New Health Chiropractic uses a wide range of tools and techniques to diagnose, treat and maintain your physical well-being. Below are just a few of the techniques and tools used today to help patients.
Gentle, non-invasive electronic muscle stimulation provides symptomatic relief of chronic, intractable pain. This type of stimulation also helps manage pain associated with post-traumatic or post-operative conditions.
Electronic waveforms gently stimulate the soft tissue to do the following:
- relax muscle spasms,
- increase local blood circulation,
- re-educate muscles that have atrophied from disuse or injury, and
- maintain or improve joint range of motion.
The electronic muscle stimulation that Dr. Rich provides is a relatively painless, topically-applied therapy that provides profound effects on soft-tissue related conditions. Dr. Rich customizes this therapy to your needs and to a level that is comfortable for you.
New Health offers a variety of professional, long-lasting hot and cold packs that are used to reduce pain and swelling. These packs help relieve muscle pain and swelling. They are far more effective than other hot or cold solutions, and are convenient to use at any time.
These packs have their own fabric covering, so they can be placed directly on the skin from either the freezer or microwave. They also only retain cold or heat for the recommended period of time, so you reduce the risk of over-cooling or over-heating your tissues by using ice bags or heat from other sources.
The doctor will explain when to use cold therapy and when to use heat; each therapy is used for different types of aches and pains, and during different times in the healing process.
Cold or hot therapies manipulate the body into healing more rapidly. Both are very popular because they are easy to self-administer at home.
Many people prefer warm over cold therapy. If used incorrectly or applied during the wrong part of your treatment, you may stall, halt, or even reverse the healing process.
These therapies vary greatly in purpose, result, and application. Dr. Rich will coach you on their use.
Finally, any patient who has questions about using hot or cold therapy at home should feel free to contact our office.
Cold therapy (sometimes referred to as cryotherapy) is the application of cold compresses to reduce the temperature of soft tissues directly below the surface of the skin. We’ve all seen athletes applying ice or cold compresses immediately following an injury. Because this topical cooling slows blood flow to the area, pain and swelling are immediately reduced.
When applied correctly, cold therapy does not harm your tissues, but instead has many positive effects:
- Slows blood flow to the area, because the cold causes blood vessels below the surface to contract, actually pushing blood away from the area.
- Toxins caused by the injury are carried away in the blood.
- Relieves pain.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Reduces muscle spasms.
- Relaxes muscles.
When you remove the cold, new blood rushes into the area, bringing with it fresh oxygen and nutrients that speed healing.
It’s called cold therapy because cold is applied repeatedly, but only briefly each time. Instead of a single lengthy application, you apply cold to the area for 20 minutes, then remove it for 20 minutes, then apply it again and so on. Dr. Stein will work with you to determine a schedule that’s just right for you, one that will match your individual needs and achieve the desired effect. He will coach you so you can easily apply the therapy yourself.
Need gel packs? Our facility sells professional gel packs that include a permanent cover; this important safety feature protects your skin. Besides cooling quickly in your freezer, these gel packs retain the appropriate level of cold for the appropriate length of time. Conversely, real ice can cause over-cooling and actual skin injury. As a precaution, when using actual ice, besides using a plastic bag be sure to buffer the cold with a fabric cover such as a handkerchief or worn-out t-shirt.
Just as it sounds, heat therapy is the application of heat—specifically moist heat—to raise the temperature of soft tissues directly below the surface of the skin. When you apply moist heat to the surface of the skin, you can expect many positive effects:
- Enhances blood flow to the area, because the heat causes blood vessels below the surface to expand.
- Boosts oxygen and nutrient levels and removes cell waste.
- Relieves pain temporarily.
- Reduces joint stiffness.
- Relaxes muscle tension and spasms.
- Relaxes tissues.
- Increases range of motion.
- Increases flexibility.
- Promotes increased circulation to speed healing.
- Prepares tissues for rehabilitation.
In addition, using heat therapy to increase blood circulation and relax muscles is often helpful immediately before or after exercising, chiropractic treatments, and other treatments.
In general, before reaching for the heating pad try reaching for the cold pack. Never use heat therapy during the first 48-72 hours after an injury. It is imperative to reduce any inflammation and swelling in the area before applying heat, as heat will aggravate any already occurring inflammation. Heat therapy is appropriate only after the inflammation has subsided.
