Techniques available at C.A.S.T. Chiropractic
As a new patient or a patient with years of chiropractic experience, knowing what techniques are utilized at a Chiropractic office would be helpful. While you can often get such information if you call, I have provided it here for your perusal.
Segmental Chiropractic techniques include:
1. Diversified - Diversified is a generic blending of named and unnamed techniques usually done by hand with low to moderate force often with an osseous release, (that pop or crack sound Chiropractors are famous for).
2. Toggle recoil - Toggle recoil is a specific upper cervical technique utilized to realign the Atlas and stimulate the brain stem. Usually done by hand with very high speed and low force without an osseous release.
3. Thompson drop work - Thompson drop work utilizes a table with drop sections, which suddenly stop after a small drop causing joints to move, utilizing inertia. This technique works particularly well with the large heavy bones of the pelvis, think sacroiliac, restoration of curves, assisting manual work of difficult lesions and other types of low back lesions. Always done by hand on a drop table with low to moderate force usually without an osseous release.
4. Cox Flexion Distraction - Cox flexion distraction work utilizes a table with a moving section, which lowers and rises while the doctor distracts lumbar vertebra utilizing the motion of the table. This is a lumbar disc technique done by hand with low force without an osseous release.
5. SOT - SOT is a low back and pelvic technique utilizing wedge shaped blocks to gentle realign the pelvic joints and improve low back biomechanics. This technique works particularly well with some types of low back cases, done by hand with wedge shaped blocks positioned under the pelvis with no force and no osseous release.
6. Impulse - Impulse work includes Activator, Impulse gun, Arthrostim and the state of the art Pro Adjuster which utilizes software and hardware technology developed by NASA. This technique approach utilizing special hand held tools that deliver high-speed impulses into the patient to improve segmental biomechanics, regional biomechanics or reduction of myofascial adhesions. This technique is usually low force and no osseous release.
7. Extremity Adjusting - Extremity adjusting can be done by hand, drop or impulse and is usually low to moderate force with and with out an osseous release.
Regional Chiropractic techniques include:
1. Chiropractic Biophysics - Chiropractic Biophysics is a technique utilizing blocks, wedges, and specific positioning of a patient before drop work is utilized for the corrections. This technique is based on correction to gravity and to ideal curvatures utilizing mirror image preloading. This technique has a powerful systemic effect on the nervous system.
2. Pierce Stillwagon - Pierce Stillwagon is a technique utilizing specific positioning of a patient before drop work is utilized to restore the proper curvature to the cervical spine.
3. The Ring Dinger Adjustment AKA Axial traction release - Axial traction release is done by hand or with appliances to axially stretch and or release the joints of a region --- this targets the disc in a region. This is a valuable technique for patients with moderate to severe osteoarthritis or cases where normal convalescence is not being realized.
These are the basic techniques utilized along with multiple types of soft tissue work including myofascial release, stretches, maneuvers, and exercises. For a complete list of Chiropractic techniques visit http://www.chirobase.org/09Links/chirotech.html or click here
Picking your chiropractor
Before I cover picking your Chiropractor I think it is in the best interest of all concerned to quickly address a few misconceptions.
A good Chiropractor is a one who will adjust me and get me out of pain and I will let him know when I need him. Not true! A good Chiropractor is not an expensive aspirin. A good chiropractor will educate you about how your body works, heals and maintains itself. Pain is a poor indicator of when to see a Chiropractor.
Chiropractors are great but you have to keep going. Whether you value your health or not is up to each individual to decide. Continuing Chiropractic care is a decision based upon your understanding of the body’s true abilities to heal. Your Chiropractor should be a coach in that pursuit.
New Chiropractors are the best or the best Chiropractors have been in the field for years. Both sound reasonable but after being a Chiropractor and a patient for over thirty years, I see no correlation.
