What is Chiropractic Medicine?
Chiropractic medicine encompasses over 100 different techniques and therapies, providing a treatment option for nearly any patient and condition. The main focus of chiropractic care is to improve the overall function of the body through therapies, such as: chiropractic adjustments, stretching or exercise, nutrition, and rehabilitation.
Chiropractic adjustments are a specialized technique aimed at improving spinal and extremity joint function. These targeted segments of your body are assessed, in our office, via their functional movements. By restoring normal joint function, pain and tension can be significantly reduced and, in many cases, completely alleviated. Chiropractic care may also be referred to as physical medicine and is commonly used to enhance sports performance. Many patients seek care to restore proper range of motion and biomechanics, in order to become stronger athletes.
In our office, the doctors are proficient in a variety of chiropractic techniques. They include but are not limited to:
- Diversified Technique
- Palmer Package
- Activator Method
- Flexion and Distraction (F&D)
- Thompson Drop
- Myofascial Release
Traditional adjustments, as well as low-force adjustments, are available. We treat patients of all ages –from babies and children to the elderly. Adjustments and treatments are available for any kind of dysfunction, pain syndrome, or performance-based movement.
We tailor care based on the individual patient’s condition and their needs. We DO NOT sell large, one-size-fits-all care plans or packages. Our care is based on a customized set of therapies – pay only for what YOU need.
Do I need X-rays?
X-rays are available through our office if your condition warrants them, however, by no means do all patients need x-rays when they visit our office. Your doctor will discuss your current complaints and take a detailed medical history and exam. From there, a decision can be made as to whether or not additional imaging is warranted. We have a network of local imaging centers that offer great cash pricing for things such as Ultrasounds, X-rays, MRIs and CTs. We can help you get set up if this is something that is necessary.
Do you offer additional therapies?
We strive to offer nearly anything you may need to get you on the path of healing. In addition to adjustments, most patients can improve their recovery time with the use of modalities to relax muscles such as ultrasound, laser, contrast therapy and muscle stimulation. Acupuncture and massage therapy are also offered at our office and are excellent additions that can be integrated into chiropractic care.
Flexion/Distraction (F/D) therapy is simply a different type of chiropractic treatment. The treatment utilizes a specialized table, which allows the trunk and lower spine to be moved into positions, which allow for maximum benefit from treatment. F/D treatments do not utilize any manipulative thrust associated with a traditional adjustment. In this respect, it is considered a low force technique appropriate for any age.
Who can benefit from Flexion/Distraction?
Flexion/distraction therapy is beneficial for nearly all lower back complaints. It is especially useful for treatment of herniated discs, facet syndromes, and sciatic pain. Since F/D is a very gentle form of spinal manipulation it works very well for the elderly, patients with previous surgeries on the low back, or anyone who may not benefit from traditional low back adjustments.
Myofascial release is facilitated by hand or the use of specialized tools. The fascial layers (thin layer that wraps around muscles) can become inflamed and irritated, which can cause the muscular layer below to dysfunction. Adhesions, sometimes referred to as “scar tissue”, between the muscle fibers and the fascia can hinder proper movement of the muscle and create pain. Utilizing these techniques, your doctor can help to increase blood flow to the area, reduce inflammatory proteins, break up adhesions, and clear stagnant build up that may be causing your pain or immobility. Myofascial release is also a popular option for those that have lymphatic issues.
Class IV Laser Therapy
Laser therapy has been an exciting addition to physical medicine. This non-invasive therapy can stimulate your biochemistry to speed the healing process. How does it work? Think of going out into the sun; the UV light changes the levels of proteins in your skin, resulting in a “tan”. Laser therapy is the same concept. However, instead of UV light we use infrared, which eliminates the harmful radiation. The beam of light is also concentrated, so rather than just having a reaction on the skin, the light can penetrate the body up to 2.5 inches, in certain circumstances.
By maximizing the primary effects of the photon-target cell interaction, Class IV therapy lasers are able to produce impressive clinical results and do so in a shorter period of time. Patients feel a mild warmth and relaxation during therapy. Since tissue warming occurs from the outside-in, Class IV therapy lasers are generally safe to use over metal implants. After treatment, a majority of patients feel some change in their condition – be it pain reduction, improved range of motion, or other benefit.
This taping technique allows free range of motion of the joint being treated, while adding integral stability and pain reduction. The elasticity in the tape is shown to allow better blood, nerve, and lymph flow around the area being treated. This may enhance effectiveness of other treatments or it can be used as a standalone therapy.
Gateway Natural Medicine and Diagnostic Center takes a systematic approach to helping you reach your goals. We begin with a comprehensive assessment of your current biochemistry, energy demands, and metabolic efficiencies. This is performed through a variety of functional lab tests that may include: urinary hormone analysis, blood chemistries, health assessment questionnaires, and others depending on the patient’s needs and/or goals.
The next step is to formulate a plan, as a team, to get you to your desired goals. Throughout the process, the Doctors encourage complete transparency and open conversation to ensure the correct changes are being made to ensure success. No diet, no matter how well it is formulated, will work forever. That is why you may have scheduled meetings with the Doctors so they can assess and redirect efforts.
Common Musculoskeletal Ailments
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed workdays in America. One study found that back pain is the leading cause of disability, worldwide. On top of that, an average of $50 million dollars is spent annually on back disabilities. Not only do these statistics confirm that back pain is a common problem, but also that many back pain complaints are not effectively treated.