Ultrasound therapy is a painless, topically-applied therapy used to relieve pain and injuries to soft tissue.
Ultrasound is a form of energy that consists of high frequency vibrations. Using an applicator, these vibrations are delivered to the body by means of an ultrasound beam. These vibrations pass through the tissues of the body and are gradually absorbed and transformed into heat.
This temperature increase triggers biological changes to occur in soft tissues resulting in the following:
- relief of pain,
- relaxation of muscle spasms, and
- reduction of join contractures.
The ultrasound frequency and level of intensity are both adjusted to produce the desired therapeutic effect based on your specific needs.
Using ultrasound therapy in conjunction with Muscle Stimulation and manual adjustments can greatly reduce recovery time.
Also known as Phototherapy, this therapy uses a specific type of light to penetrate the skin’s surface and underlying tissues to stimulate the body’s natural repair processes. The result is faster healing and reduced pain, swelling and inflammation.
In this procedure we apply light produced by low level laser and superluminous diodes to trigger cellular activity. The results: faster wound healing, pain relief, and accelerated recovery.
Phototherapy has been used successfully to treat athletic injuries, acute and chronic conditions, repetitive strain disorders, tissue healing and much more. By providing the extra energy required for healing, the tissue is able to heal itself naturally. This innovative therapeutic alternative may also eliminate the need for painful, debilitating surgeries and drug therapies so often accompanied by harmful side effects.
Research demonstrates that phototherapy can be used to effectively treat many conditions. Using the healing nature of light to simulate the body’s natural repair processes has proven particularly effective for treating various conditions, including the following:
- Tendonitis, tennis and golfer’s elbow,
- Repetitive Stress Injuries (i.e. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome),
- Neck and lower back pain,
- Soft tissue injuries, strains and sprains, and
- Migraine headaches.
Some of the unique healing effects of phototherapy include the following:
- Increased cell metabolism,
- Improved localized blood circulation,
- Accelerated development of collagen and muscle tissue,
- Relief from acute and chronic pain,
- Reduced localized inflammation and edema,
- Stimulation for wound healing and tissue repair,
- Stimulation of the immune system, and
- Stimulation of nerve function.
Flexion-distraction use special therapeutic tables and traction techniques to help reposition spinal discs, allowing for relief of pressure. These noninvasive and nonsurgical therapies help alleviate the back, leg, and arm pain associated with the following:
- Herniated discs (damaged spinal discs).
- Degenerative discs that have broken down or eroded.
- Posterior facet syndrome, which is inflammation of the lining of the joints of the vertebrae.
In addition to the diagnoses described above, flexion-distraction therapy also helps relieve pain related to sciatica, surgery and spinal stenosis. Besides reducing pain, the therapy greatly reduces pressure and improves mobility.
New Health is one of an exclusive group of providers in the entire state of Wisconsin offering the highly specialized Cox® Table; the premium flexion-distraction table on the market today. Cox® Technic flexion-distraction makes decompression an integral part of the chiropractic adjustment delivered to the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, lumbosacral, or sacro-iliac spine joints. The comfort, flexibility, and smooth action of this table make it the platinum standard in chiropractic equipment.
Intersegmental traction (IST), more fondly known as the “roller table,” is used to induce motion into the spine, and passively stretches each and every joint that is connected to your spinal cord. All 110 of them, to be exact! IST helps to loosen tight joints and increases and restores elasticity, flexibility, and mobility.
Receiving IST therapy is simple. The patient lies face-up on a comfortable table that is configured with roller cams beneath the surface. The rollers move slowly up and down the spine, gently stretching the spinal joints and providing a relaxing “massage” at the same time. Most patients find this therapy very relaxing and helpful.
The IST massage is intended to induce a healthy and rehabilitative relaxation. He often uses IST before chiropractic adjustments to prepare the spine, or after adjustments to calm muscle tension.
The doctor’s treatment is only the start. After he treats the injured area you are considered “stabilized” and no longer in the “acute” stage.
The next step is important to your full recovery: strengthening your spine. At this point we will introduce you to personal trainers and other practitioners; they are available to teach you stretching postures and simple exercises for the appropriate area.
Your follow through will be vital, and we will expect you to incorporate these stretches and exercises in your daily life. They will be easy to do on your own at home, and we will work with you to help ensure your success. This follow-up is a vital part of your overall treatment and will help ensure that the problem does not return.