There is often confusion around what chiropractic treatment consists of and what types of conditions chiropractors treat. In general, chiropractors treat joint and muscle injuries using a conservative approach. This means chiropractic treatment does not involve any medications or surgery.
The ultimate goal of chiropractic care is to restore the body’s proper biomechanics, or to help the body move the way it should. When the body isn’t moving properly, this can result in pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. It can also increase the risk of of arthritis, other forms of degeneration, and injury.
Chiropractors help the body move better by assessing and treating three main components: joint dysfunction, muscle imbalance, and postural distortion. The body can be thought of as a machine. If one part of the machine is not working properly, the entire machine can’t function the way it was designed to.
Joint stiffness is an extremely common phenomenon that causes pain and stiffness, as well as tightness in the surrounding muscles. Chiropractic treatment effectively helps “stuck” joints move better with chiropractic adjustments and joint mobilization. We treat many patients using manual joint manipulation, but we also can effectively improve joint motion using Activator tools for a gentler approach. Sometimes joints actually move more than they should and are not as stable as they need to be. This is common after certain injuries or with conditions that cause ligament laxity. Chiropractic treatment addresses this issue by helping to strengthen surrounding muscles that will lend stability to the joint.
Muscle imbalance occurs when certain muscles are tight, overdeveloped, or overactive, and others are lengthened, underdeveloped, or inhibited. Most of us have numerous types of muscle imbalances throughout our bodies simply because of the ways in which we sit, stand, sleep, and move around throughout the day. There are several forms of muscle imbalances that many Americans commonly exhibit, such as weakness in the gluteal muscles and tightness in the hip flexors. When people live with longstanding muscle imbalances, this can result in pain and stiffness. It can also set the stage for injuries down the road. Chiropractic treatment for muscle imbalance involves specifically stretching and relaxing tight, overactive muscles and strengthening and activating weak, inhibited muscles. We treat muscle imbalances using a variety of soft tissue techniques, including deep tissue massage therapy, trigger point release, PNF, Graston, and kinesiology taping.
Postural distortions are extremely common and develop over time based on the way we use our bodies. As Americans, many of us spend more time that we should sitting. Even if we take time to exercise everyday, most of us still spend large parts of the day sitting still. This often results in predictable postural issues, such as forward head carriage and rounding of the shoulders. When we hold our bodies in improper postures for extended periods of time, this can cause and contribute to pain and stiffness. It can also make certain parts of the body more prone to injury. Chiropractic treatment addresses postural issues by helping patients make small, simple changes in their daily habits, such as the way they sit at their desks or in the car.
At Stamford Spine, our treatments always address all three of these components because we understand the roles they play in causing pain and injury. Please contact our office to learn more about how we can help you.