Treatment Modalities

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique of inserting hair-like, fine needles into known "acupuncture points" along "meridians". The practice of acupuncture is based on the meridian theory in which qi (pronounced chee) or vital energy is believed to travel through precise pathways or meridians. There are twelve major meridians, each connected to a particular organ, plus eight special or "extra" meridians. There are also innumerable smaller meridians throughout the body. One of the most dramatic roles of acupuncture, and probably the most familiar to Westerners, is its use as anesthesia or analgesia. There are different theories, which attempt to explain how acupuncture works as anesthesia. One idea is that the needles block the pain impulse as it moves through the central nervous system and prevent it from reaching the brain. Another is that the needles stimulate the release of endorphins, our bodies' own natural painkillers.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is defined as the therapeutic use of cold. It is a safe, simple and cheap form of treatment. Alternate controversies exist between the use of hot versus cold treatment in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. Ultimately, the goal of cryotherapy as a therapeutic modality is related to prevention of tissue damage and reduction of the inflammatory products. In the acute stages of tissue strain or sprain, the process of inflammation is largely responsible for pain production and prolonged repair and recovery time. This reaction may last up to 48-72 hours. Cryotherapy has been traditionally utilized for the control of muscle spasm, spasticity and rigidity.

Superficial Heat

Hot packs, warm moist towels, heating pads, water bottles and infrared lamps, are often used to help raise the temperature of soft tissues directly below the surface of the skin. Heat applied to the skin enlarges blood vessels, relaxing muscles and can temporarily relieve painful symptoms.

Traction

Traction is the act of drawing or exerting a pulling force along the long axis of a structure. There are several types of traction: intermittent, manual, positional, gravity/inverted chair. This type of treatment can be useful in separation of joints, stretching tissues and prolapsed disc. Their application may be varied from patient to patient depending on comfort and response to therapy.

Manual Therapy

Therapeutic application of manual force. Manual therapy broadly defined includes all procedures where the hands are used to mobilize, adjust, manipulate, apply traction, massage, stimulate or otherwise influence the spine, peripheral joints, para-articular tissues with the aim of influencing the patient's health.

Therapeutic Massage

Massage is the systematic therapeutic friction, stroking and kneading of the body. Manoeuvres performed by hand on the skin of the patient and through the skin of the patient to the subcutaneous tissue. There may be variables in intensity of pressure exerted, surface area and frequency of application.

Mobilization

The process of making a fixed part movable. A form of manipulation applied within the physiological passive range of joint motion and is characterized by non-thrust passive joint manipulation.

Adjustment/Manipulation

The chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a specific form of direct articular manipulation using either long or short leverage techniques with specific contacts and is characterized by a dynamic thrust of controlled velocity, amplitude and direction.

TENS

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a battery operated therapeutic modality, which sends a weak electrical current through skin electrodes and causes a depolarization of nerve fibres and ultimately alters how the patient perceives pain. It is important to note that this modality is involved with altering a patient's perception of pain; this is considered symptomatic relief. Usually, TENS is used as pain control in adjunct to other forms of treatment.

Interferential Current (IFC)

Interferential current therapy is a method of treatment with electrical currents whereby low frequency pulses are generated within tissues at any depth desired. With IFC proper settings can selectively produce analgesic effects, depression of the sympathetic system, increase peripheral circulation, increase in deep blood flow and lymphatic circulation along with spasmolytic effects.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is used to treat a variety of inflammatory and traumatic conditions. Ultrasonic energy is mechanical vibration identical to that of sound but of a high frequency. There are two effects:

Thermal which are most apparent at the tissue interfaces, between fat and muscle. The heat produced causes increased cellular activity and vasodilation, resulting in increased blood supply. This accelerates the removal of waste products, makes oxygen available and decreases the inflammatory process.

Mechanical accelerates fluid interchange and absorption, causing an increase in membrane permeability and loosening of adherent tissues.

Stretching

An active or passive exercise is used to relax muscles, reduce unnecessary muscle tone, increase joint mobility and restore optimal neurologic patterning.

Active Interventions

Interventions focused on providing activity. Active exercise is used to increase muscle tone, strengthen and balance muscle action, increase blood flow, reciprocally relax antagonist muscles and restore muscle patterns.

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