Chiropractic spinal traction therapy is a method of stretching and mobilizing the spine using hands-on or mechanic force. Alleviation in pain is sought with therapeutic spinal traction by loosening tight and/or constricted muscles around the spine, and to help decompress intervertebral discs in order to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve roots, which is a major cause of back and spine related pain.As with other chiropractic treatments, spinal traction may or may not help alleviate your pain, often times with chiropractic treatment what works on one patient may not be right for others.Your chiropractor will evaluate your condition and determine if traction, and in what form, is right for you. There are several types of spinal traction, lumbar or cervical, and whether it is done manually or with a traction device:· Manual cervical traction is performed with the patient lying on the table in the supine position while the chiropractor holds the patients head and gently pulls or turns the head.· Mechanical cervical traction is a device that consists of a head harness and pulley system that utilizes weights to apply the force. The patient may use this device while sitting, lying flat, or in a reclined position. This method of traction is often done at home by the patient themselves after having been properly instructed by the chiropractor in the correct technique.· Manual lumbar traction is performed by the chiropractor by having the patient lay on the treatment table and then gently pulls on the ankles or by putting the patient's legs on the chiropractor's shoulders whereupon they grasp the patient's thighs and pull, or a waist harness may be utilized to apply the force.· Mechanical traction may be performed by use of a split table style traction device that consists of a computer controlled two level table that the patient lays on and grasps two handles while the lower level of the table applies the force by means of attachment of a waist harness. However, when the spine is in a state of deterioration, such as from osteoporosis, spinal traction is not a treatment option. Other conditions that would exclude a patient from utilizing traction include pregnancy, cardiovascular disease, hernia, and in some cases TMJ. Some mechanical spinal traction devices are considered experimental at this point and so your insurance may or may not pay for this treatment. Spinal traction therapy is often used in conjunction with other forms of chiropractic treatment and physical therapy for maximum benefit. Chiropractic Leadership Alliance
Spinal Traction in Chiropractic Medicine
Chiropractic Leadership Alliance Perception: Large numbers of consumers and investigators alike believe that fraudulent activity in the Chiropractic profession is pervasive, and, unfortunately, may use a broad-brush to paint all chiropractors as deviant actors.Why is the foregoing impression so prevalent today?Is this perception the result of historical context, viz., that the foundational premise of Chiropractic was the Chiropractic-subluxation, a condition neither objectively identifiable nor proven to exist?The subluxation may have something to do with the prevailing perception of Chiropractic. However, based on more than twenty years of experience investigating chiropractic fraud and assisting chiropractors with compliance, I suspect the following activity by some chiropractors may form the actual basis of such a perception:-Do you want what I have?: Employ practice activity advocated by practice building consultants who boast of having large bank-accounts, expensive cars, pricey clothing, luxurious vacations... and the keys to practice success. Large numbers of chiropractors are recruited directly from chiropractic colleges.-Recipe for Wealth: Employ practice activity, often at the instruction of practice building consultants, to increase practice revenues without establishing the compliance of said activity with applicable laws & rules, including, but not limited to: marketing campaigns to recruit new patients; generation of referrals from attorneys and MDs; convert/retain patients; treatment protocols for all; administer new or re-packaged health care services; provider services rendered by unlicensed staff; use computer-generated noting systems; billing codes to enhance reimbursement; and collection mechanisms to maximize income.-Explode your practice: Create multidiscipline and/or specialty practices, operating in conjunction with existing chiropractic practices, to avoid limited chiropractic coverage and access more health care dollars - including those payable by federal health care programs.-We are conveniently located: Operate multiple clinics where scripts and protocols are the norm - instruct clinic doctor and staff on what to do, how to do it, what to bill...-We provide a good service: Provide the same services at similar intervals for all patients regardless of individual needs. Services involve little actual hands-on treatment by a chiropractor who uses new "state-of-the-art" treatment equipment or has unlicensed staff administer the bulk of patient care.-We treat the cause not the symptom: Report the treatment of the cause of health care ailments and abnormalities with adjustment of the spine to allow the body's innate intelligence to heal, not masking the symptoms with medication or surgery. -Benefit design: Provide services not based on established, individual patient needs but on philosophical beliefs - everyone needs chiropractic care, no actual health care complaint required (found if needed for insurance purposes), chiropractic adjustments result in optimal health, same adjustment on all patients (upper cervical, full-spine) and modalities help the adjustment last.-Wallet Biopsy: Identify available insurance or a willingness to commit to payments on potential patients, even those who are asymptomatic - if an existing revenue stream is found potential patients are told they have medical conditions requiring chiropractic treatment.