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Chiropractic – A Health Profession That Focuses on Disorders of the Musculoskeletal System and Nervous System
Venn Chiropractic and Wellness Center is a healthcare profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation (manipulation) to restore proper spine alignment and other joints.
Many chiropractors believe in Maintenance Care, wherein patients come to their practice for regular adjustments even after they feel better. This is what sets them apart from other medical practitioners.
Chiropractic is a healthcare profession that concentrates on disorders from the musculoskeletal system and the effects of these ailments on the nervous system and overall wellness. Its primary treatment method is manual spine adjustment, called spinal manipulation. This restores proper joint movement, relieves nerve irritation, and increases joint flexibility.
Chiropractors are trained to find the root cause of an injury, not just treat symptoms. For example, a patient with high cholesterol is most likely to receive medication that will lower the numbers, but it doesn’t address what the problem might be in the first place or steps that can be taken for long-term improvement. On the other hand, a chiropractor can find the root cause of neck or back pain, relieve it, and suggest treatment that will help prevent future flare-ups.
To become a Doctor of Chiropractic, students must complete 4 to 5 years of undergraduate college, followed by four or five years of medical school-style classes at a chiropractic school. Among other subjects, chiropractic colleges require extensive study of anatomy, biochemistry, clinical orthopedics, diagnostic imaging interpretation (such as X-rays and MRIs), research methods, pediatrics, and ethics.
After graduation, chiropractors may work in private practice, multidisciplinary settings, or hospitals. They can be team chiropractors for professional sports teams or work for large corporations as part of their health and wellness programs.
Besides spinal adjustment, they are also trained to perform soft tissue therapy like massage and acupuncture, exercise, diet, and lifestyle counseling. Many chiropractors use kinesio taping to ease sprained muscles, joints, and ligaments. They also perform joint bracing and may recommend hot or cold treatment, supplements, shoe inserts, and nutritional support.
Chiropractors take a conservative approach to health care, believing that the least invasive and safest methods should be used before turning to medications or surgery. However, they recognize many conditions for which medication and surgery are appropriate (e.g., appendicitis). The chiropractic philosophy allows the body’s natural healing abilities to be fully utilized. In addition, chiropractors encourage patients to be proactive in their health care by promoting routine wellness visits, much like dentists encourage regular checkups to prevent tooth decay or gum disease.
Chiropractic is a health profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and their effects on general health. Chiropractors are experts in diagnosing and treating these disorders, with an emphasis on manual therapy, especially spinal manipulation or adjustment.
Although chiropractic is sometimes categorized as alternative medicine, it is an established healthcare system that has been well-received and is accepted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Chiropractors are designated physician-level providers in most state and federal Medicare programs and are included under workers’ compensation in all 50 states.
A typical chiropractic consultation evaluates patients using standard medical examination procedures, including history, physical exam, and x-rays. A chiropractor will then determine if spinal joints are misaligned or moving abnormally, a condition known as subluxation. These problems can cause pain, stiffness, and muscle spasms. Successful manipulation of vertebrae can relieve the pressure on spinal nerves and restore normal function.
While chiropractors are not licensed to prescribe medications, they can recommend exercise and dietary changes to support treatment. They also have a wide range of therapeutic techniques at their disposal, such as:
Adjustments: To gently realign the joints to decrease pain and increase motion. Soft-tissue massage: To relax tight muscles and relieve spasms. Joint bracing/taping (Kinesio taping): To support sprained joints or muscles as they heal. Exercises and stretches: To improve flexibility and strength. Nutritional and lifestyle counseling: To help manage pain by reducing inflammation, stress, and poor diet.
Chiropractors use evidence-based practice when assessing and treating their patients. They are trained to evaluate, triage, and differentially diagnose conditions. They also can co-manage with other healthcare professionals when they deem it appropriate. Because of this, chiropractors can treat a broad spectrum of musculoskeletal issues, including back pain, neck pain, joint pain in the arms or legs, and headaches.
The main goal of chiropractic is to alleviate pain and help the body function normally. This is achieved through manual and hands-on spinal manipulation, exercise, lifestyle modification, and other non-invasive treatment methods. It is often used as a complement to the treatments provided by other healthcare providers. For example, if you have back pain, your chiropractor may also recommend massage therapy, a healthy diet, weight loss tips, or stress-reduction techniques.
Doctors of chiropractic (DC) are primary care professionals who focus on diagnosing, treating, and preventing disorders of the musculoskeletal system and their effects on the nervous system and general health. They use manual adjustment and manipulation of the spine to treat patients with back pain, neck pain, headaches, sports injuries, and other musculoskeletal issues.
