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Common Treatments


p  Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy (Adjustments)
“An adjustment” means the specific manipulation of one or more malfunctioning spinal or extremity joints (articulations).  The adjustment is given by hand after positioning you on a specially designed adjustment table and then applying the appropriate pressure to the areas that are out of proper alignment or that do not move properly.  Typically, you will hear a series of ‘clicks’ or ‘pops’ when the adjustment is delivered.  The first day following a treatment, there is typically some soreness for the first few hours in the morning that is relieved with stretching, normal movement and a warm shower.


p  Interferential Current Therapy (muscle stim.)
Interferential current is used for pain control; it is the most effective electric muscle stimulation (EMS) current for minimizing pain.  Four conductive pads are placed surrounding the painful area and a small current is conducted to cause the muscles to contract very quickly.  Depending on the particular setting, you will feel something between a ‘buzzing’ or ‘twitching’.  The treatment helps to release the body’s natural endorphins and enkephalins (pain killers), helps to clear away the waste products associated with injury, relaxes muscles spasms, and lasts from 1 to 4 hours depending on the level of injury &/or spasm.


p  Ultrasound
Ultrasound is the application of sound waves above human hearing to tissues to increase healing in an area.  It provides a micro massage, or a vibration, at the cellular level.  This treatment decreases pain by increasing the pain threshold, increases blood flow and flexibility, speeds nerve conduction velocity, and accelerates the healing process.  Ultrasound may also cause mild heating in the area, depending on how it is applied.  When properly applied, ultrasound will cause almost no sensation at all, although a mild warmth may be felt on the skin and sometimes deeper in the tissue if Biofreeze or other agent is combined with the conductive gel.  Please let us know immediately if the intensity of the treatment feels too high.


p  Heel lift                
If it is found that you have one leg more than 3mm longer than the other, an important component of your treatment and correction will be constant utilization of a corrective heel lift.  This will aid in faulty body mechanics, improve your static balance, create a corrective force, and support the benefits from soft tissue therapy and our adjustments.  It can also accelerate your healing, decrease your risk of more serious injury, and slow down the arthritis process.  In certain circumstances, more advanced corrective measures through custom-molded stabilizing orthotics will be utilized (see below).


p  Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring amino sugar found in the components of the building block in joint cartilage.  It is a dietary supplement for individuals who wish to support the structure and function of the body’s connective tissues such as cartilage, bone, tendons, ligaments and skin.  A recent (2006) study in the New England Journal of Medicine found Glucosamine and Chrondoitin together were almost as effective as Celebrex (Celecoxib) in all forms of arthritis (67% vs. 71%) without all the harmful side effects.  Recent research has also found that glucosamine sulfate could be the first treatment to slow the progression of osteoarthritis, and may impede the destruction of existing cartilage as well.


p  Cryotherapy (Ice)
The use of cold therapy, or cryotherapy, is often applied to a new injury or a recently exacerbated old injury to decrease pain, muscle spasm, and swelling.  Ice slows blood flow to the area and minimizes damage done by interrupted circulation caused by excessive swelling.  Ice is the safest and most effective way of treating sprains, strains, muscle spasm, and bruises.  You will feel the following sensations (CABN) during a normal treatment: 1) Cold  2) Increasing discomfort or an aching feeling 3) A painful burning sensation 4) Numbness or significant pain reduction.  The first time you apply ice, it can be very uncomfortable, but each treatment will get easier as you get used to the ice application.  If you have problems with circulation or decreased sensation in the injured area, please let us know immediately.  Too much ice can cause frostbite and/or nerve damage.


            p Use ice until the area is numb every _____ hour(s) for the next ___________ hours/days.


p  Moist heat
The application of heat helps to relax tight muscles, and to increase blood flow and nutrition to the area which can help speed healing once the initial inflammation has subsided.  It also helps the muscles and tendons respond better to being stretched and exercised.  This treatment should feel like gentle warmth, never hot or burning.  Using heat on swollen tissues can increase healing time by up to 3 times – so please avoid it.


            p Use moist heat for ______ minutes every _____ hours for the next ___________ hours/days.


p  Zymain
Due to the demands of stress and repair, adequate nutrition is essential following trauma.  During the normal healing process, there is an increase in cell and protein synthesis for which zinc is essential.  Vitamin C and manganese are especially critical to joint injuries because of their role in cartilage formation.


            p  Take _______ tablets _________ times per day between meals for _________ days.


p  Intersegmental Traction
Intermittent traction is performed while lying on your back on a specially designed table.  It can be used to help elongate soft tissues, decrease muscle spasm and pain, reduce pain in spinal disorders such as nerve impingement or disc herniation, reduce muscle fatigue, or treat disc degeneration or spinal stenosis.


p  Combination therapy
By combining ultrasound with an EMS, you are combining the therapeutic effect of the two different modalities and concentrate the benefits directly onto the tissues through the use of the ultrasound wand.  This therapy applies one pad at the end of a muscle group, and uses the ultrasound head to close the circuit allowing the current to pass through the effected muscle group. Another benefit is it decreases the total time you have to be in therapy. This therapy combination is effective for pain relief as well as muscle contraction, is effective in relieving the pain-spasm-pain cycle, and has been shown to be effective in breaking up trigger points.


p  Contrast therapy
The combination of heating and cooling promotes alternative dilation and constriction of blood vessels and helps to stimulate peripheral blood flow and healing.  This alternating process helps to flush out waste products of injury and healing, increase blood flow, increase pain threshold, and not aggravate joint swelling in the early phases of healing.


p  Therapeutic Massage
Therapeutic massage therapy is the mechanical stimulation of tissues by means of a rhythmically applied pressure and stretching.  Its benefits include increasing blood flow, relaxation of muscle, increased dispersement of waste products and removal of lactic acid, dilation of lymphatics, increased platelet count, loosens adhesions, softens scar tissue, increases oxygen consumption, and has been known to provide positive psychological effects from the ‘hands-on’ treatment.  Dr. Lommell has a number of qualified massage therapists that he refers to regularly.


p  Spray & Stretch
In order to reduce active and latent trigger points in muscle that have not responded to previous therapy attempts, a vapocoolant spray is applied to the effected muscles while the doctor specifically stretches the muscle.  This procedure is preceded by heat therapy such as diathermy, and is followed by deep pressure on the trigger points and cryotherapy.  This treatment can be rather uncomfortable, so it is reserved for only the very serious cases.


p  Custom-Fitted Stabilizing Orthotics
The human foot is an engineering marvel. Its 26 bones, network of muscles, and connecting soft tissues help support and propel a structure that far exceeds its size and weight.  All parts of this structure are interrelated, forming a biomechanical kinetic chain, where movement of one joint influences movement at all other joints.  The foot initiates a series of changes throughout the musculoskeletal system every time a step is taken.  If this structure of biomechanics falls outside established norms, the result can be spinal and pelvis distortion.
Flexible orthotics are custom designed to correct pedal imbalance that can lead to musculoskeletal problems.  Research confirms that orthotic use can enhance lower extremity biomechanics and modify minor deficits that inhibit the integrity of the pedal foundation]  When worn in conjunction with your program of care, orthotics can help:


Maintain pedal integrity for reduced serial changes in the lower extremity
Reduce heel-strike and restore normal foot function
Enhance the holding power of your chiropractic adjustments
Patients indicating sacroiliac, lumbosacral and lower spine instability, foot pronation/supination, and knee/hip problems are good candidates for orthotic therapy. Orthotics come as an insert into your existing shoes, sandals, and complete shoe systems.


If you have any questions, please feel free to ask Dr. Lommell at your next visit.

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