-Do you believe: Saying and doing almost anything to generate income from those who indicate they "believe" in chiropractic - purporting to treat acne, allergies, anxiety, bed wetting, cancer, colic, depression...-You could be hurt and not know it: Provide checkups, under the guise of public service, to identify health conditions that need treatment. Often such checkups, administered on asymptomatic individuals, include use of testing devices not clinically or scientifically recognized for purposes of generating reports that purportedly show medical conditions and a need for treatment outlined in scripted presentations.-Winner, winner, free chicken dinner: Free or donated services promised in aggressive marketing campaigns - mailers, telemarketing, screenings, dinner talks, etc. - designed to get as many people in the clinic as possible for patient conversion regardless of actual medical need.-Let's make a deal: Charge insured patients more for services than cash patients receiving similar services. Agreements with insured patients to accept what insurance pays and forego collection of deductibles, co-pays and non-covered services. Varying deals with cash patients regarding what they will pay.-See you in Court: Use the court system to file lawsuits to challenge payor reimbursement decisions and practices for purposes of eroding resistance to questionable activity - making it the norm and acceptable.-You are picking on us: Profess to be a victim when held to account for improper practice activity - even when such activity is known by reasonable thinking persons to be inconsistent with the laws & rules governing health care.Reality: The Chiropractic profession, for the most part, has grown far beyond the limitations espoused by its founder, and is seen today as a bona-fide health care discipline that offers valuable health care services to patients.Reality: Not all chiropractors engage in fraud. Not all attorneys are shysters. Not all insurers refuse to pay legitimate claims. Not all investigators are out to get chiropractors!Reality: There is a Chiropractic fraud problem present in every geographic area of the United States, with deviant chiropractors propagating their schemes with impunity and contempt.Reality: The crime-scene for investigations of health care provider fraud, regardless of the providers' discipline, is the provider's clinical and billing records. And, if you know what you are looking for when evaluating chiropractic records, you can identify the fraud. Investigators view the following as 'red-flags':- Promised free/discounted services to induce patients to clinic - Extensive exams, tests and treatment on subjective complaints of injury or on asymptomatic patients - Use testing devices that are not recognized clinically or scientifically to convince patients they have a condition and need treatment - Scripts & protocols - same services on similar schedule, even when better - Services for conditions not found in presenting complaints - Services based on available insurance or for legal reasons - not actual need - Provider services administered to patients by non-providers - Patients direct treatment or treat themselves - Excessive amounts billed for services - Goal is to bill certain amounts per visit - Billing codes reported based on what results in the best reimbursement, not on actual conditions or what was done - 'Quick-codes' automatically bill for all services insurance covers, regardless of need or if actually provided - Conditions reported only when required to get paid (Subluxations - Medicare) - Clinical notes appear same on all patients, prepared to support payment - not health care rendered, - Clinical notes prepared only when requested by payers - more extensive for liability carriersReality: Large numbers of chiropractors see what others see and try to fight for change and accountability, often fighting from an island and dodging bullets of attack from their peers and payors.Reality: Many otherwise honest and ethical chiropractors succumb to the temptation of fraudulent activity as they see deviant chiropractors getting rich off insurance payments without ill-effects (e.g., consumers turning away, claims denied, government audits, and fraud investigations).Reality: The Chiropractic fraud problem must be addressed by Chiropractic educators, Chiropractic leaders, consumers, legislators, insurers, regulators and law enforcers if effective measures are to be taken - especially those problems that are already well-known and visible. Reality: Observe this inexorable recipe that could result in an unimaginable disaster for the Chiropractic profession:- More access to health care dollars by chiropractors - Neither substantial- nor quantitative-steps to address widely-known fraud problems - Failure to take steps to prevent bad-actors from ruining reimbursement advancements for those health care professionals who follow the laws & rules while delivering quality care to patients, is a recipe for disaster that could result in the fraud reaching unimaginable levels.According to James Edwards, D.C., past Chairman of the American Chiropractic Association, ("News Flash: Obama Victory Could Result in Full-Scope Chiropractic," Dynamic Chiropractic, 1/15/09), the election of President Obama, as well as the fact that Democrats control both houses of Congress, most of whom are pushing for "universal health care," the Chiropractic profession has its best chance to achieve the long-desired goal of a full-scope of practice on a national level (with full-reimbursement access).Further, Dr. Edwards reports that should a full-scope of practice become a reality, the Chiropractic profession should thank ACA leadership for their courage to file a lawsuit against a national health insurer, an insurer that administered federal health care programs, as well as the countless contributors to the ACA's Legal Action fund who made the lawsuit possible.Could greater governmental-control over our individual-choices and freedoms, combined with Universal health care, provide any long-lasting positive