Some of the treatment aids that we utilize at Haymarket Chiropractic & Rehabilitation include the following:
ART (Active Release Techniques)
ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.
At Haymarket Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, we utilize the most recent advances in technology to put you on the path to recovery as quickly as possible. With kinesiology tape, a specialized elastic tape is applied to the body to support underlying muscles and to alleviate pain by lifting the skin — thus relieving pressure and preventing irritation of the neural and sensory receptors. Because KT Tape, unlike ordinary athletic tape, allows for full range of motion, the body will heal while the individual is engaged in normal activities.
Cold therapy is frequently used in the initial treatment of injuries and of inflammatory conditions. The application of cold decreases the tissue temperature and causes the blood vessels to shrink (vasconstrict). If a significant amount of inflammation exists during the early stages of an injury, ice will play a vital role in decreasing blood flow and in reducing the inflammation. Cooling of the injured area slows nerve conduction, which results in less pain. Cold therapy should be applied for 10-15 minutes and can be applied every hour, if necessary. Be careful not to place the cold directly next to skin. Wrap the ice pack in a towel to decrease the chances of injury and check frequently for frostbite. Ice should be used during days 1-3 (acute phase) of an injury.
Heat therapy is ordinarily utilized during the non-acute phases of healing (after day 3). The application of heat directly to the body (for example, with a heat pack) very rapidly increases the temperature of the skin. This heightened temperature causes the blood vessels in the skin to enlarge (vasodilate), thus allowing more blood to flow to the area of localized heating. In addition, the vasodilation of the blood vessels increases delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the area, removes waste products, and promotes the skin’s elasticity. Therapists wrap moist hot packs in several layers of towels to prevent the heat from burning the skin. The heat can be applied for 20-30 minutes every hour if necessary. Patients with muscle strains, spasms, or arthritis often benefit from treatment with moist hot packs. Patients can alter heat and ice to further decrease inflammation during a non-acute phase.
Electrical stimulation uses an electrical current to cause a single muscle or a group of muscles to contract. By placing electrodes on the skin in various locations the therapist can recruit the appropriate muscle fibers. Contracting the muscle via electrical stimulation helps strengthen the affected muscle. The physical therapist can change the current setting to allow for a forceful or gentle muscle contraction. Along with increasing muscle strength, the contraction of the muscle also promotes blood supply to the area that assists in healing. Other settings can be use to decrease the pain in an effected area.
Ultrasound is a method of heating that distributes heat deep within the body’s tissues. While heat that is derived from a heat pack placed directly on skin will only penetrate about one to five millimeters, ultrasound enables heat to penetrate up to five centimeters. Therefore, because ultrasound penetrates so deeply and avoids the skin’s surface receptors — which are programmed to detect hot and cold — patients usually will not notice any sensations of heat. Ultrasound, also, enhances certain tissue formation and improves tissue orientation and the elasticity of scars. Ultrasound penetrates the muscles to cause deep tissue/muscle warming. This promotes tissue relaxation and therefore is useful in treating muscle tightness and spasms. The warming effect of the sound waves also cause vessel vasodilatation and increase circulation to the area that assists in healing. The therapist can also adjust the frequency on the machine to use waves that will decrease inflammation.
TENS unit stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. It is a small battery operated machine that uses electrical transmission to decrease pain. Electrodes are applied to the affected area. The machine is turned on and an electrical current is sent through the electrodes. A tingling sensation is felt in the underlying skin and muscle. This signal disrupts the pain signal that is being sent from the affected area to the surrounding nerves. By breaking this signal, the patient experiences less pain.