To get the very best chiropractic treatment Alaska has to offer, there are a few key things you’ll want to look for in a chiropractic practice. Aside from convenient hours and a same-day promise, there are also certain treatments that your chiropractor should have in their practice to ensure any and all of your chiropractic needs will be met. Pain relief and a healthier lifestyle are entirely possible with the care of a well-rounded chiropractic care practice!
Below, we’ll go through five of the most important treatments to look for, as well as some general information about what specific ailments chiropractors can treat. Your spine is intricately connected to many different areas of the body, so chiropractic care should encompass a total-body healing experience in order to be fully effective! Let’s dive right in.
What Do Chiropractors Treat?
A chiropractor’s goal is to diagnose and treat any and all pain, misalignments, mobility issues, or other dysfunctional areas of the body, focusing mostly on the spine. The spine is a major element of the body’s central nervous system, so the conditions that a chiropractor can treat go far beyond surface level pain or a simple crack in your back.
Chiropractors can treat hundreds of different types of ailments, but the most common ones include scoliosis, arthritis, bulging or herniated discs, stenosis, whiplash, headaches, and more. In the local Anchorage area, most patients come in for lumbar pain, degeneration, spinal injuries, and disc issues.
All of this is entirely treatable, and with regular care and maintenance, you can maintain good spinal – and bodily – health and overall well-being with the help of your local chiropractor!
The doctors treat these conditions through the use of a few different practices, treatments, and modalities. This is because every patient’s needs are different, so there can’t really be a one-size-fits-all type of treatment for every condition.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important treatment methods your chiropractor should have in their practice to make sure any and all potential issues you may need to be addressed will be fully taken care of, now and in the future:
1) Chiropractic Adjustments
Of course, you’ll want to make sure your doctor is well-versed in traditional chiropractic spinal adjustments. This is the “backbone,” if you will, of the practice. A spinal adjustment helps to correct subluxations and misalignments by applying gentle force to the area in different ways, thus relieving pressure on vertebrae, restoring proper alignment, motion, nutrient flow, and nerve impulse.
It’s entirely non-invasive and pain-free with most patients feeling incredibly relieved post-adjustment.
A subluxation or misalignment can be caused by any number of everyday life circumstances. Anything from a traumatic accident to simply sitting in the same position for too long can cause issues in the spine that need a little extra push to get back to proper function.
Even if you don’t have any pain or symptoms of a subluxation, regular chiropractic care can prevent further issues and strengthen the spine over time, while slowing the natural deterioration of the area as well.
What To Expect
Your chiropractor will first examine the area to identify where the subluxation is. They will then apply gentle pressure to the area, or twist your body in different ways in order to encourage realignment. You may hear a gentle crack or pop, which is perfectly healthy and means that the adjustment worked!
They may also work with your shoulders, neck, and hips, as all of these joints and areas connect to the spine and may be affected by a subluxation in the area. All of these adjustments have the same end goal of proper alignment, better mobility, and pain reduction.
It can be a bit daunting to put your complete trust in someone, especially for such a sensitive area of the body, and especially if you’ve been in pain. The last thing you want is for it to get worse. But chiropractors train for years to master this art, and they can help you reduce that pain and get you back to optimal health in no time.
The overall benefits of a chiropractic generally include reduced pain and inflammation, improved mobility, better posture, more strength, and reduction of muscle spasms. Chiropractic adjustments are one of the most important treatments for a chiropractic clinic because patients will benefit from this no matter what state of health they’re in. Your spine could always use some love!
2) Physical Rehabilitation Therapy
Physical therapy modalities in conjunction with chiropractic care can work miracles on a recovering body, so this is definitely a treatment option you want from your chiropractor.
Physical rehabilitation is very helpful if you’re recovering from an injury or surgery, and it is a type of specialized care that restores mobility, strength, flexibility, and overall healing. A physical therapist will help you through many exercises on a regularly scheduled basis, focused on stretching, strengthening, and building muscle in the body. It will help keep things strong so that your gains last longer.
It can treat a long list of issues, but basically, it helps you live your life the way you want to. If you’ve had any sort of operation, disease, injury, or otherwise that has limited your quality of life, physical rehabilitation therapy aims to help you get back on track and live your life again.
It treats the pain and discomfort associated with these limiting situations by practicing and building strength in the body, encouraging it to heal on its own.
3) Physical Therapy Modalities
In addition to physical rehabilitation, chiropractors also tend to employ other physical therapy modalities to enhance your healing process and aid in the rehabilitation journey. There are a few different types that are the most popular and common in chiropractic practices. The first is a group of therapies that change your soft tissue temperature. Traction, diathermy, infrared, ultrasound, or just plain old hot/cold packs are all part of this group. These can all aid in relieving muscle pain, increasing blood flow, and relaxing tight muscles.