results? The last time the Democrats had such leverage we got the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.Could giving chiropractors full-physician status, as well as full-access to reimbursement for services they perform, be an answer to the chiropractic fraud problem?Could treating chiropractors as other physicians are treated result in a significant drop in the nonsense in which some chiropractors engage? Would treating chiropractors as other physicians preclude having those chiropractors engage in practice-activity that is either objectionable or fraudulent? What impact, if any, did such treatment have on the Osteopathic profession?Daily in my interactions with my patients and in the Bellevue community I am asked one simple question over and over. That question is "How do I know if my friends or family need to be seeing a chiropractor?" It's a great question! I have developed 10 tests and questions that can determine if you need to be evaluated by a doctor of chiropractic.1. The Head Turn TestTry turning your head as far as you can to the left and to the right. The first thing that you want to look for is if either of these motions are painful at all. The second thing that you will want to look for in this test is if on one side or the other (either right or left) you can turn further than the other side. Normal range of motion (or being able to turn your head to the right and the left) is being able to turn your nose parallel with your shoulder. Is there pain on these movements or are any of them reduced?(YES) If there is any pain or if one side or the other is unable to turn as far as the other side this can be a possible sign that there is something wrong in the bones of the neck. From the time that we are born our necks go through a lot of abuse. From the actual birthing process, falling while learning how to walk, to the many injuries that we get through life, the neck is vulnerable to being injured. A Chiropractor would be able to diagnose exactly what the cause o f the pain is or what is causing the reduced range of motion in your neck. Many times when you experience pain or reduced range of motion in your neck this means that either the joints that connect the bones are stuck in place, or that the bones are out of alignment. These problems may lead to headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, arm and hand pain, and many other more severe problems. Joints that are stuck and bones that are out of place are what chiropractors primarily treat on a daily basis. This is one big sign that you should be seeing a chiropractor.2. The Shoulder Pinch TestHave you ever had someone give you a back rub and felt that your shoulders were very sore? That soreness can be from dysfunction in the bones that those muscles are connected into. Try this...take your pointer finger and your thumb and gently pinch your trapezius muscle (this is your shoulder muscle). Is it sore? If so this may be due to referred pain (pain that comes from a problem somewhere else), or trigger points in the muscle.(YES) This may be due to referred pain (pain that comes from a problem somewhere else), or trigger points in the muscle. There are many times that muscle pain and soreness are due to areas of the spine that are out of place. Because the muscles hook into the bones, when the bones pull out of place they pull on the muscles and create dysfunction. Daily, as a chiropractor I find that when I correct the spinal problem the muscle problem goes away.3. The Stand on One Leg Test Get up out of your chair for the next test to see if you need to be seeing a Chiropractor. Standing up strait close both eyes. Now with your eyes closed try to stand on just one leg for as long as you can. No peaking! Not as easy as it sounds is it? Now try doing the same thing with the other foot. You should have no problem standing on one leg for 20-30 seconds. How did you do?(0-20 seconds)If you had a problem getting to 10 seconds let alone 30 this may be a sign that there is some dysfunction in the joints of your body. Each joint of the body from the tips of your toes to the top of your head has little sensors in them that are linked to the brain. These little sensors tell the brain where the body is at in gravity. Try this little activity to show these joint sensors in action. Close your eyes again...don't worry no more standing on one foot...extend your arm and index finger out to the side as far as you can, and with your eyes closed touch the tip of your nose (yes this is the drunk person test!). The fact that you were able to touch your nose and know where your arm was with your eyes closed shows that the sensors in your elbow and shoulder are working fine. The problem comes when the joints get injured. An injury to any joint of the body, but especially the joints in the low back, pelvis, and legs will disrupt the joint sensors ability to tell you were you are at with your eyes closed. So if you had a hard time standing on one leg for very long, it may mean that your joints are not working as well as they should be. When you go to the Chiropractor they will be able to diagnose the specific joints that are not working and make adjustments to those joints to restore function. Proper function in the joints means your brain can once again communicate with your body!(20-30 seconds) Wow, I am impressed! Amazingly enough many people have a hard time making it to 10 seconds let alone 30! When the joints of the body can not tell the brain where they are at, imbalance occurs. This miscommunication most commonly occurs when the joints are damaged (like a sprained ankle), or if they are in dysfunction (because they are out of place, or stuck in place). Chiropractors help joints heal and work in a proper manner, allowing the joints to communicate with the brain.4. Have You Ever Been in a Car Accident?