The initial treatment of acute chiropractic conditions is used to settle down the inflammation and control the pain. Muscle work, such as trigger point therapy (which involves pressing on knots to relax the muscle) as well as manual massage are usually done first. After the muscles relax, chiropractic adjustments are performed. Adjustments are the tool chiropractors use to increase joint movement and correct joint alignment. As the chiropractor works, there may be a popping sound as the joint is adjusted. This sound is caused by separating the joint slightly and causing a negative pressure in the joint. This causes the fluid to “cavitate,” which means the air in the fluid separates temporarily causing a popping sound. If the condition is too tender for an adjustment, then gentle mobilizations (gentle repetitive movements that help increase joint movement) are made to help increase joint mobility. Ice may be used in the office if necessary. After the adjustment, a massager is used to help relax the muscles more to help keep the joints moving. Therapain liniment is often used at the end of the treatment.
With the treatment, all care is taken to make sure the patient is helped as much as possible with the least amount of discomfort. If certain procedures are too painful, they will be changed to lessen the pain or eliminated at that point. If you feel pain at any time, please let Dr. Warawa know. He will ask you repeatedly to let him know if anything is too tender or painful.
FREQUENCY OF TREATMENT
The amount of treatment a person will need varies. Most acute conditions will settle in 1-8 treatments. The more severe the injury, the longer the treatment and healing time will be. If a full treatment can be done on the first visit, the next treatment will be 2-4 days later, and then the next treatment 4-6 after that. This rate of treatment is done until the person is back to normal. If a full treatment cannot be performed on the first visit, daily treatments will be carried out until a full treatment can be done and then the treatments are spaced out. When a patient is treated they need time to heal. When a joint is injured, there is damage to the ligaments, muscles and tendons. A chiropractor will correct the joint alignment and mobility, but the body still has to heal the damaged soft tissue. If the joint is not corrected, the injury will take a lot longer to heal and may not heal right and could eventually become a chronic problem.