Note: There are a lot of acronyms floating around on this site – NKT, FMS, SFMA, ART, IASTM, RRT, etc. Before you throw up your hands and go “WTH?”, feel free to click through to the Resources page that describes all of these techniques in detail.
Standard appointments generally last 25 minutes.
GOALS OF TREATMENT
The first goal of treatment at Blue Sky Chiropractic is to restore pain-free mobility to the area of complaint. This can be achieved with chiropractic manipulation, range of motion exercises, and soft-tissue modalities.
The second goal of treatment is to assess how you move as a whole. This is where movement screening comes in. Movement screens allow us to make sure that the true source of your problem is being addressed. For instance, you may have elbow pain, but the true problem may be shoulder dysfunction. We can treat the elbow pain, but if we don’t also diagnose the source of the pain, it may keep coming back. By finding the source of the pain (which is often different from the site of the pain) we can help you recover faster, and with longer-lasting results.
During every appointment, we strive to focus on a combination of these six key concepts:
Remember how good it felt to move when you were a kid? Running, jumping, playing – your body just did whatever you wanted, and you didn’t even have to think about it. Over the years, injuries accumulate, and our body learns to compensate -and then continues to do so even after the area has healed. Our movements become less fluid and natural. Tied to our chairs or working hard in the field, our posture starts to sag. Aches and pains develop, and activities we loved in the past become less joyful. “That’s just part of getting older,” we tell ourselves as we begin to spend more time on the sofa rather than out doing the things we love.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
When we are injured by a fall, car accident, or sports trauma, our body learns to compensate for the injured area. The problem is that, long after the area has healed, we often maintain those compensatory patterns. This puts stress on new areas that are being asked to do jobs they weren’t meant to do long-term. By performing movement screens we can find out where you are compensating, and help restore your natural movement patterns. Your body functions better when each part is doing what it does best.
At Blue Sky Chiropractic we offer two different movement screens: the FMS (Functional Movement Screen) and the SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment). The FMS is performed on patients who are not in pain, but who want to make sure they are moving properly. The SFMA is for patients who are in pain and need a more detailed screen to locate the source of the problem.
These screens are excellent at figuring out where your body may not be moving as well or as efficiently as it should be. By knowing exactly where the problem is, we can make treatments more efficient.
Another problem with previous injuries and traumas is that, because the body is in a rush to heal quickly, areas are often patched with a meshwork of fibrotic tissue that, while strong and supportive, doesn’t have the suppleness and efficient alignment of the tissue that it replaced. By using instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization (IASTM) and rapid release therapy (RRT) we can help break up that scar tissue, and, with movement, help it align properly for better range of motion.
Poor posture is a form of micro-trauma that also takes its toll on the body. As muscles sit in a shortened or lengthened position for long periods of time they can become over-stretched or too tight. Often this causes a dull aching pain in those muscles. And, because the muscles are no longer functioning at their preferred length, when you do try to sit up straight and keep good posture it feels exhausting, and you end up back in a slump.
One of the most important things we do is postural training. Using two or three simple exercises at a time, we can help wake up the postural muscles that are meant to work all day long, and allow you to open up your chest for better breathing as well.
When you are in pain it’s hard to think about anything else. In addition, there can be a stressful emotional component as well. Often there is an underlying fear that maybe it’s something serious, or that it is going to get worse, or that it will never go away.
Often just the fear of pain can limit us. If movements have caused us pain in the past, we tend to avoid them, even after the injury has healed. This pain avoidance can lead to compensations, which are revealed in the SFMA movement screen.
At Blue Sky Chiropractic we treat your pain on many levels. First, we can help soothe your pain with in-office treatments. This includes chiropractic manipulation therapy, soft-tissue and muscle work, heat, ice, electrical stimulation, and kinesiology taping.
We then use movement screens to determine if your pain is the result of another body part not doing its job. A good way to visualize this concept is to picture five people carrying a very heavy log. If three of the people walk away, who do you think will be complaining the loudest? It won’t be the three people who walked away, even though they are ultimately the source of the problem.
In other words, the area that is making the most noise (pain) may only be doing so because another area of the body isn’t working properly.
Movement screens can help locate the areas that are slacking and then we can put them back to work. This makes life easier for the rest of your body.
Another benefit to performing the SFMA is that it allows us to find movements that do NOT cause pain, so that you can stay active and exercise within the pain free range. This can help give you the confidence and reassurance that you don’t have to limit ALL activity while you are healing from an injury.
At Blue Sky Chiropractic, we believe strongly in educating our patients. While what we do in-office is important in jump-starting your body in the right direction, it is what you do the other 99% of the time that ultimately makes the difference. We know your time is limited, so we keep homework to a minimum, but it is important that you are an active participant in your recovery. Many studies have shown that while passive care is helpful, patients heal faster when they are involved in their own care. We can’t do the work for you, but we can be your guide in finding the most efficient exercises for your recovery.
We also believe in educating our patients about the importance of good nutrition and proper breathing. Be sure to check out our free class schedule, and bring a friend.
The goal of exercise at Blue Sky Chiropractic is to learn new movement patterns that are more efficient and functional. By getting your body working as a unified whole you can reduce stress and fatigue in areas that have been causing you problems.
This isn’t your traditional rehab exercise program. You won’t be given a printout of pages and pages of exercises that you throw on the backseat of your car and forget about. Or that you attempt at home but then get confused by the diagrams and throw your hands up in frustration. Or that you do for one or two days but then realize that it’s taking over your life, and you don’t have the time for it.
Neither doctor nor patient enjoys that very long and very awkward silence when we ask “did you do your exercises?”. We want to find exercises that you actually look forward to performing. Often, we can even provide a video link so that you can follow along at home and check your form.
How We Do It
The secret to finding the perfect rehab exercises is to find a movement that is just enough challenge to engage your brain, but not so challenging that it becomes frustrating. The focus is not on a lot of reps, but in learning to do the movement well. If you are retraining a new pattern, you want to train good movement, not bad. So, mindless reps are not only a waste of time, but counter-productive.
The great thing about this type of training is that it is efficient, and you might even find it fun. Because it’s a challenge, your brain is engaged and it becomes like a game.
Why Exercise is Important
Chiropractic adjusting and soft-tissue work performed in office can greatly increase ranges of motion in previously stiff areas. Often, however, your body doesn’t know what to do with this extra range of motion. Sometimes it can even become a little wary of the extra mobility and try to stabilize it with extra muscle tension. This is very counter-productive to your treatments, as it can increase stiffness in the area that we just mobilized.
At Blue Sky Chiropractic you will be given exercises to reinforce the changes in mobility that we have achieved with chiropractic adjusting and soft-tissue work. This way, your body learns how integrate and reinforce the new mobility in a functional and productive way.
Blue Sky Chiropractic provides the following services:
• Diversified adjusting
• Arthrostim / instrument adjusting
• Drop-table adjusting
• NeuroKinetic Therapy (NKT)
• Functional Movement Screen (FMS)
• Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)
• Corrective exercises
• Reactive Neuromuscular Training (RNT)
• Active Release Technique (ART)
• Instrument‐Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)
• Functional and Kinetic Treatment with Rehabilitation (FAKTR)
• Rapid Release Technology (RRT)
• Heat / ice
• Kinesiology tape (RockTape)
• Nutritional counseling
• Classes in posture, nutrition, diaphragmatic breathing, and core-stabilization
For more information on any of these techniques please see our Resources page.
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