The number one thing when picking your Chiropractor is to understand what you need and to look for a Chiropractor who fits those needs. If you have a headache, neck pain, rib pain, or low back pain you are the most common type of person who seeks Chiropractic care. This is Chiropractic 101 and virtually all Chiropractors will be able to address your needs. Local faulty biomechanics are usually simple to address with any of a variety of approaches. By that I mean you have a local segmental issue known as a subluxation, or to put it in simplest terms, you have a bone out of place causing localized pain etc. Whether it has been there five minutes or ten years, it will need to be realigned and Chiropractors are well trained to take care of such problems. If this is where you find yourself and you have no Chiropractic experience about which technique or D.C. is suitable in your area, my best advise is to ask around. Word of mouth referrals are pretty safe. If you do have Chiropractic experience and are in a new area looking for a DC who does a particular technique, call the local or state Chiropractic Association – They usually have some idea of which Doctors do certain techniques.
If you have more significant issues such as chronic states of dis-ease, progressive postural or multiple health challenges, you should be looking for a Chiropractor who does regional work. In my experience regional/postural work has a profound systemic effect on the entire nervous system. Having a regional Chiropractor is like having a practical neurologist on your side giving you the power to heal from most health challenges. If this is where you find yourself, you are like me and you will want to look for a certain type of DC. In my case, I suffered from multiple auto accidents, a broken neck in two places, and an avulsed disc in my low back. If the repeated traumas weren’t enough my problems were compounding by scoliosis which existed decades before my first Chiropractic adjustment. With all that going on, I only realized temporary relief with segmental work for years. I felt I was beyond repair. I found the care I needed with regional work. It freed me from pain, gave me back my health, my agility, my vitality and the quality of life I thought was forever gone. Regional work is based on normalizing the spinal curves and correcting to gravity. This has a systemic effect through out the body. The most common types of regional work are CBP (Chiropractic biophysics), Pettibon, Pierce Stillwagon and ABC (Advanced Biostructural Correction).
After you have made an initial decision about the complexity of your needs there are several other considerations when picking a Chiropractor. Since your Chiropractor may be a health partner for decades or even the rest of your life I would suggest your decision making process include some or all of the following.
Before you go to any DC look them up on line, visit their website, look at the quality of their information. Look for complaints and check with the regulatory agencies. Know a little about them if possible before you enter their office.
Once you find some Chiropractors you think you might like, look for a Chiropractor who does a thorough work up to rule out conditions contraindicated to Chiropractic care. One who will make referrals when indicated and work in concert with other health care professionals in your best interest. I would also recommend a Chiropractor who can think out of the box and has a deep bag of tricks at his or her disposal. He or she should also be willing to discuss and explain your health care concerns to you in terms you understand.
Look for a Chiropractor who is not fixated on your symptoms as a measure of your improvement but doesn’t ignore your symptoms either. You would be surprised at actually how big of an issue this can be. While it is true your body can heal from almost anything when nerve interference is removed, ignoring symptoms visit after visit without modifying the treatment approach is poor doctoring and not what you are looking for. This is a common issue in high volume practices where denying personalized care keeps the visit short.
Look for a DC with massage available in the office. If there is no massage then look for a DC who will do myofascial release or ART (active release technique).
Ask your DC if they do extremity work – you will need it from time to time.
Ask your DC if they treat peripheral neuropathies, (carpal tunnel, Thoracic outlet syndromes). There are many peripheral neuropathies and DCs who treat them have a deeper bag of tricks.
Look for a Chiropractor who educates you about proper exercises and stretches for your particular condition(s). Empowerment is a good thing.
Look for a Chiropractor who educates you not only about your particular problem but how you body works in general. Again empowerment is a good thing.
Look for a Chiropractor who will educate you on ergonomic issues at work.
Look for a Chiropractor who emphasis core work along with your exercise routine. All outcome studies indicate core work is key to rehabilitation and prevention
Look for a Chiropractor who emphasis balance works, (kinesthetics) with your exercise routine. All outcome studies indicate kinesthetic work is key to rehabilitation and prevention.
Follow these simple ideas and you will find a great Chiropractor. One who will enhance not only your health but your life. There are many diamonds in the Chiropractic community so don’t limit yourself to my suggestions. They are simply that suggestions.