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Chiropractic Approach to Pain Relief, Rehabilitative Care – Article Courtesy of: Dr. Finkle

Depending on the patient’s individual needs, a doctor of chiropractic will develop a program of care that may combine more than one type of treatment. The treatment plan may include spinal manipulation, mobilization, or massage, as well as procedures such as electric stimulation, rehabilitative exercises, advice on nutrition, and suggestions for posture modification. Let’s look at each of these treatment options:


Spinal Manipulation

Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a “hands-on” approach in which doctors of chiropractic manually adjust spinal structures in an attempt to restore back mobility, relieve pain and improve nerve function. There are many techniques, and each has it own special advantages. It is a true art and style and technique varies from chiropractor to chiropractor.





During this procedure, adapted from Chinese medicine, specific body parts are pierced with very fine needles in an attempt to relieve pain and improve function and treat disease. People use acupuncture for various types of conditions including back pain. Back pain is the most commonly reported use, followed by joint pain, neck pain, and headache.

Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS)

Although many types of electrical therapy exist, doctors of chiropractic often have additional training in the use of specialized modalities, which through the skin, using electrodes (small, flat adhesive discs) placed near the source of the pain/pathology can help reduce pain, improve muscle strength, and help increase mobility. There are many different types of devices and each as it own special ability to effect the body. It takes specialized training to properly use the correct modality in the treatment of disease

Heat and Ice

Ice packs and heat pads are among the most commonly used treatments for musculoskeletal injuries. Ice treatment is most effective for acute injuries. If you have a recent injury (within the past 48 hours), ice packs can help minimize swelling. On the other hand, heat treatments should be used for chronic conditions to help relax and loosen tissues, and to stimulate blood flow to the area. It is unnecessary to apply either heat or ice for more than 20 minutes at a time. In fact, ice used for too long a period can cause frostbite. Ice and heat should always be applied with at least a towel between the ice/heat and the patient.

Joint Mobilization

Joint mobilization consists of small passive movements, usually applied as a series of gentle stretches in a smooth, rhythmic fashion to individual joints. Joint mobilization has been shown to improve mobility, as well as assist in relieving pain and releasing tension from areas such as the head, neck, ankles, feet, pelvis, wrists, ribs, and spine.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is a highly specialized stretching technique used in an attempt to end pain and restore joints’ range of motion by focusing on fascia, a type of connective tissue that covers organs, muscles, and other soft internal structures.

Chiropractic Rehabilitation Programs

Often combine several types of treatments, such as manipulation, massage, nutrition advice, home exercise program, physiotherapy, pain management and any number of other procedures that will lead to a successful conclusion of the patient problem.


Supplements and Herbal Remedies

It’s important to note that some medications may interact with supplements or herbs to produce side effects. Some supplements or herbs may interfere with absorption of prescription medications. Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about any supplements and medications you take, to rule out possible negative interactions.


Orthotics is a custom-designed shoe inserts that may help to correct an abnormal or irregular walking pattern, correct an arch problem, or reduce the pain of heal spur, or improve the ability to walk or run. Good posture helps us stand, walk, and sit in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement. Your doctor of chiropractic can assist you with proper posture, including recommending exercises to strengthen your core postural muscles. He or she can also assist you with choosing proper postures during your activities that may help to reduce your risk of injury.

Post-Injury Rehabilitation

After the reduction of your pain, your doctor of chiropractic may design an individual program that will include a series of rehabilitative exercises performed both in the office and at home to strengthen and stretch the affected muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Your doctor’s goal is to provide you with lasting pain relief and to educate you on how to prevent recurrence of the problem.

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