The next group is a collection of electrical modalities that are used to stimulate soft tissue to help strengthen and restore mobility, while also increasing blood flow. Electrical stimulation and biofeedback are the most common.
All of these modalities are totally harmless when employed correctly, and at Better Health, all the practitioners are highly trained in these to give you the best physical therapy experience possible.
4) Massage Therapy
Sometimes, especially early in your chiropractic care, you might feel stiffness, sore areas, or fatigue from a standard chiropractic adjustment. This is mainly due to the release of toxins from the adjustments.
A simple solution to this discomfort is to find a chiropractic practice that also has a massage therapy treatment available. Getting a nice massage sounds great any day, but after an adjustment? Even better.
It’s especially useful in conjunction with adjustments because a gentle muscle massage can stimulate the body to fully release those toxins that were held in your spine before the adjustment. Chiropractic massage therapists typically employ techniques like gliding, kneading, skin rolling, and more.
Regular massage therapy focuses on releasing tension and toxins in the soft tissue, or surface level, of your body. A chiropractic massage can integrate adjustments and any number of techniques mentioned above to step the massage up a notch in terms of your overall health and well-being. It can also help relieve pressure or tension anywhere in your body, especially in your back, neck, shoulders, and hips.
Massage therapists at chiropractic clinics often talk with your chiropractor as well to make sure you’re getting the best personalized overall body care possible. This is another advantage over a typical spa massage – chiropractic massages are targeted for your unique bodily needs. It’s also potentially covered by insurance, which always helps.
5) Advanced Back Pain Treatments
Lower back pain can be debilitating and limit your lifestyle in a variety of ways. Oftentimes, it’s caused by a deep issue in the area that may not be solved with a few quick chiropractic adjustments.
For these kinds of situations, it’s helpful to have a chiropractic clinic that also employs various lower back pain treatments to get you back on your feet, pain-free as soon as possible!
One of the most effective technologically advanced non-surgical lower back treatments is the DRS System. It provides effective pain relief long after the treatment for about 9 out of 10 patients on average.
It involves using a traction device to target lower back areas of the spine, which then removes pressure from the discs, muscles, joints, and other parts of the low back that may be affected. The patient lies on the treatment bed under a blue light as this is happening for about 30 minutes per session, while being supervised by a professional. Typically, patients do about 20-25 sessions over the course of a 6 week period to ensure optimal back pain relief and long-term success.
The DRS System of low back pain treatment is effective for treatment of a wide range of issues, including sciatica and herniated or degenerated discs. While alleviating lower back pain, it can also decrease any leg pain or numbness associated with these conditions, as well as shrinkage of disc herniations. It’s incredibly useful for patients seeking long-term, effective relief!
Other Services To Look For
Along with typical chiropractic adjustments, spinal decompression therapy, physical rehabilitation therapy, massage therapy, and specialized, technologically advanced low back pain treatment methods, there are a few other services you might want to have on hand at your chiropractor’s clinic.
Depending on your needs, you want to make sure your chiropractor also provides mettler diathermy, flexion-distraction therapy, microlight low-level laser therapy, ultrasound services, foot orthotics services, gait training, and interferential current.
All of these therapies are focused on reducing pain and improving your lifestyle overall, in conjunction with traditional chiropractic treatments. Your body is an amazing network of interconnected parts, and your spine is connected to basically each and every one of them. No wonder a spinal issue could actually manifest itself in a completely different part of your body!
That’s why it’s important for your chiropractor’s practice to have wide-ranging, versatile, and all-inclusive body care services like all the ones mentioned above.
Of course, every patient’s needs are different. Maybe you think, as of now, you only need a traditional chiropractic adjustment therapy to soothe your pain and improve your lifestyle. While that may be true, your circumstances may (and, frankly, are likely to) change over time! Even if something like an injury or disease doesn’t happen, you may need to integrate chiropractic massage into your body care regimen to alleviate muscle tension.
You may get a new sedentary job and start to experience back pain, which would need a different treatment approach as well.
Better safe than sorry to make sure your chiropractic clinic offers a wide range of services, especially the ones outlined above, to encompass all of your potential needs now and in the future. Luckily, there is a chiropractic practice with multiple locations throughout the Anchorage area that hosts all of these services for patients – check them out!
About the Author
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated thousands of patients from different health problems using services designed to help give long-lasting relief.
Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Thrive Global. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.