Even though we specialize in internal disorders, we are still Chiropractors and can offer safe, effective, and natural treatments to ease your back pain. Numerous peer-reviewed studies still point to chiropractic care as the safest and most effective treatment for back pain. Whether you have had years of pain or this is the first time, chiropractic care and manual therapies can offer relief. We offer a variety of adjustments and therapies to tailor the treatment to fit the individual. We feature Flexion-Distraction therapy, structural correction, activator technique, Thompson drop and myofascial treatments, which specialize in alleviating back pain, as well as acupuncture and massage services. We can help you get back to normal quickly and with as few adjustments as possible. We do not prescribe any unnecessary treatments or extended care plans, only what you need to get back on your feet.
Back pain can be caused by mechanical dysfunction or more serious conditions, such as infections and autoimmune disease. The Doctors of Gateway Natural Medicine and Diagnostic Center have decades of experience in diagnosing and treating back pain properly and we are confident we can help you in your healing and recovery.
Herniated, slipped or bulging discs
A herniated or “slipped” disc in the low back can be a painful and debilitating injury. Most often, this occurs with a seemingly minor injury. The classic signs of a disc injury are pain radiating from the back down into the legs and oftentimes numbness in the same area. When this injury first occurs, getting around can be difficult. Treatments with the Flexion–Distraction adjustment are mild and more tolerable in cases of severe back pain than other types of chiropractic adjustment. The traction of the table can help to relieve pressure and irritation on injured discs to help to speed your recovery. Prompt care is important because disc injuries are a common reason for back surgeries. Early treatment can greatly improve your likelihood of a full recovery without surgery.
Flexion–Distraction Therapy (F/D)
Flexion–Distraction is a unique form of low back spinal traction. F/D can offer relief from back pain when other treatments may have failed. The results achieved with this specialized table are hard to duplicate with other low back treatments or adjustments. As opposed to some other forms of low back traction, the treatments are quick and take just a few minutes longer than a visit for a typical adjustment. Treatments just 2-3 times a week can produce quick results.
Flexion-Distraction is extremely effective for treating disc bulges or herniations in the low back. It is perfect for episodes of severe back pain and more gentle, making it suitable for patients in this situation. In addition to acute care injuries, it also works great for chronic low back pains.
If you have suffered with low back pain or are faced with the possibility of low back surgery, we urge you to give this a try.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Do you experience pain, numbness or tingling in your hands, arms and wrists? Are you waking up at night with numbness or tingling in your hands? Carpal tunnel is just one cause of these symptoms. We can evaluate your symptoms and determine their source and customize treatments to relieve your pain. Often, the problem lies not in the wrist but further up in the elbow, shoulder and even neck and upper back. By combining adjustments, therapies, myofascial release, and even acupuncture we can alleviate symptoms and treat the root cause.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. When it becomes aggravated or inflamed, it can cause pain at the heel or across the bottom of the foot. There can be a few different causes for this inflammation, such as adhesions, a dropped arch, or an autoimmune condition. We can evaluate what is occurring and customize your treatments to appropriately treat the cause of the fascial pain. By combining laser therapy, myofascial release, and adjustments, we can achieve better function of the area, thus reducing pain and inflammation. This normally occurs in just a few short visits.
Headaches and Migraines
There are several different types of headaches. Seeking medical care for proper diagnosis and subsequent treatment is important to successful management of headaches. If you are taking over-the-counter pain medications more than 2–3 times per week for headaches, you owe it to yourself to get to the bottom of what is causing them.
The majority of headaches are tension headaches and are related to stress, muscular tension, and often poor posture. Tension headaches often start in the back of the head and move into the temples and behind the eyes. These headaches often occur in the afternoon and can feel like your head is being squeezed. Tension headaches are typically caused by muscular tension in the neck and upper back. Taking prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers does nothing to address the cause of the headaches; thus, they continue to occur and usually become more frequent. As this happens, more and more of the pain relievers are needed to alleviate the pain. Taking even moderate doses of over-the-counter pain relievers can lead to far more serious problems than a headache. Chiropractic care, massage therapy and acupuncture can all help end your suffering without having to take all the pills.
Hormonally Linked Headache
For women, many headaches can be linked to hormonal changes during their monthly cycle or during menopause and the time leading up to it. Headaches are a common premenstrual complaint. In these cases, assessment of hormones can allow abnormal fluctuation to be controlled and ease headache pain, as well as other menstrual symptoms. Link to female hormone info
Migraine headaches are severe headaches caused by vascular dysfunction. Migraine headaches are brought on by increased blood flow to the brain. What causes this increased blood flow is not known, however, many people have found that certain triggers seem to bring on their migraines. A migraine headache often will come on suddenly and last for a prolonged period of time. Depending on the severity of the migraine, many sufferers are extremely sensitive to light and sounds and find it challenging to carry out their daily activities.
Analgesic medications are often ineffective for migraine headaches. To be successful with migraine management, a thorough evaluation of possible triggers including evaluation of possible food allergies or hormonal fluctuations must be done. Management includes identifying the triggers linked to migraine and finding effective ways to avoid them. Treatment can be as simple as mineral replacement or neurotransmitter balancing. Chiropractic care and acupuncture have a very successful track record with all types of headaches. Be sure to contact our office to consult with a doctor on your case. Seeking treatment between migraines or very early on in a headache is the most effective.