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Chiropractic Techniques

By Susan Donald There are a number of different approaches to chiropractic. They are referred to as chiropractic techniques. A technique is a combination of different adjustments, x-ray analyses, case management and philosophies. Some chiropractors adjust by hand only, while some use instruments. Most take x-ray and analyze then, some do not. Commonly, chiropractors use a combination of adjusting with some form of therapy such as heat or cold, massage and ultrasound. Some only adjust and use no therapy. Many chiropractors are heavily involved in nutrition, exercise, and education. Whatever the technique may be, it may not work for all people. A very important point here is that if you have tried chiropractic and did not get the results you were looking for, try another chiropractor. Chiropractic works - it is not a belief. Some people have tried one chiropractor and did not get the results they wanted and gave up on chiropractic. However, if you go to a dentist and don't get good results, you simply find another dentist - you do not give up on dentistry. There are very specific techniques that are useful in finding and correcting subluxation (misaligned vertebras causing nerve interference). Some of these techniques involve adjusting the full spine and extremities and incorporating soft tissue techniques. The soft tissue techniques used are myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, and active isolated stretching. Myofascial release is used to evaluate and treat restrictions in the body's contractile connective tissues (muscles) and non-contractile supportive connective tissues (fascia) by the application of gentle traction, pressures and positioning. Fascia is a complex supportive web throughout the body affecting all components of the musculoskeletal, nervous and visceral (organ) systems. It surrounds groups of muscle fibers, and entire muscle groups and organs. Muscles and fascia can retain tensions from physical and emotional traumas. It is also involved when a person suffers chronic pain and physical dysfunction. Chronically tense muscles restrict blood flow and fatigue the body. Myofascial release techniques are used to coax muscles in spasm to relax, and break adhesions in the fascia. Bodies respond to these therapies by releasing tension that have been stored in the fascia, thus allowing more functional flexibility and mobility of the muscles, fascia and associated structures. Craniosacral therapy can be considered to be a type of myofascial release that is especially suited to addressing tensions in the craniosacral system: the membranes that contain the cerbrospinal fluid within the head and spinal column, as well as the cranial (head and face) bones to which these membranes are attached. Release of restrictions in these membranes and the structures between the cranial lobes is deeply relaxing and may relieve certain types of headache, spinal nerve problems, and temporomandibular joint (jaw) dysfunction. Active isolated stretching (AIS) was originally designed as a rehabilitative technique for injured professional athletes, this approach to stretching and building muscle is ideally suited to any pre or post fitness activity. Using a rope you stretch one muscle while contracting the opposing muscle, facilitating greater range of motion. Active isolated stretching promotes blood flow to the muscles and joint areas where the muscles attach. Active isolated stretching is a great way to prevent injuries and help your body adjust to the aging process without the all too common loss of flexibility and muscle strength.

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