TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Technology plays a large role in health care, and the typical chiropractic office is no exception. Practitioners have more “tools” at their disposal now more than ever. During treatment, I am often asked, “hey what’s that thing over there?” or “what’s this thing do?”. It usually sparks good conversation, so I thought I might share some of that with you today.

When evaluating whether or not to adopt something for use I will often look to see if studies were done, who or what other organizations have used it, and what types of results they have achieved.
Treating pain is not an exact science, and even with good studies, results can vary from person to person, and can vary from condition to condition. In my opinion, flexibility and willingness to change treatment is key based on the results you get.

Here are some of my favorite tools and techniques:

My Hands: My number one tool. They are the most sensitive information gathering device one could hope for as well as a direct method of treatment. Hands can deliver low force methods, massage, regular adjusting and everything in between.
A woodworking study was once done about detecting defects, bumps or blemishes in wood using an instrument vs. hands. Hands were easily able to outperform most tools when it came to feeling those defects (think checking for high spots or ridges/gaps in wood).
Okay back to the office…

Active Release Technique (ART): This is a technique using hands that is used to decrease stiffness/pain in muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia. It involves very precise movements to take a structure from a shortened position to a lengthened one – or take two structures and get them moving past one another if they are stuck. Very effective, and is another personal favorite of mine.

Graston Technique/Graston Tools: These are metal tools that are used to treat tendons, ligaments, muscles and fascia by rubbing those areas in different ways. Useful for a variety of conditions. I still use Graston, but not as much anymore since ART came along.

Tape: Comes in all types of materials and sizes. It can be very effective to protect an area or joint, assist with motion, decrease motion, decrease swelling and decrease pain. What I love about tape is that is stays with the patient and continues to help/treat them after they have left the office. Plus, you can try different “recipes” to figure out what helps the most.

Other Office Favorites: Cold laser, electrocurrent (TENS/Micro), Therabands, Voodoo Floss Bands and Dermal Traction (cupping – western style).

Having more tools means having more flexibility to truly treat each person as an individual!

Matt Terreri, DC, CCSP is a sports chiropractor at Southern Oregon Sports & Spine. He is also the official chiropractor for the SOU Raiders and is a regular volunteer medical provider for the US Olympic Teams