Glossary of Terms

Mechanical Traction-Massage

The traction massage table gently and effectively reestablishes normal range of motion to each region of the spine with true intersegmental traction. By using a massaging wave roller that travels up the spine, the therapy unit addresses all areas of involvement. It also facilitates muscle relaxation to significantly reduce muscle spasms. When the spine’s postural muscles are fatigued, traumatized or negatively impacted from lost circulation due to an accident or injury, spasms occur. Intersegmental traction massage carefully elongates the postural muscles of your spine in a comfortable manner and allows normal joint motion, circulation, and mobility to return.

Traction Decompression Therapy

The spinal decompression unit is a non-surgical, comfortable traction therapy for the relief of leg and back pain, or arm and neck pain. During this procedure, by cycling through distraction & relaxation phases and by proper positioning of the traction bed, a spinal disc can be isolated and placed under negative pressure, causing a vacuum effect within it. The spinal traction therapy unit is designed to unload the spinal disc. Any back or neck pain caused in whole or in part by a damaged disc may be helped by decompression therapy. These conditions include herniated, protruding or bulging discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica or radiculopathy (pinched nerves).

Neuromuscular Interferential Stimulation

Interferential therapy works by sending small electrical impulses through the skin. These impulses stimulate underlying nerves and tissue reducing pain, edema, and inflammation. This, in return, reduces or eliminates the need for most pain-related drugs. Interferential therapy aids in circulation, increasing the recovery time for patients. Multiple treatments will typically speed the patient’s recovery and allow earlier resumption of their normal lifestyle.

Cold Pack Therapy

Cold pack therapy is used in the initial phase of an injury to reduce swelling and inflammation of the soft tissue & muscles. This therapy is most effective in the first 72 hours of an acute injury because it will soothe the inflammation and pain caused by nerve irritation. After an injury, blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to cells are damaged. The cells around the injury increase their metabolism in an effort to consume more oxygen. When all of the oxygen is used up, the cells die. The damaged blood vessels cannot remove waste, and as a result blood cells and fluid seep into spaces around the muscle, resulting in swelling and bruising. When a cold pack is applied, it lowers the temperature of the damaged tissue through heat exchange and constricts local blood vessels. This slows metabolism and the consumption of oxygen, therefore reducing the rate of cell damage and decreasing fluid build-up. Ice also numbs nerve endings, which stops the transfer of impulses to the brain that register as pain.

Moist Heat Therapy

Moist heat therapy is used to aid in the healing process by increasing circulation and relaxing muscle spasms. The desired effect is for the heat to penetrate down into the muscles. With increased blood flow to the area of involvement the heat can penetrate the injured sore muscles. This provides the dual benefits of relaxing the back muscles (to reduce painful spasms) and facilitates the stretching of injured tissues to reduce stiffness.

Exercise Therapy

Active forms of therapeutic exercises are almost always necessary to rehabilitate the spine and help alleviate back pain. When done in a controlled, gradual, and progressive manner, active exercise distributes nutrients into the disc space and soft tissues in the back to keep the discs, muscles, ligaments and joints healthy. Consequently, a regular exercise routine helps patients avoid stiffness and weakness, minimize recurrences of low back pain, and reduce the severity and duration of possible future episodes of back pain. Depending upon the patient’s specific diagnosis and level of pain, the back pain exercise and rehabilitation program will be very different. Therefore it is important for patients to see their chiropractor to develop an individualized back exercise program and to provide instruction on using the correct form and technique.

Spinal Palpation

Palpation is the process of examining by means of touch. The art of spinal palpation is the first procedure a chiropractor learns in school. Palpation is not the only way a chiropractor determines where and how to adjust or manipulate the spine. It is however, the chiropractor’s central diagnostic technique. Therefore spinal palpation is a process of the physical exam of the spine. Each joint of the spine is carefully examined through physical touch to determine the positioning of joint in relation to the entire spinal structure.

Spinal Manipulation

Chiropractic physicians are the best qualified and have the most extensive schooling in the art of specific spinal manipulations. The spinal manipulation is the mainstay of the chiropractic profession and no other specialist is better educated in this technique. Spinal manipulation (also known as adjustment) is a treatment for joints and muscles in the back and neck that are not functioning properly. The patient is first positioned in a way that the involved joint or joints can be isolated from the others. Then, the chiropractor uses his hands to skillfully apply a gentle low amplitude thrust to the joint.

Static Palpation

Static palpation involves palpation of the tissue surrounding the spine for pain or tenderness, as well as feeling for lack of tissue compliance or tightness. With experience, a chiropractor can gain vital information through direct touch.

Motion Palpation

In motion palpation, the chiropractor examines each complex spinal joint to analyze the degree to which it may lack proper motion. This highly skilled maneuver requires the examiner to have a mental picture and tactile knowledge of a spinal joint’s normal motion. Normal motion is compared with the feel of the joint being examined as it is moved through its range of motion.

Myofacial Active Soft Tissue Release

Many times following the chiropractic adjustment, myofacial active release technique is administered to the patient. This hands-on technique provides sustained pressure into soft tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. This method of treatment complements the chiropractic manipulative therapy by specifically softening and stretching the scar tissue, resulting in increased range of motion, increased strength, and improved circulation which optimizes healing. Myofacial active release technique ensures the patient with the maximum benefit from care, prevents exacerbation of injuries in the future, and a return to a healthy state of asymptomatology.

It’s time to improve your quality of life. Visit your trained chiropractic professionals in Charlotte, at ChiroCarolina™, for more information and a consultation. ChiroCarolina™ care you can count on.