Chiropractic Care and Joint Manipulation
Chiropractic physicians practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
Joint manipulation, also known as “adjustments” or “cracking” joints, is one of several tools chiropractors use to treat pain and improve function in patients.
Chiropractic adjustments or manipulations are used to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become restricted in their movement. These restrictions occur as a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time.
Regardless of the origin of injury these tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause pain, inflammation, and diminished function for the patient. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.
Myofascial release is a hands-on treatment that is meant to release tension or restrictions in the fascia due to trauma, posture, or inflammation. The connective tissues that surround the muscles, bones, nerves, and organs of the body are known as fascia. Restrictions in the fascia can place a great deal of pressure on nerves and muscles causing chronic pain and dysfunctional movement which can lead to injury.
Therapeutic exercises are any physical activities that focus on restoring and maintaining strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance. The goal of therapeutic exercises is to return an injured patient to a fully functioning, pain-free state as quickly and as safely as possible. Additional strength and conditioning exercises can also be prescribed to enhance performance, improve movement patterns and prevent injury.