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At Kinetic Health, we approach Chiropractic Care from a neuro/biomechanical approach that is strongly supported by the latest scientific studies. We use Chiropractic manipulation to treat musculosketetal conditions, relieve pain, improve function by restoring freedom of motion, and improve nervous system function by manipulating both the spinal column and the body's extremities. At Kinetic Health, we use treatment methods that combine osseous manipulation (hands on adjustments) with soft-tissue techniques (Active Release Technique, Graston Technique).
These treatments are supplemented by specific rehabilitation exercises that strengthen weakened muscle groups, improve flexibility and assist in preventing conditions from returning.
Disclaimer: This page contains Dr. Abelson's personal opinions. The opinions noted on this page may vary greatly from the opinions of the Alberta Chiropractic Association, and the Canadian Chiropractic Association. We are providing this information for your benefit. We are not implying or claiming "Superiority" of one chiropractic technique over other another Chiropractic procedure.
Chiropractic is a hands-on, manual therapy, that can achieve great results for many conditions. In fact if you review the most recent literature from recognized journals in conventional medicine (Spine, British Journal of Medicine) Chiropractic is considered to be the best choice for treating back pain.
Chiropractic care has been shown to be the most effective method for improving and providing long-lasting quality of life for back-pain sufferers.
Chiropractors comprise the third largest segment of the health care practitioners in the United States, with over 50,000 practitioners. In the United States 21 to 28 million people now receive chiropractic services each year.
Some of the most recent studies about chiropractic are not only showing how effective it is, but also how chiropractic treatments can help to lower overall health expenditures. This is being achieved by reducing the need for expensive diagnostic procedures, surgeries, and other health related costs.
Low back pain is often difficult to solve. In fact the literature shows that there is little association between pathological physical findings and the patients pain and disability. In other words a lot is unknown about its cause from a conventional medical perspective.
What we do know is that low back pain is second only to the common cold in visits to primary care physicians. In fact 43% of the population experience back pain in a given month. Direct cost of treating LBP is $33-$55 billion per year, and the indirect costs are $90 billion.
Many factors increase the incidence of Low Back Pain:
We know what works, and what does not work in the treatment of low back pain:
What is an effective treatment for low-back pain?
So what is the most effective form of treatment for back pain that can be scientifically validated? The answer is simple.
Joint restrictions lead to biomechanical restrictions, friction, inflammation and eventually degeneration.
Chiropractic manipulation releases joint restrictions to restore normal range of motion. The Chiropractic adjustment helps to break up the restrictions of fibrosis that forms around spinal joints. These restrictions cause friction and increased stress on the normal joint function. This increased friction may cause inflammation or just wear and tear of the joints.
This wear and tear is no small matter. Wear and tear causes Osteoarthritis, a progressive breakdown of cartilage. The cartilage is a very thin layer inside the joint. Thus it becomes very important to remove stress from the joint in order to prevent complete degeneration of the cartilage. Twelve percent of the population suffers from severe osteoarthritis.
It is very important to restore joint function if you are experiencing an inflammatory reaction as a result of these joint restrictions, particularly if you have been experiencing repeated episodes of inflammation. Repeated episodes often lead to chronic problems which effect the surrounding structures: joint capsules, ligaments, muscles, and nerves.
Spinal manipulation is a very effective way of alleviating these types of restrictions and preventing further problems.
Patients often ask me how an adjustment of an osseous structure (Bones) can affect soft tissue (muscles). The answer is really quite simply. In your muscles you have stress receptors called Golgi Tendon Organs. These stress receptors react to situations where muscle tension suddenly increases such as with a Chiropractic Adjustment.
These adjustments are low in force but high in velocity. This causes the stress receptors (Golgi Tendons) to inhibit all muscle activity in the surrounding area. It literally causes the entire muscle surrounding the joint to go into an instantaneous state of relaxation. A very important function when you are dealing with an acute episode of low back pain. (Guyton Textbook of medical physiology p691-692) This is why chiropractic adjustments when performed correctly are done very fast but with very low force.
This is by far the most important aspect of chiropractic manipulation. For years chiropractors have hypothesized on how adjustments effect the nervous system, we now can scientifically expand how this works. We can also validate our claims with research from the conventional research community. By conventional I am talking about accredited allopathic medical journals in the world not Chiropractic research. Some times I hear there is no scientific information out there to validate Chiropractic. Obviously these individuals are not familiar with current literature.
One of the central hypothesis of the chiropractic theory is that dysfunction of the musculosketetal structures ( Relating to or involving the muscles and the skeleton) have a significant impact on the autonomic nervous system.
The autonomic nervous system is the part of your nervous system that controls involuntary activities, including heart muscle, glands, and smooth muscle tissue. The autonomic nervous system is subdivided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.
Abnormal neurological input from dysfunctional musculosketetal structures (ie. injury, inflammation) increases sympathetic traffic or activity in this system. The sympathetic system is responsible for the "fight-or-flight" response we are hard wired with.
An injury to the musculosketetal system result in an overall increase in the sympathetic nervous system activity. In fact injury to this system will cause a shift of the autonomic nervous system towards sympathetic dominance.
The flight or fight response , also called the "acute stress response", was first described as early as the 1920's. The response was later recognized as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses.
The onset of a stress response is associated with specific physiological actions in the sympathetic nervous system, both directly and indirectly through the release of the hormone epinephrine and to a lesser extent norepinehrine from the adrenal glands (medulla). These are stress related hormones.
