Among alternative treatment methods, chiropractic care is one of the most preferred by patients experiencing musculoskeletal pain and discomfort. Often, patients who tried various medications and treatment plans but still have symptoms are referred to practitioners for assessment and treatment. But are these treatments all the same?
We have learned that chiropractic is customized according to the needs of the patients. But there is also structural correction and traditional care applied to patients. Let us understand the difference between these two so that we know the kind of care we need from our doctors.
How Does Structural Correction Work?
In structural correction, practitioners use a significantly different method from those applied in traditional adjustments or treatments. In conventional chiropractic care, the focus is more on alleviating back pain and increasing mobility. On the other hand, structural correction is about an in-depth treatment to repair the functions of the spine.
Practitioners who focus on this treatment will also look into secondary conditions as well as the symptoms of the patients. They will also focus on the foundation of the spine and create a customized plan for their patients. Chiropractors will address issues on the vertebral shift by re-aligning the bones, or by changing the ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons. This is done by careful manipulation and stimulation.
In structural correction, a patient will undergo careful analysis of the spine for the practitioner to break it down into various components. Generally, chiropractors will use these components to pursue a structural shift and a collection of changes in the region that will improve the functions of the body. Your doctor will conduct correction of the structure of the spine, and relieve secondary conditions like pinched nerves and back pain. You may compare these practitioners to mechanics who check on the cars to find axles and nuts which are not aligned properly.
Likewise, doctors apply a scientific approach to analyze the structure of the spine through four types of analyses. Then, they will be able to develop a treatment plan to discuss and propose to their patients.
Examination and Treatment
Before initiating manipulations and adjustments, chiropractors will walk through their patients with pictured analysis and study their medical history. These doctors will carefully review symptoms and secondary conditions that could be related to their current condition. If the pain experienced is due to an accident or daily routine, your doctor will take into account everything to provide the best care possible. They may also request laboratory examinations including the following:
- Surface Electromyography
- CT Scan and Imaging
These tests will determine the presence of a structural shift in the spine which causes pain and discomfort to the patient. A C-ray analysis will also reveal the condition of the general area of misalignment. More so, depending on the findings, you may be referred to a surgeon if there is a need for surgery in your case. But if not, you may be presented with a specialized structural correction care plan to help you recover without surgery. Your care plan may include these techniques:
- Spinal decompression
- Structural adjustments
- Structural soft tissue reconstruction
- Rehabilitation through stretching and exercise
- Nutritional guidance
Importance of Spinal Decompression in Structural Correction
Spinal decompression is an essential phase of the treatment plan for structural correction. The pain and symptoms that patients are experiencing may be rooted in the loss of the fluids of the discs which can happen due to an injury or wear and tear. It may lead to the loss of their thickness leading to the rubbing together of the spine. When the discs separating the spine decreases in volume, the vertebrae may press against each other and lead to a bulging disc, or pinched nerves, and various sensations of pain and discomfort in the affected area.
Decompression therapy in structural correction will slowly take the pressure off the nerves. When it decompresses, the thickness of the discs will increase to prevent rubbing and bulging. With the use of specialized equipment, chiropractors use a negative pressure to suction inside the bulging disc and allow the fluid to flow back into its original shape.
Back pain is a common complaint of adults sometime in their lives. It is because the spinal structure can become problematic as you age. Even if you are done with initial care, your practitioner will still go over your spine and ensure that everything is realigned. Likewise, your doctor will also schedule future visits to ensure that the problem does not happen again. Patients may also be given exercises that they can do on their own to strengthen their back.
Spinal Decompression therapy may be done if patients are experiencing these symptoms:
- Numbness and Tingling
- Neck pain
- Facet Syndrome
- Sciatica Pain
- Pinched Nerves
- Herniated Disc
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Spinal Cord Compression
Additionally, the spinal column is unique to every person and structural correction plan drawn by professionals are tailor made to the patient’s needs.
Focusing on Structural Correction
People often wonder if there is a difference between structural correction vs traditional chiropractic care. Traditional care addresses symptoms of secondary conditions that are affecting the well-being of the patient. Professionals do a good job of providing alternative treatment through this kind of care. On the other hand, structural correction is focused on addressing the spine.
Structural correction can be compared to repairing a home that has sunked down a few inches on one side. When it happens to the foundation of the body, the symptoms start to appear. If it happens to a home, you will see cracks on the walls or cracking of the floorboards. While traditional practitioners can patch up all these symptoms and provide immediate management of the symptoms, it will not address the root cause of the problem. Without addressing the foundation, the issues will continue to come back. If the house needs correction on the support beams and concrete blocks, the body also needs help from structural professionals to bring back their body to its normal position.
