Physical Medicine: Here is a brief explanation of the treatment modalities offered in this office.
Spinal Manipulation (SM): When most people think of chiropractors, SM is what comes to mind and with good reason because it is the one thing all chiropractors have in common. SM is usually done by hand, but there are mechanical adjusting instruments that are also commonly employed. The Activator mechanical instrument and the Impulse electrical unit are two used in this office.
How does Manipulation work to reduce pain? Joint manipulation is the quickest and best way to fix joint subluxation, which is simply joint "lock." Joints were designed to move freely through their normal range of motion. Patients sometimes refer to this as a "cric," a "kink" or a "catch" that prevents their normal range of neck or back movement. It is usually felt as a sharp pain on certain movements, restricting movement of the joint involved. Joints must all mesh and glide smoothly for proper function. Occasionally one or more joints can "jam" together, locking those segments. The solution: bring motion back into this dysfunctional joint by applying manipulation to it, breaking the "jam", returning full motion to that joint.
Acupuncture: Our bodies naturally produce chemicals called "neurotransmitters." The insertion of needles into specific acupoints along your spine increase the production of these neurotransmitters, which include endorphins, enkephalons, cortisol plus many others, secreted in the cord and mid-brain. Those chemicals are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. We have been using this modality in office since 1997, when we were certified by the Virginia Board of Medicine to practice acupuncture.
Cold Laser Therapy: The therapeutic effects of laser therapy include improved healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation and decreased swelling. Laser light triggers biological reactions in the cells. Chemical substances are released and carried by blood and lymph to other parts of the body, creating systemic healing effects. It suppresses inflammatory enzymes that create swelling. It also releases tight muscles that create chronic pain, joint problems that decreases mobility.
Ultra Sound (US): US gets deep into the muscles ligaments surrounding the joint where the injury is located. It has long been used as an anti-inflammatory agent by breaking down the exudates of injury into tiny molecules that can be absorbed by the body, cleaning up the injured area, speeding the healing process. Healing agents placed on the skin can be carried through the skin to also speed the healing process. This process is called "phonophoresis." Our office has a number of US units with different size heads to accommodate the various sites of injury.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS): Many patients are familiar with TENS units for home use. How does EMS of the office differ from TENS. The office unit is more sophisticated, offering a variety of currents: Interferential, High Volt Galvanic and Russian. They are all computer driven to constantly vary the pulse frequency through the treatment. TENS is typically used for chronic pain conditions to reduce the pain while they are worn on the person throughout the day. When it is removed, the pain returns. They are used to control pain, not heal. The office units are used to reduce inflammation, hasten healing and to make manipulation more effective.
Diathermy: Shortwave diathermy produces deep heat to treat pain and inflammatory conditions such as sprains, strain, bursitis, tendonitis and breaks up congestion in the sinuses and lungs. It is a soft, pleasant therapy where the large round applicator is placed over you with a towel in between.
Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field Therapy (PEMF): PEMF uses pulsed electromagnetic fields to cover low energy cells in raw, pure energy. Each cell in your body is just like a battery, which are called capacitors, that holds a charge. Your entire body is electrical and your cells each need a measurable electrical charge to function optimally. In order to maintain good wellness, cells must be doing their jobs. When the voltage in the cells drops below -15 millivolts or less the cells become dysfunctional and unable to heal. PEMF supports the body’s natural abilities to optimize balanced body functions.