CONDITIONS WE TREAT
The conditions we treat are many. Typically people identify Chiropractic with neck and back pain and the treatment used is manipulation.
Here are NCRC we have recognized for years the importance of the body as a whole. The body is one three dimensional unit with smaller parts contributing to the whole. We are made up of a large kinetic chain (muscles and joints acting together) which is made up of many more smaller interconnected kinetic chains.
Thus, to only treat the back when you have back pain, makes no sense.
Let's look at WHY...
Anatomy books are being rewritten over the past ten years as we have learned more about fascia. That is the white stuff you see in a roast or steak intertwined between the muscle fibers.
So, what does fascia do and why is it important enough to rewrite books and add entire sections regarding fascia in the book?
Fascia has many properties and purposes. When I first began anatomy and dissection in 1980, we always cut away the fascia to see "important stuff" like muscles. Wow, have things changed.
Fascia is a 3D network of tissue that runs in fascial planes throughout the body. Many of these planes connect the upper and lower body through the core (your torso).
The fascia has receptors in it for pain (nociceptors) and receptors (mechano and proprio) that pick up pressure, touch, movement, direction of movement and rate of movement.
As an example, there is one fascial plane that runs from your front shoulder, down your back and across the other side into the buttock and down the lateral thigh (IT band) to below the knee.
How could we possible only treat a shoulder or IT band without looking elsewhere?
So, to answer the question, what conditions do we treat is complicated.
Plantar fascitis, IT band, low back pain, hip pain, ankle pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, wrist pain, shoulder blade pain are but a few examples. However, they cannot be treated in isolation for the reasons previously explained.
NOTHING HAPPENS IN ISOLATION. WHY WOULD WE TREAT IN ISOLATION?
So, how do we find the upstream cause to the downstream symptom patterns?
You will hear (radio show every Tuesday 9:10 am on KWLM 1340 am) or read me discussing the FMS (www.functionalmovement.com), SFMA (www.sfma.com) or Stuart McGill's work (www.backfitpro.com) quite frequently.
We use screens, tests and assessments to watch movement patterns as a whole and also broken down further to look at local tissues and joints.
The FMS is used throughout college, professional and the Olympic sports world. We have used it for several years now much like a GPS, to find WHERE. My nephew plays Division one hockey and just returned from the Philadelphia Flyers camp and one of the first things they did was the FMS.
The FMS is used on a healthy individual to look for mobility, stability and movement patterns in three different stances. Having a low score has been correlated with increase risk of injury.
The SFMA is used when someone is injured and is a deeper look at the patient as a whole, including global movements like a toe touch to local movement such as the hip, ankle or shoulder for example.
The Whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
This is how we see that even though you may have great moving parts, you move poorly as a whole and must work on movement pattern corrective exercises. This is where the nervous system comes into play.
Proper movement patterns takes great mobility and stability (your ability to stand on one foot while moving the rest of your body for example) to the next level of performance and health.
Sometimes we must retrain movement patterns due to injury, repetitive movement disorders or even chronic posture problems.
Mobility occurs in our joints and muscles, however movement patterns ONLY occur in the brain and these are learned early in the crib and this is called primitive patterning or early childhood development.
The body is one big perception (what is sensed) and behavior (output of muscles due to the perception) unit. Behavior is dependent on proper perception. Injuries, repetitive motions (like running) and chronic postures change perception.
This is why we follow the principles of the bodies needs versus being methods driven. Methods driven providers have a favorite method and want to apply that on everyone they see. Everyone gets the same exercise handouts as an example.
Principles driven providers recognize the body for how it works and we provide a method(s) of care based on YOUR needs, not our favorite method of treatment.
There is a hierarchy of needs when treating a patient. Mobility first always. Next stability (your ability to stand on one foot and stay solid even when pushed). Next proper movement patterns through functional corrective exercises. Next, strength followed by endurance and power. Lastly, skills, like throwing a ball or running.
To not follow this hierarchy does your patient a disservice. Strengthening before mobility and stability is like clicking save on a word document before you have spell checked.
So, when you visit our office for an ankle pain, don't be surprised if your ankle doesn't get as much attention initially as you would think. We care where you hurt, but we care MORE WHY you hurt.
The most important thing we do is assess WHY, than we treat. Then we assess again to see if we made a difference. If we did we are on the right track, if we didn't, then we treat based on the new assessment. We don't want you to leave until we have made a difference.
So, in conclusion, the question, what conditions do we treat is more complicated than simply listing the condition as you have seen.
ALWAYS REMEMBER. MOVE WELL FIRST. THEN MOVE MORE.