4 Ways Your Chiropractor Is Failing You (And Why We’re Different)
The Chiropractor You Choose Does Make A Difference.
Chiropractors aren’t all the same. In fact, there’s probably no other healthcare field where the difference between one practitioner and the next is as wide as it is in chiropractic. And like many of our patients know, the results they get will vary from one chiropractor to another just as much as their adjusting techniques do. I know how frustrating it is; trust me, it frustrates me even more than it does my patients.
So the big question: What are other chiropractors doing that are failing you (and how is what we do at Ascent Chiropractic different)?
1. Every Patient Gets Exactly the Same Diagnosis and Treatment Plan, and Gets Adjusted Exactly the Same Way
We’ve experienced the high-volume chiropractic and therapy clinics where you’re treated like a number, clinics where they sign you up for 60-80 appointments where they perform the exact same adjustment each time without ever actually getting results.
Stop me if you’ve heard this ‘sales pitch’ before:
“It’s a really good thing you came in because this problem is worse than you thought. The good news is that you’re in the right office because this is exactly what we do in this office. The treatment to fix this terrible problem is $$BIG, but if you pay up front we can reduce it to $$70%. By the way, you need to bring someone who cares about your health to our report of findings at the next visit.”
At Ascent Chiropractic we’re different; we’re not salespeople pushing a one-size-fits-all treatment at our office. We believe your doctor should be your teammate, and work with you to specifically address what’s going on in your body.
Moreover, especially when using high-force adjusting techniques, it’s possible to be over-adjusted and cause hypermobility (ie “sloppiness”) in the joints being treated. Personally, I’m of the opinion that the fewer adjustments a person needs, the better off they’ll be. More importantly, the longer they go without needing to be re-adjusted, the healthier their spine and nervous system are. So the goal of treatment should be to get your spine aligned and stabilized so that eventually you need to see us less, not more.
2. Not Utilizing Diagnostics
One of the most important elements in developing a treatment plan for any healthcare field is diagnostics. We rely on a variety of diagnostic techniques in order to fully understand what is occurring in the patient’s body and how treatment will change a patient’s condition.
The most heavily relied-on diagnostic technique in our office is x-ray imaging, which allows us to see exactly what is happening in the body in terms of alignment and structure. X-rays convey other information too, such as the presence of scar tissue or arthritis in a given area, both factors that need to be considered when determining the best plan of treatment.
3. Only Using Aggressive, High-Force Adjusting Techniques When Low-Force Techniques Get Better Results
Contrary to popular belief, the end goal of a chiropractic adjustment is not to get an audible ‘crack’ or ‘pop’ out of a joint. The goal should be to restore normal motion in a joint and change the shape, size and tone of the surrounding soft tissues to provide correct support for that joint. In a way we’re ‘re-educating’ your joints and the muscles around them to show them their proper position and movement.
The problem with aggressive, high-force adjusting is two-fold. First, when you stretch muscles quickly and aggressively, structures inside those muscles called muscle spindles send an impulse to the spinal cord. This impulse results in the activation of motor neurons in the spinal cord that send an impulse back to the muscle, causing those muscles to contract and return to their original position.
In contrast, by using low-force adjusting techniques we can prevent muscles from reacting to the adjustment. The correction lasts longer and allows the joints and muscles to get accustomed to their new position and function, getting better long-term results.
The second problem is that changing the position and motion of joints will always result in some degree of swelling and inflammation; it’s a necessary evil. Sometimes its enough to be noticeable, sometimes not, but we opt towards low-force adjusting because it’s less traumatic to the joint and minimizes the amount of inflammation and soreness after an adjustment.
Let’s be clear: sometimes high-force adjustments are necessary because joints are so ‘stuck’ that low force adjustments just aren’t enough to get movement back. But ideally that’s only to get the joint moving initially so we can transition to gentler adjusting techniques that work with your muscles and soft tissues instead of fighting against them.
4. Fixing Joint Motion But Ignoring Muscle Imbalance (Or Vice Versa)
Again, actually correcting a musculoskeletal problem is a two-part process: returning proper motion to a joint and correcting muscle imbalances. If you’re only addressing joint motion (chiropractic adjustments), but ignoring the muscles that control and support that joint with specific active rehab exercises, you’ll never get long-term correction and be dependent on getting adjusted multiple times per week forever.
Conversely, if you’re only doing muscle rehab – stretching muscles that are tight/shortened and strengthening the muscles that are weak/lengthened – without actually correcting the joint dysfunction that’s causing problems, you’ll be stuck with low-level chronic inflammation forever because the joint still isn’t working correctly.
At Ascent Chiropractic, we make it a point to address both.
The Bottom Line
If you’re reading this, you probably already know that what we do and the results we get at Ascent Chiropractic are second to none. If you have friends or family who could benefit from what we do, we truly appreciate the trust you put in us! To make an appointment at Ascent Chiropractic, call 262-345-4166 or schedule an appointment with our online scheduling app.