What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic physicians

A chiropractor is a licensed health care professional that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat complaints including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
Chiropractic physicians practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
Doctors of Chiropractic restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled movement to the joint or spine. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.

Manipulation Under Anesthesia

Manipulation under anesthesia

Manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) is a non-invasive procedure increasingly offered for acute and chronic conditions, including:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Joint Pain
  • Muscle spasm
  • Shortened muscles
  • Fibrous adhesions
  • Long term pain syndromes

Manipulation under anesthesia is considered safe and is utilized to treat pain arising from the neck, mid-back and low-back as well as the hip and pelvic regions.

How Manipulation under Anesthesia Works

Manipulation under anesthesia uses a combination of specific spinal manipulations, passive stretches and specific maneuvers in order to break up fibrous adhesions and scar tissue around the spine and surrounding tissue.
The manipulation procedures can be offered in any of the following ways:

  • Under general anesthesia
  • During mild sedation
  • Following the injection of anesthetic solutions into specific tissues of the spine.

The treatment is performed in a hospital or surgery center by licensed physicians with specialized training and certification specifically for the procedure. A team approach is required to have a safe and successful outcome.

Team Approach to Manipulation under Anesthesia

The team includes the anesthesiologist, the prime physician/surgeon/chiropractor who performs the manipulation, and the first assistant, also a physician/chiropractor certified in manipulation under anesthesia. The procedure is commonly performed in a hospital or surgical center.

The combination of manipulation and anesthesia is not new, as this treatment has been part of the manual medical arena for more than 60 years. Manipulation under anesthesia is an established medical procedure. This is noted in the American Medical Association’s Current Procedural Terminology Publication.

Safety of Chiropractic

Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of many types of pain including back pain, neck pain, joint pain of the arms or legs, headaches, and other neuromusculoskeletal concerns.

The risks associated with chiropractic care are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may sometimes experience mild soreness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.

In addition to being a safe form of treatment, spinal manipulation is incredibly effective, getting patients back on their feet faster than traditional medical care. A March 2004 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic care is more effective than medical care at treating chronic low-back pain in those patients who have been experiencing the symptoms for one year or less.

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

Pregnancy and chiropractic

Chiropractic care through pregnancy is not only safe, it may be essential. It is easy for all of us to see postural changes through pregnancy. The center of gravity changes, the weight of the baby places increased pressure on the spine and pelvis, and towards the end of the pregnancy, changes are seen in gait patterns, the “waddle.” What we can’t see, are the millions of different hormonal changes and chemical reactions occurring both in the mother and the developing baby–all of which are controlled and coordinated through the nervous system.

Adjustments result in easier pregnancy, significantly decreased labor time, and assists new mothers back to prepartum health. In one study, women receiving Chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had much shorter labor times than the group not receiving Chiropractic. In addition, most of women report relief of back pain during pregnancy with Chiropractic care. Because the joints of the pelvis function better, there is significant less likelihood of back labor when receiving Chiropractic care through pregnancy.

What are the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy? Chiropractic care during pregnancy may provide benefits for women who are pregnant. Potential benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy include:

  • Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
  • Controlling symptoms of nausea
  • Reducing the time of labor and delivery
  • Relieving back, neck or joint pain
  • Prevent a potential cesarean section

A Parent’s Guide to Chiropractic Care for Children

Q. How Can a Young Infant's Spine Be Traumatized?

A. A young spine, with few exceptions, usually develops perfectly by the end of pregnancy. It’s what happens around the time of birth and in the months thereafter which can sometimes upset the normal functioning of the spine. Spinal segments can be pushed out of place or jammed by the position of the baby in the womb, or can suffer similar problems during labor from the trauma of the trip through the birth canal, or from the birthing process itself. Medical research has identified the fact that many problems early in a child’s life can come from birth trauma.
Spinal problems can also occur as a result of the frequent falls suffered by young infants in the first months of life. A fall from a bed, a sudden stop in an automobile, or any significant unsupported movement of the head and neck in an infant can induce excessive movement in the spine causing vertebral subluxations. At the other end of the spine, the act of learning to walk, and the number of simple falls encountered in this way, can induce trauma to the lower spinal segments and to the large joints of the pelvis. Young children learning to walk also fall and hit their heads. These frequently occurring events can also create spinal subluxations.

Q. How Can Parents Recognize Childhood Spinal Problems?

A. Unless a child has an obvious problem, it can be difficult for parents to recognize when a child has spinal problems. Common indicators of spinal problems may include the child’s head consistently being tilted to one side; restricted head or neck motion to one side; disturbed sleeping patterns where the child sleeps for only an hour or two at a time; feeding difficulties in the very young infant; the infant may have difficulty nursing at the breast on one particular side.
Common childhood disorders can also sometimes indicate a spinal problem. Persistent earaches, sore throats, colic, headaches, bed-wetting, and growing pains are but some of the more common problems for which parents bring their children to the chiropractor.

Q. Can My Child's Pediatrician Find and Treat These Problems?

A. Unfortunately, when it comes to subtle spinal problems, your child’s pediatrician is not a trained specialist. Chiropractors are specialists trained to accurately diagnose subtle spinal conditions and the problems they can cause.

Q. How Are Children's Spinal Problems Treated?

A. The first thing your chiropractor will do is to conduct a careful and thorough evaluation of your child’s spine. Most chiropractors are trained to evaluate pediatric spinal problems and will use gentle, specific skills to identify, evaluate, and treat any involved spinal areas.

Q. What Does the Treatment Involve?

A. Spinal adjustments for infants and young children involve very light finger-tip adjustments to correct malfunctioning spinal structures. A very light spinal adjustment is usually sufficient to restore mobility to spinal joints which have become locked and are causing interference with the normal function of the nervous system.

Q. Does It Hurt?

A. Generally, no. However, very young infants sometimes take momentary fright at the sudden movement, and may cry for a few seconds.

Q. How Many Treatments Are Required?

A. Children’s spines are a lot more mobile than those of adults and as a result, usually require only a few adjustments to restore normal function. The actual number of adjustments, however, may vary depending on the length of time that the condition has been present.

Q. What Risks Are Involved in Having My Child's Spine Adjusted?

A. The risk of a child suffering a permanent injury from a spinal manipulation is extremely rare.
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Total Health Physical Medicine

171 Ridgedale Avenue,
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Florham Park, NJ 07932

973.377.6327