Chiropractors are trained to identify and correct misalignments in the spine, known as subluxations. This helps reduce the pressure on nerves, benefiting the entire body function at its best. Unlike medical doctors, who usually rely on drugs and surgery for their patient’s health needs, DCs believe that the body has an inherent ability to get well and stay healthy without the need for medication or intervention.
During the first appointment, your chiropractor will examine your body to see how the bones and joints function. Depending on the results of this examination, your chiropractor will devise a plan to alleviate your symptoms. You may need to schedule follow-up visits or additional appointments as you work through your treatment plan.
Your chiropractor will often take x-rays or other lab tests to confirm that your problem results from a misalignment or another issue. Then, they will create a plan of action to treat your condition, typically including spinal manipulation, stretching exercises, or other forms of physical therapy.
The most common reason people visit a chiropractor is for back pain, but they also treat other conditions such as neck pain, fibromyalgia, and migraines. Some research suggests that chiropractic can help with other inflammatory and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Throughout their seven years of higher education, chiropractors are trained to prevent and manage musculoskeletal pain using a non-pharmacological approach. This largely includes spinal manipulation (or adjustments) and other therapies, including cold laser therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), ultrasound, superficial heat treatment, and joint supports such as Kinesio taping. Chiropractors also have training in acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting small needles into specific points on the body to relieve pain and relax muscles.
Because of this extensive training, chiropractors are experts at identifying the root cause of your pain and treating that underlying condition. As a result, many patients find that they can cut back or even eliminate the use of prescription drugs to treat their symptoms. For instance, if you are experiencing low back pain, research has shown that chiropractic treatment is significantly more effective than just taking NSAIDs to reduce discomfort and inflammation.
Another example is shoulder pain. According to a 2021 study, chiropractic patients with rotator cuff tears were seven times more likely to report improvement in their symptoms than those who only took over-the-counter medication and exercise. In addition, the study showed that those who saw a chiropractor were nearly twice as likely to not need surgery for their condition.
Chiropractors work with their patient’s primary care physicians and health care providers as part of their holistic approach to care. This collaboration allows the doctor to refer patients to a chiropractor if they are experiencing an issue that requires medical attention. This also allows for better coordination of care, which can help reduce medical costs and side effects of overlapping medications.
Many assume chiropractors only deal with neck and back pain, but that’s untrue. They are trained to help patients with all kinds of health issues, including fibromyalgia, allergies, migraines, and depression. The reason is that they focus on ensuring that the nervous system, including the spine, works properly to enable the body to function at its best.
Physical Therapy Maple Grove MN is used to treat a variety of injuries and health conditions. It involves hands-on care and education. Licensed physical therapists (PT) are movement experts who evaluate and treat people of all ages.
The evaluation process is a critical step for patients who are seeking physical therapy treatment. It’s an opportunity for the patient to explain their pain and problems with their physical therapist and determine whether or not the issue is within the scope of physical therapy. It’s also a time for the PT to choose a plan of action.
The physical therapist’s initial evaluation will include various tests that measure your range of motion, strength, and other functions. Your therapist will assess your movement and determine the underlying causes of your symptoms, like muscle weakness or improper movement patterns. Your therapist will also likely conduct special tests for your condition, like joint mobilization or the EMG, to test the electrical activity of your muscles. A good therapist will adjust the type of exam they conduct based on their client’s needs so they don’t waste time or worsen the patient’s condition with unnecessary or painful movements.
Once the examination is complete, your therapist will document their findings in a written evaluation. This will include the date and time of the physical examination and your professional assessment of the patient’s needs. The written evaluation must be as thorough and accurate as possible. It will be part of the medical record used by other therapists and doctors treating the patient. The written evaluation also serves as a guide for coding the examination under Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, which determines the level of reimbursement.
Your therapist will then diagnose your injury or problem and create a treatment plan for you. They will also discuss the frequency of your return visits and what they expect to accomplish during those sessions.
It’s important for patients to feel that they’re getting value for their visit and that their time is being well spent. The best way to achieve that is to give the patient a sense of control over their recovery. By establishing an initial goal for their recovery and setting expectations of progress, the patient will feel they’re not wasting their time.
Many people seek physical therapy to help with an injury or to manage a medical condition. Patients might need short-term therapy after an accident or surgery or long-term treatment for conditions like arthritis. In either case, physical therapy aims to improve a patient’s quality of life through pain relief and increased range of motion in joints and muscles.
