cuff Injury – What is it and how can chiropractic care help?

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and allow movements of the arm and shoulder. According to a study published in the Journal of Orthopedics, a rotator cuff tear is the most common shoulder problem and becomes more common with increasing age (1). Unfortunately, a rotator cuff injury does not always produce symptoms that allow the patient to realize the injury. Rotator cuff tears without any symptoms are two times more common than tears that cause symptoms, which can lead to longer injury periods without any treatment. Patients who are having difficulty raising their arm over their head and/or having shoulder pain when sleeping on their side may have a rotator cuff injury that needs to be treated. Additionally, most patients with rotator cuff injuries develop trigger points and tight muscles near the front of the affected shoulder.

Patients who suspect they may have a rotator cuff injury should seek an assessment and treatment from a trained chiropractor. The chiropractors at Chiro-Med are very experienced in successfully treating rotator cuff tears and other injuries. Chiro-Med S.C. frequently uses laser therapy to speed up the healing process of rotator cuff tears. Rehabilitation exercises are also used to help strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder and prevent future injury once the pain and inflammation are reduced.

If you would like to become a patient at Chiro-Med S.C., you can select Contact Us on our website and complete the form for us to contact you, or you can call us at 262-542-4700.  We accept patients of all ages.  We are confident you will have a great experience that focuses on patient communication, an accurate diagnosis, and an effective treatment approach that includes a chiropractic adjustment and/or physical therapy modalities.

References

  1. Minagawa, Hiroshi & Yamamoto, Nobuyuki & Abe, Hidekazu & Fukuda, Masashi & Seki, Nobutoshi & Kikuchi, Kazuma & Kijima, Hiroaki & Itoi, Eiji. (2013). Prevalence of symptomatic and asymptomatic rotator cuff tears in the general population: From mass-screening in one village. Journal of Orthopaedics. 10. 8–12. 10.1016/j.jor.2013.01.008.

 

  1. Pribicevic, M., Pollard, H. A multi-modal treatment approach for the shoulder: A 4 patient case series. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 13, 20 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-1340-13-20