The human spine is made up of 24 movable bones called vertebrae. Sometimes these bones fail to move correctly and/or lose their proper alignment. This causes two problems. 1) The nerves that come off the spinal cord between the vertebral bones can become irritated and sometimes pinched, which has a negative effect on whatever that nerve goes to — muscles, sensory cells, internal organs, blood vessels to the brain, etc. 2) Uneven “wear and tear” on the involved joints that causes degenerative changes (arthritis).
The Chiropractic Doctor does an examination and sometimes takes x-rays to determine where these problems are and performs a series of “spinal adjustments” or “spinal manipulations” to re-establish proper motion and alignment. Other treatment modalities such as electrical muscle stimulation, traction (decompression), or orthotic shoe inserts may be used as well.
Chiropractic offers the patient the ability to be pain free, have more range of motion and to actually feel better. We focus on what’s causing your problem rather that masking the symptoms which is why Chiropractic is such an effective treatment form.
Our physical therapists are licensed professionals who work with people that have sustained disabilities, impairments, or limitations in their overall physical function. These deviations can be the result of disease, injury, or pathological processes. They examine, evaluate, diagnose, develop treatment plans, and provide prognosis for each patient on an individual basis. Through the modalities of exercise, mobilization, manipulation, heat, cold, and electrical stimulation, our physical therapists work to restore function, improve mobility, and decrease pain with the goal of re-establishing a patient’s prior functional level.
Our therapists focus on the evaluation of strength, balance, range of motion, co-ordination, endurance, and posture of each individual patient. From this initial examination, the physical therapist then develops a treatment plan specific to correcting pertinent physical findings. Each patient’s individual treatment plan is geared toward reaching specific rehabilitation goals that are set by the therapist and the patient together as a team. However, the physical therapist will help in determining realistic goals through their knowledge of pathology and prognosis.
Rehabilitation strategies often involve specific exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles as well as to improve posture, balance, and endurance. Physical modalities including heat, cold, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation are also incorporated into most treatment sessions.
Over the course of the rehabilitation period physical therapists document progress, re-evaluate physical findings, and modify treatment strategies as appropriate. In our office they are part of a team with Chiropractors, Pain Management Specialists, and Spinal Decompression Technicians, all with the same goal of reaching maximal patient functional independence.
Active Relase Therapy
What is Active Release Techniques (ART) to Individuals, Athletes, and Patients?
ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.
How do overuse conditions occur?
Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways: acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc),
- Accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
- Not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).
Each of these factors can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.
What is an ART treatment like?
Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.
These treatment protocols - over 500 specific moves - are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.
Only health care providers with a license to treat soft-tissue injuries or conditions can become certified in ART® and treat patients using this technique, including chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, certified athletic trainers, and medical doctors. However, you do not need a prescription in Active Release Therapy in order to be treated using the ART® technique.
Benefits and Positive Results
One of my long distance runners states that she suffered from chronic hamstring pulls on a regular basis and could not find out why it continued to happen. Changing her running biomechanics along with using ART in the lower extremity and gluteal muscles completely solved the problem.
Well I explained, When you find the real cause of the problem and treat it properly the results are predictable. With Active Release technique I have seen some amazing recoveries among football players, runners, track and field participants, soccer players, college volleyball players, lacrosse players and others. Furthermore the procedures work equally well for average men and women of all ages.
"I can’t believe that you were able to help me in two weeks for my chronic plantar fasciitis when I have been to the Orthopedist and Podiatrist for over a year with no success. I have had multiple cortisone shots, heel surgery and the problem not only seems to be getting worse in fact I can’t walk any distance at all without sitting down due to pain."
This experience described above is by no means unusual; I have treated many people with similar and different problems with one thing in common. They all have soft tissue that has been damaged by trauma, overuse or incorrect biomechanics.
The treatment is hands on where we locate the taught and tender fibers of the muscle and then through a series of contract and release procedures the musculature is released and returned to normal.