A patient may see several different physical therapists during their treatment. One therapist often needs more patients in large physical therapy offices to care for them adequately. Generally, the therapist will try to work in groups of three to four patients to ensure that each person gets adequate time and attention from the therapist.
During the first session, the physical therapist will evaluate to determine what is causing the patient’s pain or discomfort. The therapist will ask the patient questions about their symptoms and the events that have led to their current situation. This Q&A-based discussion helps the therapist understand how to approach treatment best and give the patient undivided attention.
Once the therapist understands the patient’s condition, they will begin treatment. This will include modalities, manual therapies, and exercises specific to the patient’s condition. Some common modalities used for pain relief are thermal therapy (hot or cold packs), electrical stimulation, and traction. Traction uses horizontal or vertical pulling techniques to relieve pressure, pain, and inflammation in the spine. Electrical stimulation involves placing electrodes on the body, which can help reduce pain and muscle spasms.
The therapist may also introduce massage techniques into the treatment, which can help relax tight muscles. Another common therapy method is wound care, which focuses on improving oxygen and blood flow to a healing wound.
The therapist will create an individualized plan for the patient to help them return to normal movement patterns. This can involve strengthening and stretching exercises or fitting patients with medical devices like canes to help them move easily. The therapist will also teach the patient techniques they can practice at home to prevent recurring problems.
If you are a medical professional who would like to work with patients to help them recover from injury, consider becoming a physical therapist. While the educational requirements vary from state to state, most require a bachelor’s degree and an accredited doctoral program in physical therapy. Many schools now offer online programs to accommodate students with busy schedules.
Most graduate PT programs include a blend of classroom lectures, hands-on labs, and clinical rotations at nearby hospitals and clinics. You can find an example of a blended PT program at the University of Delaware, which combines online classes and real-time interactions with faculty.
The coursework typically covers human anatomy, biomechanics, movement science, medical screening, evaluation, therapeutic interventions, patient outcomes assessment, and practice management. Some PT schools provide their students with a simulation component to allow them to practice with mock patients before entering the clinic.
As part of the education, you are also taught how to communicate with doctors about your patients and collaborate with them on treatment plans. Your professors will be physical therapists with advanced clinical experience in orthopedic, sports, neurologic, and geriatric patient care. You’ll also be able to work side by side on professional research and have opportunities to present your findings at national conferences.
In some cases, physical therapists may pursue a residency or fellowship. A residency provides more training in a specific area of clinical practice, such as orthopedics or geriatrics, and is usually completed after you have been licensed to practice.
Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but most require you to complete a doctoral program in physical therapy and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). Other requirements, such as compliance training, background checks, and continuing education courses, vary by jurisdiction. Check with your state’s licensing board to learn more about the requirements in your jurisdiction.
A physical therapist can help you manage your pain and discomfort from an injury or chronic medical condition. The goal is to provide hands-on care, prescribe exercises, and help you learn ways to prevent future injuries. Unlike surgery and medication, physical therapy has fewer risks and offers more benefits.
Physical therapy can be done in various settings, from private practices to hospitals. The therapist can also consult with other specialists to ensure the best possible treatment for you. Your health insurance provider may require a referral from your physician before you receive physical therapy. Still, direct access laws in many states allow patients to seek out a physical therapist without a referral from their doctor.
During your initial evaluation, the physical therapist will ask you questions about your symptoms and perform a thorough exam. The therapist will then perform some basic treatments on your first visit, and they’ll likely schedule follow-up appointments for you. Sessions vary in length but generally last between 45 and 60 minutes.
In between sessions, the therapist will give you assignments of stretches and exercises to do at home. Sticking with this part of the program is important, as it can speed your recovery. Your therapist will help you set realistic goals for yourself, and they’ll provide you with tips on how to be consistent with your “homework.”
If you need additional help managing your pain and discomfort in between physical therapy sessions, ask your therapist about prescription medication. They can also recommend or provide you with equipment such as ice packs and compression wraps, and they might advise you on how to make your home environment safer in case you fall at home.
Suppose a patient returns to therapy for the same issue after discharge. In that case, it’s considered a new episode of care, and your physical therapist will most likely perform an initial evaluation using CPT codes 97161-97163. Your therapist will then discuss the case with you and recommend a treatment plan. The therapist will continue to use the same treatment techniques as before, but they’ll also reevaluate your progress and see how you’ve responded to the treatment.
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