Health & Wellness Blog

    

Finding Balance with Chiropractic Care: New School vs. Old School Chiropractors

Best Chiropractor Bloomington ILIt used to be that chiropractic care was not a medically-accepted or proven way to treat patients. Doctors believed that it was nothing more than glorified massage and the science wasn’t matching up.

Chiropractors would work their hands around a person’s back and pop things around and adjust people’s spines then they would send patients on their way. Chiropractors would do things like spinal adjustments where they worked their spines. They would massage the muscle tissue and work to relieve back pain. But the medical field wasn’t convinced.

They believed that the chiropractic practice was useless at best and harmful at worst. Even the studies had issues proving the benefits of the practice. Chiropractors stuck to their game and responded by integrating more medical techniques into the practice. They integrated electronic devices, things like x-ray and surgery became more common. Thus, the new school of chiropractic care was born.

The Ever-Evolving Chiropractic Practice

When chiropractors first came on the scene, they used a lot of techniques by hand. The most common technique was the spinal adjustment. It is the main tool. It’s basically the application of pressure to the vertebra in order to correct maladjustment. It was invented in the 19th century.

The practice is now unique to the profession. It has a variety of applications including the relief of pain and the maintenance of overall well being in the back. Patients often portray a sense of relief after receiving a spinal adjustment. The new school of chiropractors tends to use this technique less often though it does have its benefits.

New-School Chiropractors

New school chiropractors often integrate a variety of techniques and new approaches into their patient care. X-rays are used to see where a problem is in the spinal column and then how to work with it. Spinal decompression is a way to relieve tension in the nerves and it is done manually or surgically. There is also physical therapy which is an amazing tool for chiropractors. By using physical therapy patients can build muscle strength in the back in order to improve the maladjustment in the spine that tends to cause back pain.

That way, a patient can use a multi-pronged approach to addressing many health issues. Acupuncture is also very good at easing the pain. The needles themselves are used subcutaneously at certain pressure points to improve the release of hormones that deal with pain. It does have proven results that are used today in modern medicine. Acupuncture has gained a good reputation in medical circles as of late.

It is important to look at these tools not a separate toolkit but as an entire box. Old school chiropractors should’ve used X-rays to see where the patient needed treatment. New school chiropractors should use manual adjustment for regular care to treat their patients.

Acupuncture and physical therapy should’ve been staples in the medical community for a lot longer than they have. Muscles need to be stronger in order to deal with back pain and acupuncture was just written off because nobody ever tested it. Good chiropractors use a variety of techniques in order to bring the best care to their patient regardless of the reputation that the techniques have.

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5 Ways to Increase Soft Tissue Mobility & Range of Motion

Soft Tissue MobilityIf you regularly participate in some kind of sporting activity, then some form of soft tissue damage seems almost inevitable. Eventually, most people take a particularly hard knock, or land too hard on a knee or ankle, or just overstress their muscles for too long without allowing adequate rest periods for recovery.

Soft tissue damage can haunt you for years, causing near-constant pain that many athletes and sports enthusiasts just learn to ignore, or dull with painkillers. This does not need to be the way! With a bit of work, soft tissue damage can almost always be repaired. You can have your muscle mobility and full range of motion back! Here are five simple tips to help repair your soft tissue damage:

Get a professional sports massage

Many athletes are already using sports massages to remove built up lactic acid from their muscles. This greatly shortens recovery time, allowing athletes to go into their next event feeling fresh, and be able to push that little bit harder. The same principles can be used to help your soft tissue injuries. In the interest of full disclosure, I should warn you that this is going to hurt. A lot. But the positive effects of sports and deep tissue massage therapy will be more than worth the pain.

Massage yourself with specialized tools

This is the massage option, but without the massage price tag. You can pick up (or make yourself) purpose built foam rollers or balls. (I'm told that you can also just repurpose a lacrosse ball) There are plenty of videos on the internet detailing how to use these tools effectively to help combat the effects of soft tissue damage, so I'm not going to go into the specifics of how to do it here.

