A regular visit to your chiropractor is one of the best things you can do to eliminate chronic back and neck pain and to maintain flexibility and range of motion. Your chiropractor will design a treatment plan specific to your particular needs that will include not only chiropractic adjustments, but also suggestions for appropriate exercises and nutritional changes you can make that will enhance the effectiveness of your treatments. There are a few things that everyone can do to make their chiropractic treatments even more effective.
Be specific about your symptoms – In order for your chiropractor to recommend the most effective therapy or combination of therapies for your particular situation, you need to be as specific as possible about your symptoms. Since chiropractic is a holistic form of healing (meaning that all aspects of a person’s health and lifestyle are taken into consideration when developing a treatment plan), it’s important to mention every symptom you have. This is true even if you feel that some of your symptoms may be unrelated or insignificant. Based on what you tell your chiropractor as well as diagnostic tests performed in the office, he or she will be able to decide which types of treatment may be most appropriate for your condition. Treatment plans may include chiropractic adjustments, joint mobilization, soft tissue techniques, therapeutic exercise and nutritional changes as well as other types of specialized therapies.
Keep moving – One of the main aims of chiropractic care is to maintain flexibility and range of motion. As the old saying goes, “Use it or lose it.” Chiropractic has been shown to be most effective when combined with regular exercise, and the effects of treatment last longer. Muscle strengthening and stretching exercises will provide the necessary support to the spine that will help to keep it from going out of alignment as easily. By following your chiropractor’s exercise suggestions between adjustments, your function will be restored more quickly, and you will gain confidence in your ability to move in ways that would have been too painful before your chiropractic treatment. With your newly enhanced flexibility, try to get out on a walk, hike or bike ride.
Consider massage – Therapeutic massage is often used in conjunction with chiropractic care. It shares with chiropractic the desire to enhance the circulation of blood and fluids and to restore the free flow of nerve impulses. Massage can break up adhesions in the fascia that keep your muscles from moving properly. Massage can also help to release muscle tension and warm up the areas around a spinal subluxation, making your joints more pliable and easier to adjust. However, keep in mind that not all chiropractors agree about the relative benefits massage before an adjustment. Some chiropractors prefer to get an accurate picture of your normal physiological state prior to performing an adjustment, so be sure to check with your own chiropractor before having a pre-adjustment massage.
Incorporating these suggestions into your regular chiropractic treatment regime can help you to make the most of each adjustment and make a significant impact on your quality of life.
Dr. Howard Austrager has been a local Framingham chiropractor for the past 13 years. His practice is Metrowest Spine Clinic and it is located at 235 Walnut St. in Framingham, MA. The phone number is 508-620-1585 and more information can be found atwww.metrowestspineclinic.com.