The release of these hormones is triggered by a substance called acetylcholine which is released from the sympathetic nerves.
Acetycholine is a neurotransmitter in the brain which helps to regulate memory, the actions of skeletal and smooth muscle in the pheripheral nervous system.
These hormones ( epinephrine and norepinehrine) facilitate immediate physical reactions by triggering increases in heart rate and breathing, constricting blood vessels in many parts of the body - but not in muscles (vasodilation), brain, lungs and heart - and tightening muscles.
Injury to the back often involves injury to the facet joints of the spine or to the discs. These injuries are often caused by the non-voluntary contraction of the spinal segmental mover (muscles around the spine contracting such as the multifudus muscle). These non-voluntary contraction occur not only at the level of injury but several segments above and below the level of injury.
This non-voluntary movement contraction locks what is referred to as the motor unit (two adjacent vertebrae, the disc between them, the nerves that goes through them, and surrounding soft tissues) into a certain position with reduced movement.
This has the effect of opening what is called the "Pain Gait". Initially the Pain Gait theory was proposed in 1965 by Melzack and Wall based on the fact that small diameter nerve fibres carry pain stimuli through a 'gate mechanism' but larger diameter nerve fibres going through the same gate can inhibit the transmission of the smaller nerves carrying the pain signal.
Chemicals released as a response to the pain stimuli also influence whether the gate is open or closed for the brain to receive the pain signal. This leads to the theory that the pain signals can be interfered with by stimulating the periphery of the pain site, the appropriate signal-carrying nerves at the spinal cord, or particular corresponding areas in the brain stem or cerebral cortex.
It is generally recognized that the ' Pain gate ' can be shut by stimulating nerves responsible for carrying the touch signal ( mechano-receptors) which enables the relief of pain.
How this relates to Chiropractic Adjustments
When a Chiropractor adjustment adjusts a section of the spine they cause the firing in of what is called high threshold mechano-receptors. This initiates a neurological sequence of events that causes pain inhibition (closes the pain gate), and inhibits the sympathetic nervous system. Considering the wide spread effects of being in a constant state of flight or fight, the ability to reduce these sympathetic activities with an Chiropractic adjustment is quite amazing.
Poor healing of the back always results in fibrosis of scar tissue formation and adhesions. Chiropractic spinal adjustments are unique in their ability to break up these adhesions, close the pain gait, reduce involuntary sympathetic nervous system activity, and improve over all function.
Less side effects and a safe alternative.
Research shows that chiropractic is significantly safer than comparable pharmaceutical and surgical treatments, and produces far fewer (4,000 times fewer) negative side effects. To further understand chiropractic's effectiveness, the Canadian chiropractic profession is currently involved in additional research to further examine neck adjustments. Recent research conducted at the University of Calgary, demonstrated that neck adjustment is done well within the neck's normal range of motion; that no force is
Internal forces sustained by the vertebral artery during spinal adjustment therapy, Herzog W, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics,
All Chiropractors use standard procedures of examination to diagnose a patient's condition, and to arrive at an appropriate course of treatment.
Doctors of Chiropractic use the time-honored methods of consultation, case history, physical examination, orthopedic analysis, neurological analysis and x-ray examination (as needed) as any other doctor. In addition, we also carry out a careful structural examination that pays particular attention to the bio mechanic's of the body.
Patients moving to a new city often ask me for referrals to local Chiropractors. I am often asked about what they should look for in a good Chiropractor. Here are a few of the things I would recommend:
At our clinic, we believe that any treatment protocol must address the body at many levels. We strongly believe in using an integrated and holistic approach to your health. We combine essential aspects of numerous disciplines to provide a comprehensive, multi-factorial approach to your treatment protocols.
For example, most patients are aware that Chiropractors improve bio-mechanical and neurological function by adjusting the spine. However, patients are often unaware that Chiropractors view health care from a greater perspective that includes exercise, diet, and life-style changes.
Patients who do not exercise appropriately in conjunction with their Chiropractic adjustments will find that the adjustment gives them temporary relief by restoring their biomechanical and neurological function. However, their new found function will not last without regular exercise. This is because the body adopts muscle patterns that are based on existing physical activity.
A Chiropractic adjustment helps to establish a new optimal pattern for the spine, and the muscles that hold the spine in position. Appropriate exercises act to ensure the muscles change their existing patterns to better maintain the optimal pattern set by the adjustment.
At the same time, a patient who exercises, and has not addressed adhesion formation that has built up due to repetitive motion may see only limited results. This why we treat not only the osseous structures (bones), but also address soft-tissue restrictions by breaking up those adhesions. Soft tissue being: muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and circulation.
Diet is also an important issue, poor dietary habits will always impair healing. This is common sense. The body cannot effectively repair itself if the fundamental building blocks of essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals are not present.
Take a look at our dietary section to learn some fundamentals in accelerating the healing process.
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This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider. Please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.Any attempt to diagnose and treat an illness using the information in this site should come under the direction of a trained medical practitioner. We accept no responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any of the suggestions or procedures in this site or related internet links. By using the information in this web site you are confirming that you understand this statement and that you accept all risk and responsibility.
All matters regarding your health should be supervised by your health care provider. All information provided in this site is for the purpose of education, not treatment.
The information provided by or linked to on this site may or may not reflect the opinions of Dr. Brian Abelson. It does not represent the opinions of the Alberta Chiropractic Association or other affiliated associations.