During an objective examination, a professional will focus on objective indicators of the condition rather than common complaints like pain. These symptoms are not the best way to assess the condition of the spine. For instance, arteries may clog for years before a patient can feel signs of heart disease. Despite having no symptoms, it does not indicate that a person has no health condition.
Additionally, there is a range of normal measures for your spine similar with the normal range for body temperature and blood pressure. If the range is far from the normal, there is a risk for a patient to develop secondary conditions such as increasing pain and degeneration. Fortunately, an examination featuring digital structural analysis, X-rays, and structural corrective radiograph can provide accurate measures of your spine especially if it is beyond the normal range. The results of these measures will help your doctor plan out the next steps on your treatment.
Why Is Customized Care Necessary for Patients Needing Structural Correction?
Spines differ from one person to another. Depending on the findings and examination results, you may need a different set of corrective exercises than other patients. Likewise, you will need various ergonomic modifications to address damage on your spine due to your lifestyle compared with someone who incurs an injury while teaching Cross fit for a living. Additionally, how severe your condition also affects the treatment plan that professionals will develop for you.
In case there is no variance in your measurements during the examination, you will need any stabilizing care phase. It means that your symptoms are not related to issues in the spine.
Traditional vs Corrective Chiropractic Care
When looking to improve your health, the primary step that professionals do is to determine the cause of your symptoms. If you are having pain and discomfort, your doctor will look into potential secondary conditions which might be causing your symptoms. And due to the complexity of the human body, even experts struggle to do this.
Structural correction professionals focus on studying the structure of the spine. They utilize structural radiographs to determine if the patient needs corrective care or if the patient’s present condition is something that can be addressed through chiropractic care.
The spinal cord is an essential part of the nervous system. It is the one that serves as a pathway for messages from the brain. All coordination, control and functions of the human body passes through the spinal cord. The spine on the other hand is a wonderful creation. It protects the spinal cord with a series of bones connected by movable joints. Structural correction experts are trained to recognize and adjust each joint in the spine if it goes out of its proper alignment or is not moving properly.
Joints that have shifted out of place in the spine can become inflamed and affect nerves in the spinal canal. When this happens, a patient feels various conditions which improve once the spinal shifts are corrected.
Practitioners are basically restoring the proper movement of the joint and letting the vertebrae move smoothly once again to lessen inflammation or irritation of the soft tissues in the area. The system of the spinal cord can be compared with an electrical wire system which you need to keep at its optimal condition. Wires should not be pulled away from the connection, cut, frayed or pinched. Damages to the wires can cause problems with its functionality, and it is the same with the human body.
The nerves in the spine when pulled back due to a straight neck, compressed due to a bulging disc, or frayed because of an inflammation in the spinal shift, will have an impact on your body’s functions. Any problems in this system is manifested through pain and discomfort. Once you experience this symptom, you automatically know that there is something wrong with how your body works.
Who Should You Approach for Your Pain: Traditional or Corrective Experts?
There are two major types of chiropractors, the traditional and the corrective professionals. Often, if you need to consult for adjustments, you will approach a traditional carer. They focus on a single segment of the spine and body, and check if there is improper movement or motion. They will use different techniques to make adjustments that will alleviate the improper motion and irritation of the nerves. These treatments will address common conditions to headaches, back pain, neck pain, sciatica and other symptoms. Typically, treatments and therapies like Heat, roller tables, STIM, cryotherapy and ultrasound are used by traditional practitioners to help reduce pain.
On the other hand corrective professionals are focused on the structure of the spine. They will look into its normal range to ensure that the body functions optimally and there are no hindrances in the spinal cord. Any deviation in the curves of the spine may cause symptoms including back pain, sciatica, headache and neck pain. Thus, instead of focusing on treating these symptoms, structural correction professionals aim to make measurable changes in the spine to address the root cause of symptoms.
This is done with the help of radiographs taken before and after adjustments. These professionals will take a series of each section of the spine from the neck down to the lower back to see if there is indeed a shift from the ideal measures of the spine.
Ultimately, structural correction and traditional care are both essential in providing safe and effective treatment for patients needing pain relief and improved well-being. On the other hand, there are patients who need complete foundational care instead of the minimum necessary manipulations that will provide them pain relief. With a structural corrective chiropractor, you can restore your spine’s integrity and be at ease knowing that your body will function at its optimal performance. Lastly, depending on what your body needs, a traditional or corrective carer will help eliminate the pain and restore your body’s alignment. It is one of the safest natural methods for a pain-free back. Call your nearest clinic and book your appointment now.