Finish First Approach to Chiropractic CareThe intent of our treatment is to improve the function of your body. Improved function can lead to less pain, stronger joints, a greater ease in how you do everyday things and for the athletes, better performance. We look at the body as a series of interconnected joints. The children’s song of the leg bone being connected to the hip bone has never been more true. This is called regional interdependence. Meaning the function of one joint can influence the function of related joints.

Because of this you may see us treating your hips and low back extensively when you come in complaining of knee pain. Sure, there is definitely some injured and irritated muscles and joints at you knee but we see the knee as the “victim”. In some cases the knee just ends up being the weak link…it gets too much stress placed on it because of the poor function of the hip. The hip can ultimately control what type of stress occurs at the knee. Merely addressing the pain that is felt at the knee is only a temporary band-aid and does not address the true cause of your pain.

Think of treatment as the judicious application of physical stress. Up to a point, the body responds very well to physical stressors. The body has an amazing ability to adapt to stress. When you work out you put stress on your neuromuscular system and the body usually adapts by getting stronger. Injuries occur when the body fails to adapt or adapts in a negative way that ends up putting too much load on certain tissues and these tissues end up being irritated or injured.

The basic steps in treatment:

• Rule of RED FLAGS. Most pain is simple aches and pains that come from muscles and joints. Rarely, pain can be from something more sinister (e.g. cancer, inflammatory disorders). We are trained to identify red flags and refer/manage this appropriately.

• Identify and eliminate the physical stressors that are causing too much strain on the body and consistently aggravate you. For an athlete, this can be seen by correcting training errors that may be overloading your system. For the office worker, we might change the way you use your computer.

• Identify and correct the faulty movement patterns that may be predisposing your body to improper stress. There is often an ideal way to move. We look for faulty movements, that cause increased stress and correct these with various methods.

• “Correct Weakness and Loosen Tightness”. Sounds simple, but this typically involves advanced palpation skills and assessment protocols to identify the correct structures and muscles that need the appropriate work. We use a number of techniques for this step that are detailed below. “Loosening” or decreasing tension in tight structures involves manual therapy, joint manipulations, soft tissue release, Active Release Techniques and Acupuncture. “Strengthening” is much more than making a muscle stronger. It is the right choice of exercise for the right patient at the right time. We are often correcting imbalances or changing the way in which you move through corrective exercise or manual therapy that corrects joint problems that actually create weakness.

• Be Thorough- Thinking that an elbow problem is just an elbow problem leads to suboptimal results. Elbow pain can come from the shoulder, the neck or even the nerves leading to the elbow. Addressing the entire region is often necessary.