When people experience neck pain, back pain, or mobility problems due to a car accident, they seek out a chiropractor. Conditions that affect your bones, cartilage, connective tissue, joints, and muscles can be relieved with chiropractic care. Chiropractors may recommend specific rehabilitation exercises or lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy spine, in addition to physical adjustments.
Chiropractors usually use their hands to make adjustments but they may also use equipment to help. There are a few techniques that all chiropractors are familiar with, although each patient’s treatment may be slightly different.
Chiropractors use different manual treatment methods, such as stretching and prolonged pressure to specific joints involving a quick and gentle thrust. Manipulations improve joint motion and function. Adjustments are mainly for the spine, but other body parts may be treated this way.
The types of techniques used by a chiropractor may include:
- Adjustments: gentle joint realignment is used to reduce pain and increase motion.
- Soft tissue therapy: relaxes tight muscles, relieves cramps, and releases tension in the fascia surrounding each muscle.
- Exercises and Stretches: to restore and maintain joint stability and mobility.
- Joint Bracing/Taping (Kinesio Taping): To help support a sprained or strained joint or muscle while it heals.
Who can get a chiropractic adjustment?
Chiropractic adjustments are an effective treatment option for all age groups. However, people between 45 and 64 are most likely to seek chiropractic care. It’s more common for women to see a chiropractor than for men.
To know if you are a good candidate for chiropractic care, you need to be examined. Your chiropractor will refer you to another healthcare provider if chiropractic care is not appropriate for your condition.
Chiropractic Treatment Options for Pain Relief
Based on their expertise, each chiropractor will offer a different set of modalities. These are some of them:
- Flexion Distraction: Chiropractors use this technique for lumbar ailments, including lower back pain, disc injury, and sciatica. The goal is to increase spinal motion and fix bulging or herniated discs. A table allows the chiropractor to manipulate the position of the patient’s spine to perform flexion distraction. Personal Injury chiropractor uses manual techniques to relieve pressure on the disc with the motion of the table. The movement allows essential nutrients into the spinal discs to keep them healthy and functioning. The fact that this technique does not cause pain is perhaps one of the most important benefits.
- Gonstead Technique: a technique named after its founder, is one of the most precise and effective methods of relieving pain and promoting optimal spinal alignment. It is a manual technique that involves a chiropractor adjusting the lower back or pelvis while the patient lies on their side. This position allows the chiropractor to realign joints that may be causing pain, stiffness, or limiting an individual’s overall mobility. This technique is common among chiropractors.
- Activator Method: This technique relieves back and neck pain, headache, and nonspinal pain. The chiropractor uses an adjusting instrument called an activator, which uses a short, low-force impulse to target the affected area. The low speed prevents the typical response of other manual manipulation techniques causing the body to tense up. Another advantage is that the impulse is applied to a specific, localized area preventing the joints from flexing or moving into various compromised positions. To ensure that you are treated appropriately, the chiropractor adjusts the device.
- Extremity Manipulation: This technique manipulates joints outside the spine, like the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle. It is used with patients with carpal tunnel or posture problems. It reduces stress on the spine by aligning joints outside the spine and promoting healthy mobility. Depending on your sensitivity and the condition of your joints, the technique may cause some discomfort.
- Spinal Manipulation/Mobilization: This therapy can reduce inflammation in the entire body. Its goal is the restoration and improvement of joint function in the spine. It uses a gentle pushing movement and stretching to activate the joints and improve their mobility. Chiropractors work to relieve pressure on the joints, which can help your nerves function.
- The Drop Technique or the Thompson Technique: uses a unique table made of platforms that lower in tiny increments as the chiropractor applies pressure in a thrusting motion adjusting the spine or other extremities. The slow drop feels more like a vibration to the patient, making it less likely to experience pain or discomfort during the process. Chiropractors need to analyze the length of a person’s legs and how that correlates to the pelvis and spine.
- Ultrasound Therapy: This chiropractic modality can be especially helpful in treating inflammation. It uses sound waves to increase circulation. Ultrasound therapy is an excellent way to treat chronic pain from osteoarthritis. Often it’s followed by a chiropractic adjustment or some exercises to improve your range of motion. Sometimes it is combined with massage therapy to help heal more tissue.
- Interferential Current: This type of electrical stimulation is used to reduce pain and inflammation. Your chiropractor will place electrodes on the area of your body that is being affected and then send electrical currents there in small amounts, and most people will feel a slight tingling sensation. When used in conjunction with other chiropractic care, this treatment is very effective.
- Low-level Laser Therapy: The laser used in this process sends therapeutic light directly into your muscle tissue. It speeds up the healing process. Cold laser therapy is effective in the reduction of pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Is Chiropractic Care Effective?
With these simple but effective techniques, there are plenty of ways a chiropractor can help you heal. You might feel slight soreness or very mild pain in the areas of your body that have been worked on. Usually, within 24 hours, this feeling will go away. But, it is also important to follow your chiropractor’s recommendations after you receive a chiropractic adjustment, such as:
- Exercising and stretching.
- Learning proper ergonomics to help improve your posture.
- Ice/heat therapy or local pain medicine.
- Dietary, weight, or general health-related counseling.
- Stress management and muscle relaxation techniques.
A visit to a chiropractor after a car accident can have you back in shape much faster. Even though there are many benefits, here are some of the most relevant:
- Helps reduce migraines and neck headaches.
- Improves posture.
- Reduces spinal and joint pain and improves range of motion.
- Reduces symptoms of chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis.
- Treatment of minor neck and spinal injuries, particularly whiplash.
With so many advantages for patients of all ages, getting chiropractic care is something to consider today.