As with the massage option above, this option is going to hurt. The first time that you use a foam roller, you are going to think to yourself "This can't be right. Nothing that hurts this much could possibly be helping!" but you will be wrong. Stick with it, and you will find yourself pain-free in no time.

Stretch

One of the easiest ways to increase flexibility and range of motion in soft tissue is to stretch. This is different to the short, dynamic stretches that you perform before a workout or sports match. To permanently increase range of motion, a stretch should last as much as twenty minutes. This is something that you can do in your downtime.

If you're sitting around with the family in the evening watching a two hour movie, you should see that as an opportunity to perform six different stretches for increasing your flexibility. Again, the internet has already done a much better job of detailing which stretches are most effective that I could ever do here, so I won't try to cover it.

Try a Yin Yoga class

Yin Yoga has much of the same benefits of the stretching program above, except that Yin Yoga classes are taught by professionals who can critique your performance and offer tips for helping to restore your specific soft tissue injury. Yin Yoga is a slow moving yoga style, where each position is held for an extended period of time.

This is an ideal way to increase mobility and range of motion. Yin Yoga classes are available across most of North America and Europe, but if you live elsewhere, it is still worth searching for a local Yoga class.

Physiotherapy

When nothing else works, go to the professionals. Physiotherapists are highly trained in repair of soft tissue injuries, and they will design you a customized recovery program. It is very likely that they will want you to come back once a week or once a fortnight until you have made a full recovery from your injury. During these meetings, they will test your mobility levels, and adjust your recovery program accordingly.

With all of these options readily available, there is just no need for soft tissue injury to control your life anymore. Get your mobility back. Get pain free. There is no excuse not to!

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5 Injury Recovery Strategies for Endurance Athletes

Injury RecoveryIf you're an endurance athlete who is trying to recovery from an injury, we feel your pain. Injuries are never easy to deal with, both physically and psychologically. So in this blog post, we highlight a number of different strategies to help you become better and bounce back from you injury will full mobility and confidence.

Stay Supple

Sports injuries often occur because of poor mobility, which is typically a result of tight soft tissues and horrible flexibility. Address you injury by assessing all of the surrounding soft tissues. So for instance, if you knee is in pain, check to see how tight your quads, hamstrings, and calves are. If they're freakishly tight, roll them out with a stiff foam roller, stretch them out, and smash them with other tools, such as a lacrosse ball. For more ways to stay supple, check out Mobility WOD which is jammed-pack with great ideas to work on your mobility.

Check Your Alignment

Skeletal and muscular imbalances are also a common way in which injuries can arise. Because not everyone has access to a sports physical therapist, consulting with holistic health professional, such as a chiropractor, can help you pinpoint such alignment and imbalance issues. Find a local chiropractor who can perform some basic tests and give you can X-ray.

Deep Tissue Work

In addition to working on your mobility at home, you can also see specialists to deep tissue work. Sports massage therapists and ART (active release technque) professionals are who you want to go to first. These individuals will help work out the adhesions and knots found in your tissues, helping to restore blood flow and mobility in areas that need it most.

Nutrient Dense Foods

When recovering from an injury, one of the most overlooked ways to encourage rapid recovery is to eat nutrient dense foods. Opt for dark leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, and lots and lots of healthy fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids. The latter will help restore the sliding muscle surface in knotted-up areas of your body, while everything else will help with healing. Also consume anti-inflammatory foods like ginger, green tea extract, and garlic, to name a few.

Epsom Salt Baths

In the PM hours of the evening, relax with an epsom salt bath or compress. Epsom salts are rich in magnesium, which is a mineral that's often depleted during strenous endurance training. Pour 2-3 cups of empsom salt in you batch and soak for 15-20 minutes. Not only will you body feel relaxed, but your muscles will feel softened, too.

So whether you're trying to heal and become a better triathlete or cross-country skier, all of these treatment protocals can help you recovery from injuries faster.

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