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Physiotherapy and Chiropractic – Why We Prep Your Joints during Treatment

Physiotherapy Modalities like Electrical Stim, Shock Wave, and Ultrasound can add a lot to Chiropractic rehabilitation and recovery.

It’s important to explain why we prep your joints with physical therapies at Blue Heron Chiropractic. Chiropractic is great. Focused, intentional adjusting can resettle a dysfunctional joint, restore normal movement, free up muscle spasm, and decrease pressure on nerves. The research and clinical evidence supports all of this. But how can we make this adjusting session even better, more comfortable, results longer lasting? At Blue Heron Chiropractic, we are most often prepping (or finishing) the treatment areas with physiotherapies that can relax (or firm) tissues, increase circulation, and help your body hold manipulative corrections. Exercise is a physical therapy, and passive therapies without exercise to retrain an area really only provide half of a recovery. We pair then with Chiropractic.

What types of Physiotherapies are there?

The reality is that there are a lot – and we have most all of them for you at Blue Heron Chiropractic – right inside your session. No need to go anywhere special. Physical Therapies (Physiotherapy, PT)  include hot moist packing, electrical stim, therapeutic ultrasound, deep tissue massage, myofascial release (like certified Graston Technique), Rapid Release Therapy, Cold Laser, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), Kinesiotaping, Neuromuscular Re-Education (NMR), Active Release Therapy (A.R.T.) and CranioSacral. There’s even more, like Traction and Flexion-Distraction, but you will have to come over to really get it.  And let’s not forget exercise, with Therabands and PT-Balls, maybe Body Blades or Balance Boards.

I haven’t had this before at a Chiropractor?!

Different conditions and different objectives for care require different physiotherapies, and so it is important a clinic have them available. A chiropractor can do all physical therapy modalities AND chiropractic… they just often don’t because it makes for a longer appointment or more expensive equipment.  I do talk to patients all the time that haven’t had a full therapeutic experience until they get to us. We aim to set this right at Blue Heron Chiropractic, either at 1934  NE Broadway or now at 5118 SE Powell Boulevard in Portland.  Doctor Dana is also a chiropractic orthopedist, and that means he intends to have good attention to details.

How do we do this?

After examining the patient, a typical flow will begin with hot moist packs, and then we will apply therapeutic ultrasound to a region to relax and improve circulation, or use electrical stim to balance muscles in spasm. At this point, the doctor will likely adjust, using a thrust therapy, instrument adjustment, or light force work. The patient may already be on Sacral-Occipital Technique blocks). We then may re-measure some of our ranges of motion, and progress a set of exercises designed to maintain restored movement or help stabilize a region. This kind of work separates an advanced boutique chiropractic clinic grounded in chiropractic orthopedics from a “pop shop”. We customize plans daily depending on what is needed,  because we listen to where our patients are coming from – and to where they are going.

How do treatments differ?

An every day pain patient might be getting some deep tissue petrissage massage and myofascial release RRT. A Motor Vehicle Accident (car crash) Whiplash patient might need a different set of physiotherapies – like massage and cervical traction – compared to a Migraine patient with Micro-Current or a Sciatica patient with Flexion Distraction therapies on the Leander Table. A Work Injury patient may need lifting or reaching simulators. The Frozen Shoulder patient is getting “The Move” and then some radial ESWT. It’s all different, but designed to work – and we can do it –  at both locations. .

What can change things?

I will often ask a patient what is next for them after the appointment, so that we don’t ask for too much out of a region just before a rigorous gym session, moving boxes into a new apartment, or even an all night dance marathon. It’s about listening.

Physiotherapies help.

Physiotherapies can really complement Chiropractic, leading to better results. On their own – other than ESWT –  physiotherapies are not necessarily enough to carry the day. Even with ESWT, we want to add in stretching and supportive movements (there is that NMR again). I think it is imperative that we set up a special recipe for recovery. If we can get this all done in 25 to 50 minutes, doesn’t that sound right to you?   And yes, almost all of these therapies are covered by standard benefits.

Ready to Start Making some Progress?

If you’re experiencing pain or limitations in your movement, or even too much movement with destabilization – consult for qualified care at Blue Heron Chiropractic. Dr. Dana Sibilla can determine if physical therapies paired with Chiropractic are right for you and help you get back to doing what you love.

Want some more chiropractic reading? Try our prior blog on Neuromuscular Re-Education or the earlier one on Radial ESWT Shock Wave therapy.

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