(YES)If you have been in a car accident of any kind lately you need to be seeing a Chiropractor. Car accidents can, and usually do cause injury to the neck and even the low back that, if left untreated can lead to worse problems in the future and even degeneration of the spine. Recent research suggests that even low impact (or fender benders of even 5MPH) can cause damage to the spine, and especially the bones of the neck. A Chiropractor will evaluate your spine by doing specific tests as well as take x-rays to look for any damage to the bones and motion x-rays to look for any damage to the ligaments (the things holding the bones together), and joints.5. Do You Have Decreased Energy?(Yes) Low energy can be an indication that there is a problem going on in the body. Poor diet, poor sleeping habits, even dehydration can be causes of low energy levels. Another common reason is improper mechanics in the joints of the body and especially the spine that takes a huge toll on the body. The longer that this dysfunction stays in the joints the more likely it is that you will use much more energy to the same activities that before used little to no energy. A chiropractor is able to diagnose poor joint function, correct the problem and allow your body to return to the way that it was meant to function.6. Are You Achy in Morning?(YES) Waking up stiff and achy in the morning is a sign that there is a problem in the joints of the body. When a joint in the body is not working the way it should because it is out of place, it is sprained, or if it is not moving properly, the body will fill that joint up with swelling. This swelling happens the most when you are not moving joint (this is because if you move a joint, some of the swelling is pumped out), and the time you are not moving for the longest period of time is at night when you are sleeping. This is the reason that you may wake up stiff and achy and by the time you get moving around and into the shower you a loosened up a bit more. Many times we have found that if we restore proper function to the joints, by realigning them and getting them moving better, the morning achiness is reduced or goes away entirely.7. Do You Suffer From Headaches?(YES) Headaches can be a horrible thing to suffer from! According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) in Atlanta, Georgia, as many as 45 million Americans suffer from severe headaches. Sadly, the number of people being affected by severe headache pain continues to grow each year. There are many types of headaches, but one of the most common types is called a cervicogenic headache. This type of headache actually starts in the neck. When the bones of the neck get out of place it puts a tremendous amount of stress on the nerves, blood vessels, and even the brain. In response to this the body gives you a head ache to let you know that there is something wrong. It is a lot like the oil light in your car. When the oil light comes on in your car it is a warning that the oil is getting low. What do you do when you see this light? You change the oil of course. It is the same thing in the body, when you have a head ache you have to remove the reason for the headache, which many times is a misalignment of the bones of the neck from injury, poor posture, a traumatic birth, or even falls as a child! I have found that when you realign the bones of the spine a huge majority of the time the heads go away or are greatly reduced!8. Does your current job require you to spend long hours sitting or engaging in repetitive motions? (YES) You are not alone! Most of Americans have jobs that keep us in a seated position for most of our days. The problem is that we are not made to sit for extended periods of time. When you sit, especially at the computer you are most likely putting your head, neck, mid back and low back in a very vulnerable position. The longer that you sit the more likely it is that you are creating dysfunction in the neck, mid back, and low back. This dysfunction could be fixations in the joints (the joints getting stuck) or even misalignment's of the bones and joints. These dysfunctions can lead to degeneration and even disturbances in your nervous system. If, at points during your day you feel the need to stretch your neck, or your shoulders are starting to feel "tight" it is important that you are examined by a chiropractor.9. Are you 50 years of age or older and suffering from multiple muscle/joint problems?(Yes) Every day we are alive is a stressor to our bodies. As we grow older the joints and muscles in our bodies tend to weaken and become more vulnerable to these stressors. Proper alignment and movement in the joints is vitally important to weak muscle and joints. If any of the bones or joints are not in proper alignment or are not moving well this can create pain, stiffness, weakness, and instability. It is especially important to the aging body to maintain proper joint function. If you are over the age of 50 and suffering from any joint or muscle problems you need to be seeing a chiropractor.10. Have you suffered an injury (e.g. sprained ankle, pulled muscle, pulled disc, etc.) from which you are still feeling after-effects despite sufficient healing time, medication or other forms of therapy?(Yes) This can be a common experience. When you injure an area of the body many things occur. There is what we call "soft tissue" injuries which is what a sprained ankle, or a muscle tear is. This part of the injury that can be very painful. Many times though this is not all that is wrong. Along with the soft tissue damage, the bones and joints can also be injured. In some cases the bones and joints can even become misaligned. This is very common in the neck (i.e.-whiplash injuries) and the low back (i.e.-lifting injuries). If there is any type of misalignment of the joints this will keep the area from healing completely. This is the reason why an injury can become a nagging injury that continues to give pain long after the time it should have healed. A chiropractor will analyze the injured area and determine if your injury caused any type of misalignment to the joints. If they find that it has then a gentle chiropractic adjustment will help realign the joints.
