Chiropractors use their hands to adjust the joints of the spine and extremities where signs of restriction in movement are found, improving mobility and relieving pain. By manipulating joints, chiropractors stimulate the joint movement receptors – your body’s position sensors that provide feedback to the brain on where the joint is in space. Even though Chiropractic adjusting is safe (1 in 1,000,000 risk of side effects), Dr. Heydari also uses instrument adjusting for patients who do not tolerate or are apprehensive about manual adjusting.
Acupuncture prompts the body to produce chemicals that decrease or eliminate painful sensations. It involves the painless insertion of tiny metal needles into the skin at designated points. Although an ancient Chinese method, today’s acupuncture is grounded in scientific practice and proven outcomes. The needles used in acupuncture are tiny and hair-thin. Patients only feel the mildest prick while the needles are inserted. Each needle is sterile and pre-packaged. Once the needle is inserted, the patient may feel a numbness at that point, indicating to the doctor that the treatment is working.
Electrical stimulation (E-stim) is used to rehabilitate muscles affected by injury or disease and to help increase the localized blood flow. E-stim can be used to maintain or increase range of motion, prevent disuse atrophy, re-educate muscles, relax muscle spasms, increase blood circulation, wound care and/or pain management. E-stim should not be used with individuals who have cardiac pacemakers or those who are pregnant. Electrodes are applied to the area to be treated. We use disposable multi-day electrodes which use a solid polymer gel and a built-in tape patch. Properly caring for the skin prior to the application of the electrodes will allow more stimulation to reach the targeted tissue, and reduces the risk of skin irritation. Treatment sessions last approximately 15 minutes. E-stim is helpful in muscle re-education, wound care, and pain management.
Ultrasound therapy is the use of acoustic energy that penetrates the skin for both its deep heating and non-thermal deep soft tissue stimulation effects. Ultrasound is applied over the skin’s surface using a hand-held transducer. The soundwaves then penetrate to the deep soft tissues and muscles. Benefits of ultrasound include: pain relief, decreased contracture, decreased edema, wound healing, increased soft tissue extensibility, and increased circulation. Ultrasound should not be applied to areas of infection, thrombophlebitis, or over a known tumor.
There are a number of medically accepted uses for spinal traction, which include the mobilization of soft tissues or joints, decompression of pinched nerve roots, and reduction of herniated intervertebral disks. Low weight cervical spinal traction may be beneficial in the early treatment of cervical radiculopathy caused by a disc herniation. Harnesses or slings are used for the treatment of disc herniations. In these cases the amount of weight used is low and the time spent in traction is intermittent.
Exercises are an important part of the treatment of spine-related pain. Almost all spine-care providers advise exercises as a part of spine-related pain recovery programs. Exercise programs will normally depend on the type of condition, its severity and the patient’s fitness level. It often surprises people that exercise is usually better for healing many back conditions that bed rest. The aim of the exercises is to encourage mobility, reduce muscle spasm and speed recovery. Exercises benefit all types of spine-related disorders because the process of stretching and strengthening the muscles of the back and neck produces a feeling of relaxation and well being similar to that produced by relaxants and pain relievers medications. Spine-related pain is usually includes both physical and psychological components and exercises can help treat both parts of this problem. It is important to first get an accurate diagnosis for the cause of the back or neck pain, as the specific exercises recommended will depend on the cause. It is also important to get a diagnosis before starting any exercises because, while rare, back pain can be caused by some serious medical conditions (such as an infection or tumor) that require prompt medical attention.