Chiropractic

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What is it, What do we do here at Synergy and Common Myths Surrounding the Profession

What is Chiropractic?

The word ‘chiropractic’ comes from the Greek words ‘their’ and ‘praktos’, which
translates to ‘Done by Hand’. Chiropractic is an evidence-based, non-invasive, hands-on
health care discipline that focuses on the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors practice
primarily using our hands, providing diagnosis, treatment, and preventative care for disorders
related to the spine, pelvis, nervous system, and joints.

What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?

A manipulation/adjustment is a low amplitude, high velocity thrust applied to joints of the spine, or extremity, that are not moving properly. The goal of the adjustment is to restore motion within the joint, which in turn reduces stiffness in the the joint and the surrounding musculature. Spinal adjustments also increase neural input to joints and muscles allowing improvements in overall mobility, function, and well-being. The “crack” one hears from an adjustment is a release of pressure/gas in the joint as more space is created for the joint to move – don’t worry, it’s not actually your bones cracking! An adjustment can be done a variety of ways, using hands-on manipulation, the Activator tool, or a Drop table.

Over the years, the chiropractic profession has progressed immensely. With new research and techniques constantly emerging end evolving, we here at Synergy are always staying up to date to ensure we provide our patients with the best possible care. While most people think of spinal adjustments when they think of chiropractors, we do much more than that. Below are a few differences between ‘Old’ vs ‘New’ Chiropractic Care.

Old ChiropracticNew Chiropractic
X-Ray every patient
• Used to x-ray every patient to detect ‘subluxed’
or out of place joints
Only Image when Indicated or Necessary
• Certain guidelines and rules are followed for
prescribing x-rays, or are ordered to rule out a
more sinister cause of pain
Subluxation Based/Adjustments Only
• Believed that all disease was caused by a
subluxed, or out of place, vertebrate, which
disrupted the flow of energy from the brain to
the rest of the body through
Multi-modal, Diversified, Evidence-Based
Treatments
• Treatments incorporating a variety of techniques
supported (manipulation, mobilization, soft
tissue therapy, acupuncture, Laser, cupping,
rehab, IFC, etc.) are used based on current
evidence and a patients specific condition and
their needs
Quick Treatments
• 3-5 minutes
Appropriate Treatment Durations
• 30-45 minutes to appropriately address the
patients needs and effectively treat their
condition

A Typical Chiropractic Visit at Synergy

At Synergy, our initial assessments are 60 minutes long to ensure there is enough time to get an in-depth history and thorough assessment of the patient, as well as a full treatment. Follow-up treatments are typically 30-40 minutes in length and incorporate a variety of techniques such as, soft tissue therapy, joint mobilization and manipulation, instrument assisted soft tissue techniques, cupping, acupuncture, as well as exercises and rehabilitation.

Who should see a Chiropractor?

Anybody can see a chiropractor! From newborns to seniors, office workers, athletes, pre and  post-partum, just to name a few – we see, and have had success treating, many different conditions. Chiropractic care can benefit everybody as maintaining proper spinal, joint, and muscle health is crucial for optimal function and well-being. Whether it is an episode of acute back pain, chronic neck pain, or maintenance care, we have you covered.

Common Myths Surrounding Chiropractic Care

1. Chiropractors only treat the spine
• Chiropractors are musculoskeletal experts trained in assessing, diagnosing, and treating conditions related to the musculoskeletal and nervous system
• We are well equipped and educated to treat a variety of issues including but not limited to:
• Neck pain, back pain, headaches, repetitive sprains/strains, tendinopathies, neuropathies, work and sport related injuries, TMJ disorders, foot pain, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, concussions, and more.

2. Chiropractic care is dangerous
• There are less risks and side effects with chiropractic than most medications (eg. The rate
of absolute adverse events from medium to long-term opioid use (over 2 weeks) is 78%).
• Most adverse events with chiropractic care are mild and transient, and typically resolve
within hours to days (most common being post-treatment soreness)
• The frequency of serious adverse events are extremely rare and can range from 0.0000003
to 0.00005%.
• Several studies have reported a reduction in opioid use and prescriptions in those with
neck and low back pain.

3. “Once I start seeing a chiropractor, I have to go forever”
• Upon initial examination, the chiropractor will perform a history and physical examination to determine the cause of pain and/or dysfunction.
• A diagnosis and treatment plan will be developed according to the patients needs, goals
and current research.
• Many acute issues come in for a few visits and then to obtain relief when needed.
• When appropriate, a maintenance or prevention plan may be recommended depending
on a patient’s job demands or lifestyle in order to prevent any future injuries from occurring.
• The decision to continue care is always up to the patient!

References

• Safety of chiropractic interventions: a systematic review. Gouveia, Liliana Olim; Castanho, Pedro & Ferreira, Joaquim JSpine 2009
• Risk of vertebrobasilar stroke and chiropractic care: results of a population-based case control and case-crossover study. Cassidy, J David; Boyle, Eleanor; Cote, Pierre; He, Yaohua; Hogg-Johnson, Sheilah; Silver, Frank L & Bondy, Susan J Spine 2008
• Chiropractic care and the risk of vertebrobasilar stroke: results of a case-control study in U.S. commercial and Medicare Advantage populations. Kosloff, Thomas M; Elton, David; Tao, Jiang & Bannister, Wade M Chiropractic & manual therapies 2015
• Impact of Chiropractic Care on Use of Prescription Opioids in Patients with Spinal Pain. James M Whedon, DC, MS; Andrew W J Toler, MS; Louis A Kazal, MD; Serena Bezdjian, PhD; Justin M Goehl, DC, MS; Jay Greenstein, DC.
• Pain Medicine, Volume 21, Issue 12, December 2020, Pages 3567–3573, Published: 06 March 2020.

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