Different Types of Chiropractic Care for Different Health Needs
Chiropractic Leadership Alliance Not all Chiropractors are the same. In order to pick the one that is best equipped to handle your specific issues, you first need to understand the different kind of healing methodologies practiced by chiropractors. Below we will explore the two main methodologies you need to understand to choose the best chiropractor:1. Relief/Maintenance Care: Both mixed and straight chiropractors practice relief. However, the straight doctor offers immediate relief, whereas the mixed doctor offers long term treatment plans. You've heard of people who have suffered for decades with back pain, then go to a chiropractor, and then come home happy as a clam, free from pain, right? Well, those people went to see a straight chiropractor. The doctor was able to relieve the pressure in the back, and provide instant relief. The downfall here is that in relief care, the results are often temporary. As chiropractors, aside from reform specialists, are not traditional doctors, they cannot prescribe medicines, nor can they do invasive surgeries. Thus, they cannot physically correct all types of disorders of the spinal cord. This is where the concept of 'maintenance' comes in. When a straight chiropractor provides care for a patient, they often refer them to a mixed specialist, who can provide a long term treatment plan. These professionals provide regular office visits to help maintain the proper alignment, and keep the pain from reoccurring.2. Corrective Care: In the corrective care methodology, the goal is to completely repair the body. The therapies are meant to be long term, and the medicine used is both in the traditional and chiropractic fields. Both mixed, and reform, doctors offer this type of care. If you have a type of spinal injury that can be corrected, or suffer from skeletal issues that can be adjusted, then corrective care is probably where your doctor will send you.From diagnostic medicine, to minimally-invasive procedures (by certified Reform doctors), corrective care is perhaps the most productive, and long term results driven type of chiropractic care. This does, however come at a cost. As most corrective care specialists offer traditional medicine, as well as pharmacological care, the costs can be much higher than just relief/maintenance care. This is natural, as to FIX a problem will always cost you more, than when you use a simple 'band aid' approach. Understanding what type of healing methodology a potential Chiropractor practices will help you pick the right one for your unique needs. Knowing if you want a quick fix or a longer term result is also vitally important. All of those decisions will allow you to choose the best possible care, for the best possible price.Many people are intimidated by chiropractors because they don't really know very well what chiropractic specialists do and if they can actually fix their bulging disc. Chiropractic care was basically invented to help you eliminate or diminish back pain. But will a chiropractic specialist be able to really fix a bulging disc?The short answer is yes, a chiropractor can help fix a bulging disc, if additional treatments are employed. The big bonus that chiropractors come with is that they completely focus on your back only. A chiropractor understands nearly anything there is to comprehend concerning the back discs, the spinal cord, the nervous system structure as well as the biochemical processes going on in the back. That is actually the key motivation why many people consider chiropractic specialists not alone to obtain assistance but also for a diagnosis. Another important detail would be that chiropractors don't use any kind of medications plus they never perform any surgical procedures. They will aim to solve the condition in non invasive approaches and whenever they may discover that the ways that they employed didn't work, a good chiropractor is going to send you to someone else who they think are more suitable to fix your back problems.Most people are introduced to chiropractors because they have been involved in some kind of injury, generally a vehicle accident. More often than not a car accident that has hurt the back may bring about a painful bulging disc, and soreness in the muscles and joints that are connected to the spinal column. A chiropractor in many cases can take care of it through focusing on the right places around the spinal column. An excellent chiropractor will also continue working on your back for an extended period of time and maintain the alignment of the vertebrae so that you can keep your life quality.Despite the fact that chiropractic specialists are completely accepted as health specialists by all health care institutes and physicians it is still part of what has become known as alternative treatment and usually employed in cases where the standard medication couldn't help. You will find that numerous medical practitioners might send you to the chiropractor after they detect the condition you have and realize that the standard medications will fail to benefit. Oftentimes the hospital will have its very own chiropractor staff members who can provide you with help even at the clinic itself. Chiropractic treatment can help fix bulging discs, but it should always be utilized in addition to further effective treatment options for disc dysfunctions. Seeing that each back condition is different, this mix of therapies has to be fitted to the specific disorder of the affected individual. Alternative therapy possibilities like acupuncture, massage therapy, and physical exercise are extremely good solutions to make use of in combination with chiropractic care.