Sometimes I or one of my staff members hear, ” I didn’t know a Chiropractor could treat that! ” or “Can you do anything for (XYZ)?” The answer is yes, no, and maybe! Isn’t that a comforting answer? Well, with this post we are going to detail some of the things that come in to my office and how they are handled.
First off we need to make a proper diagnosis. This is crucial to be certain we are on the right path and you are in the right clinic. The proper diagnosis begins with a good patient history. This is the laborious part of the meeting with the doctor where he questions you about every little detail; like your mom used to do when you were late for curfew. Really, what you reveal to an astute doctor can have a major impact on how well your case goes. The more details you give us, the more focused we can be. After the history, we can proceed with the proper orthopedic tests and neurological tests. During these tests the doctor will move you around and ask you to move around, we will evaluate for normal motion and or watch you go through the motion, and the doctor is looking for signs such as wincing or inability to perform what we asked. The next step is the imaging or other diagnostic tests. By this, I mean X-Rays, an MRI, or EMGs. This will further our knowledge about a certain region of your body. Sometimes, these results mean a referral to another doctor in our network of specialists.
Let’s talk about shoulder,arm, or elbow complaints. Provided there is not a direct injury to this region, it is quite possible that the origination of a complaint in one of these areas may stem from the neck. The nerves that control the feeling or the muscles in this area are originated in the cervical spine out of a bundle of nerves called plexuses. The plexuses are sort of like junction boxes for electrical boxes with wires coming in and wires going out, except they are groups of nerves. These nerves travel all the way down to the fingertips sending information back and forth to the brain. Many times treatment of the neck can alleviate symptoms down through the arms. Other times, the actual shoulder, elbow, or even hand may be out of place and dysfunctioning mechanically. Chiropractors can treat this area by options such as adjustments, muscle therapy or braces. Occasionally, a patient comes in and through history and failed physical examination tests, we refer to another doctor to get a look at the rotator cuff, and if there is a tear in one of these muscles, we are quickly scheduling an appointment with an orthopedist for his direction as this person may be a surgical candidate.
Ok, now let’s think about the lower limb, which may include hip, knee, ankle, and foot area. Much like the scenario above, we will take the patient through their history, as well as orthopedic and neuro tests, and other imaging tests, like X-Ray or MRI. Many times a patient with lower limb complaints may have unlevel hips from an old injury, sitting in an odd work position, or even from a wallet in the back pocket over time. As in the neck, the nerves that supply your lower limbs come out of the lower spines and control all feeling, pain, and function all the way down to your toes. Mechanically, if one hip is lower it will cause the body to list or lean to one side, thus putting more weight on one side of your body. Imagine if you will a trailer hauling bales of hay, if one side becomes stacked too high, the uneven load will make it difficult to drive, and cause more pressure on one side and cause squeaks and creaks and ultimately cause a mechanical failure. Let’s take a 140 pound woman, if her spine is leaning to the right, instead of right and left leg each holding 70 pounds of her weight, she may be 60 pounds on the left and 90 pounds on the right leg. Over time, she works 8 hours a day, taking the average of 6,000 steps per day and she adds in running for exercise, which could add another 2,500 steps. This totals 8,500 steps where her body is exerting significantly more pressure on the hip joint, the knee, the ankle and even the foot. Over time this can wear out any one of these joints, and cause muscle imbalances and inflammation. How would a chiropractor treat this? We would treat through methods such as adjustments, postural corrective exercises, and muscle therapy. Another option is foot orthotics that may act as a shim to produce a balance in the posture while correction is occurring.
Ultimately, like any good doctor, we want the best treatment for the patient. At Health By Logic in Beavercreek, we strive to obtain that through proper diagnosis, timely treatment, and education of our patients for a complete understanding of their condition.