Chiropractic Medicine | Chiropractic Therapy
Chiropractic medicine is a form of manual or physical medicine that seeks to remove biomechanical dysfunctions from the joints, aka "subluxations" particularly of the spine and extremities through manipulation or adjustments. When stress and/or injuries causes an imbalance in muscle tone, muscles, acting as guide wires, may pull on the joints that they attach to and lead to strain on the ligaments that support the joints. Further, improper positioning of these joints may induce increased pressure on surrounding nerves causing more pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness of the affected area. This most certainly will lead to a decrease in function and wellness. Manipulation of the affected areas helps realign the dysfunctional joint, and restores normal tone in the muscle. The net result is decreased pain and spasm as well as regeneration of the joint that would otherwise lead to arthropathy, which is disease or pain of a joint.
What is unique about the care at Solaris Medical is the manual medicine delivered by Dr. McWilliams can be coupled with PHYSIOTHERAPY, ACUPUNCTURE, as well as conventional medicine. This integration of disciplines, aka FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE, allows the patient, suffering from pain, to not only benefit from the relief and regenerative abilities that manipulation affords, but also achieve relief from medications and injections that are also known to provide pain relief. Whereas chiropractors (DC's), can NOT prescribe medications nor inject, and whereas most medical doctors (MD's & DO's), do not manipulate, and neither typically provide advice in exercise or lifestyle, a doctor who is medically trained, licensed, and experienced in all 3 disciplines, can provide the structural relief of manipulation, the pain relief of medications and injections (Trigger Point and Prolotherapy), and the advice of rehabilitative exercise.
What is manipulation?
Manipulation has been practiced since the day of Hippocrates (Father of Medicine, circa 460-377 BC). Almost every ancient culture (Chinese, Greeks, and Egyptians) had some form of manual medicine. Spinal manipulation was popularized in the United States in the late 1800's by Dr. D. D. Palmer, DC, the Father of Chiropractic Medicine (DC), and by Dr. A.T. Still, MD, DO, the Father of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), as well as by Dr. Benedict Lust, MD, DO, ND, the Father of Naturopathic Medicine (ND or NMD). Today, while osteopaths (DO's) are taught some manipulation, and many ND's defer manipulation, most manipulation is still performed by chiropractors (DC's). Spinal manipulation performed by DC's, DO's, and ND's serves to decrease pain by the realignment of a dysfunctional joint, which restores normal tone in the muscle that attaches to the treated joint. The net result is decreased pain and spasm as well as regeneration of the joint.
What are trigger points and trigger point injections?
Trigger points are discrete, focal, hyperirritable spots located in a taut band of skeletal muscle. They produce pain locally and in a referred pattern and often accompany chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Acute trauma or repetitive microtrauma may lead to the development of a trigger point. Lack of exercise, prolonged poor posture, vitamin deficiencies, sleep disturbances, and joint problems may all predispose to the development of microtrauma. Occupational or recreational activities that produce repetitive stress on a specific muscle or muscle group commonly cause chronic stress in muscle fibers, leading to trigger points. Palpation of the trigger point will elicit pain directly over the affected area and/or cause radiation of pain. Trigger-point injection (TPI) has become widely accepted and is one of the most effective treatment options available to achieve the best results.
Stretching exercises and physical therapy can also be helpful. Medications, such as anlgesics and muscle relaxers often help the patient sleep more restfully and diminish the pain. Chiropractic manipulation 1-3x/week and massage 1-2x/week are also very helpful in conjunction with the TPI. Typically, most patients will need up to 3 or more series of trigger point injections, 1 week apart.
What is prolo (intra-articular) injections?
Prolotherapy, aka Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT), has been practiced for over 70 years. It is defined by Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary as, “The rehabilitation of an incompetent structure such as a ligament or tendon, by the induced proliferation of new cells.” It was developed over fifty years ago as a natural non-surgical method of assisting the body in healing injured tendons and ligaments. Prolotherapy helps your body make new cells, which strengthen lax or torn tendons and ligaments. A needle is used to inject a proliferative, nutritive solution such as dextrose and glucosamine sulfate for the purpose of stimulating new growth and repair via fibroblasts (the body's repair cells). Fibroblasts lay down new connective tissue. This promotes joint stability and reduction of pain.
PHYSICAL MEDICINE SYNERGY
Conventional & Alternative Treatments for Back & Knee Pain: Two Case Reports
What is unique about the care at Solaris Medical is the manual medicine delivered by Dr. McWilliams can be coupled with conventional medicine. This integration of disciplines allows the patient, suffering from pain, to not only benefit from the relief and regenerative abilities that manipulation affords, but also achieve relief from medications and injections that are also known to provide pain relief. Whereas chiropractors (DC's), can NOT prescribe medications nor inject, and whereas most medical doctors (MD's & DO's), can not or do not manipulate, a doctor who is medically trained, licensed, and experienced in conventional and natural medicines, can provide the structural relief of manipulation, the pain relief of medications and injections (trigger point and Prolotherapy), and the advice of rehabilitative exercise.
Pain is the primary reason people seek medical attention. The sources of pain vary from a cold & flu, an upset stomach, a headache, menstrual cramps, or muscle & joint pain. The most common source of pain is musculoskeletal in origin which is muscle and joint pain. Approximately 80% of Americans will suffer a musculoskeletal injury in their lifetime. Over 50% of Americans will lose 1-3 days of work due this pain.
Over working in the garden, weekend warrior activities, carrying the backpack, lifting the children, repetitive activities, and even a lack of activity due to a sedentary lifestyle can cause havoc in your muscles and joints.
If the pain doesn't subside with the usual self treatment of rest over-the-counter medication, what do you do about it? Who do you see? Approximately 20 to 38% of American seek out chiropractic care. The remaining percentages stick to conventional medical care. Still others seek a mixture of medical, chiropractic, acupuncture, and/or massage therapies. The RAND Study in 1996 found that spinal manipulation was helpful for low back pain. Also, limited use of analgesics and exercise therapy are also very helpful.
A combination of therapies offers a synergy that facilitates relief of pain and subsequent healing. A health care provider who can effectively provide chiropractic medicine (spinal manipulation & physiotherapy) and conventional medicine (medication & pain injections) as well as exercise therapy (stretching & strengthening) is a powerful and efficient weapon against musculoskeletal pain. Back & knee pain is often treated by medical docotors and chiropractors, but each offer an advantage that the other does no have. The patient suffers, needlessly because of the lack of synergy between the various disciplines of health care delivery. An exceptional method of treatment is to combine conventional with alternative medicines under 1 roof.
Dr. Kenneth McWilliams, has degrees in medicine (NMD), chiropractic (DC), and exercise physiology (MEd). Further, he is a Diplomate in the American Academy of Pain Management, and a past Fellow of the American Back Society.
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