Chiropractic and Soft Tissue Injuries
Through our blog posts, our readers have learned how chiropractic can be highly effective for all kinds of injuries. Whether it is a car accident, a sports/exercise related injury, or even a slip and fall, the incorporation of chiropractic treatments and therapies can speed up the healing process and return an individual to “pre-injury status” rather quickly. When most people think of a chiropractic adjustment, they (correctly) focus on the realignment of the vertebral bodies into their proper place. However, most injuries that we mentioned earlier do involve the soft tissue around the spine, specifically the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. So the question is, by aligning the BONES in the spine, how can chiropractors help the soft tissue injury that is affecting the patient?
To begin, when looking at the spine specifically, one can see that the muscles around the vertebral column are actually attached to the vertebral bodies themselves. This means that when a spinal misalignment occurs, it “pulls” the muscle with it. This generally causes pain and reduced range of motion. Bones and muscles have a very close relationship, as one cannot move without the other, For this reason, chiropractic alignments actually help the muscle in that area as well, as it reduces the “pull” on the muscle, returning it to its normal, neutral position. The same goes for tendons and ligaments. By aligning the spine, it returns the soft tissue structures to their normal, neutral, “non-pulled” state, thus speeding up healing time.
In addition to healing the soft tissue through spinal and extremity adjustments, chiropractors have a number of therapies at their disposal to decrease injury time for their patients. Therapies like electric muscle stimulation, which actually focuses on healing the muscles, can reduce inflammation and increase blood flow to the area, which will speed up healing time. Ultrasound diathermy is a deep heater which penetrates the levels of skin and muscle to promote deep muscle and soft tissue healing. Lastly, chiropractors can give patients exercise protocols and equipment (such as therabands) which will increase range of motion and decrease injury time.