Chiropractic treatments are designed to reduce pressure on the tissues of the spine and restore the structural integrity and alignment of spinal components, reducing or eliminating pain in patients.
Traditional spinal manipulation techniques have been enhanced by advances in technology and the foundational science of chiropractic care in recent years.
Modern chiropractors have an arsenal of tools and techniques to improve patient outcomes, allowing their patients to lead healthier, happier lives free of pain.
Some of the more effective chiropractic treatment advances include technologies developed within the past decade, with systems designed to provide treatments tailored to the unique needs of each patient.
Chiropractic Treatments: New Emerging Technologies
These new technologies can not only treat chronic pain conditions, but they can also help chiropractic professionals diagnose the underlying causes of pain.
Some of the most effective new chiropractic treatments include:
The Pettibon System
Developed by noted chiropractor Dr. Burl Pettibon, The Pettibon System is a comprehensive set of rehabilitation components that enhance traditional treatment methods.
The system is comprised of special exercises to improve mobility and spinal alignment, while weights are used to provide traction. X-rays are used as a diagnostic tool prior to and following phases of care.
The Pettibon System addresses the patient’s supportive soft tissues, such as ligaments, discs, and muscles, as well as the vertebrae of the spine itself.
There are three distinct phases of care in the system, with acute care the first phase for patients. This phase can last for up to three weeks.
The next phase is rehabilitation and correction, which may take up to 90 days or more. The goal of this part of the treatment system is to achieve permanent correction of underlying spinal conditions.
Finally, maintenance and supportive care represents the last phase. Patients conduct regular exercises to improve correction, build endurance, and enhance muscular strength and support.
Traditional “hands on” manipulation of spinal processes has been proven effective for decades in many chiropractic patients. However, advanced tools make the task of spinal manipulation easier for the chiropractor and more effective for the patient than ever before.
There are a variety of instruments on the market, including the ProAdjuster and Pro Back Pulse by SIGMA Instruments as well as the PulStar by Sense Technology, Inc. Each of these devices makes diagnosing underlying medical conditions easier for chiropractors.
In the PulStar, a gentle mechanical impulse is administered to the patient’s spine. The instrument records the resistance of the spine against that impulse. The next step is to apply precisely controlled pressure to trouble areas as indicated by the system’s instrumentation.
ProAdjuster works in a similar way. Systems like these have revolutionized the care that chiropractic professionals can provide to their patients.
While inversion tables have been part of the chiropractor’s tools for a number of years, recent advancements in spinal decompression therapy have made it more effective and less uncomfortable for patients.
Decompression therapy removes strain and stress from the spine and its supporting tissues, working to correct alignment while eliminating painful pressure points.
Modern spinal decompression systems like the ReHab Spinal System can be adjusted to the specific needs of each patient, unlike the inversion tables of old. Digital motors and computerized readouts regulate the traction applied to the patient’s spine, making precise adjustments possible.
These modern decompression tools are much more effective and relaxing than outdated technology in use in years past.
Subluxation with the Insight Subluxation Station
This innovative tool, developed by the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance, provides chiropractic professionals with advanced diagnostic and manipulation tools.
Chiropractors can analyze a patient’s spinal condition very accurately using the instrument and use it to track progress as treatments are conducted over time. A range of sensors and meters complement the function of the Insight system, making it incredibly effective for patients and eliminating the guesswork sometimes required of traditional therapeutic methods.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy
Found in use in physical therapy clinics, orthopedic units, and other medical disciplines, extracorporeal shock wave therapy has been demonstrated as effective in many chiropractic patients.
The shock waves are generated by a electromagnetic coil and are short but very intense. These waves can be used to break up calcifications in tendons, among many other applications.
The Future and Promise of Chiropractic Treatments
Chiropractors have employed devices to help treat a variety of tendon, muscular, and joint conditions, all with impressive effectiveness.
As further research is conducted, chiropractic professionals will have new treatment methods and instrumentation to make their jobs easier.
Patients will benefit from these advances as well, resulting in effective treatments that improve the quality of patients’ lives.
About the Author: Dr. Gordon Kernes DC knows well the value of being in optimum shape both physically and mentally, and the edge one gets from chiropractic care and the foundation it provides in the day-to-day activities of life — as well as the not so day-to-day activities.
Dr. Gordon Kernes is a chiropractor with The Joint Chiropractic – Pasadena East.