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The Role of the Chiropractor in Rehabilitation

Although doctors of chiropractic treat acute injuries every day in practice (with patients who hurt themselves in falls, car accidents and in sports), they are not typically considered on the front lines of injury rehabilitation. However, this is a notion that could not be further from what is happening in many chiropractic offices.

For starters, chiropractic treatment involving spinal manipulation is considered a gold-standard for treatment of acute low-back pain and cervical spine (neck) injuries. Not only is spinal manipulation an incredibly safe treatment method it is also very effective at reducing pain, improving mobility and correcting the source of the initial problem.

The effectiveness of chiropractic treatment in acute injuries and rehabilitation reaches far beyond treatment of the spine. Chiropractic can be a very effective treatment option for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) rehabilitation, soft tissue and overuse injuries. Additionally, many chiropractors are also well versed in exercise-based rehabilitation and the use of passive modalities such as ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation and therapeutic laser.

Chiropractors have been at the forefront of injury rehabilitation for many years. Rehabilitation of the Spine by Dr. Craig Liebenson (a chiropractor) is considered to be one of the landmark textbooks for the treatment of back pain over the last 20 years and is a heavily relied upon reference book by practitioners of all disciplines including chiropractors, physical therapists and medical physicians.

Active Release Techniques® (ART®) is considered one of the most important advancements in the manual treatment of soft tissue and nerve entrapment injuries over the last 15 years and was developed by Dr. Michael Leahy (a chiropractor). ART® has been taught to thousands of practitioners who must complete extensive training and pass rigorous testing to become certified. ART®-trained massage therapists, chiropractors and physical therapists provide treatment to athletes at every Ironman race in North America to help them prepare for that gruelling event.

Chiropractic services are also retained by nearly every professional sports team in North America as they have recognized the important role that chiropractors play in keeping their athletes functioning at the highest possible level. Many interdisciplinary workers’ compensation and large rehabilitation clinics also include doctors of chiropractic as part of the services available to their clients.

The field of chiropractic is quite diverse and includes many different specialties such as rehabilitation and soft-tissue treatment. Chiropractic treatments can vary greatly depending upon specialties and training. For your personal needs it is important to choose a chiropractor whose approach and philosophy towards health is similar to yours.

Dr. Nimchuk is a chiropractor practicing at KLO Chiropractic Centre in Kelowna. He is also a full body Active Release Techniques® provider and fitness consultant. Please check out www.klochiropractic.ca for more information.