Believe it or not, the very first chiropractic patient didn’t receive treatment to alleviate pain or restore lost mobility. Harvey Lillard was deaf. Founder of chiropractic medicine Daniel David Palmer offered to examine Lillard upon learning of his disability. He discovered protruding vertebrae between Lillard’s shoulder blades, which he pushed back into place. Lillard reported that his hearing had nearly completely returned just a few days later.
Lillard’s case was instrumental in pushing chiropractic into public view back during the late 1890s, although it is not typical of the ailments chiropractors normally treat nowadays. While chiropractic’s healing modalities can indeed treat nearly any condition, the field of medicine is largely concerned with patients’ knees, wrists, ankles and feet.
How can a chiropractor help such complex yet delicate assemblages of bone, tendon, ligament and muscle? That’s a great question! Here are just a few examples.
How Can a Chiropractor Help My Knee?
United States emergency rooms treated over 6 million knee injuries from 1999 through 2008. Over 40% of those injuries were sprains (which affect the tendons that connect muscles to bones) and strains (which affect the ligaments that interconnect bones).
Chiropractors treat knee sprains and strains alike. Athletes who wish to speed up recovery following medial collateral ligament (MCL) strains often receive dry needling and massage therapy from their chiropractors. Meniscus tears, which occur when the rubbery knee cartilage buffering the shinbone and thigh bone becomes damaged, are treatable through the same techniques, and can also be helped greatly by electrical muscle stimulation.
Chiropractors also treat osteoarthritis (which is typically caused by gradual wear and tear) and rheumatoid arthritis (an inflammatory autoimmune condition). When arthritis patients experience swelling in their knees (or in any other parts of their body), they can benefit from chiropractic therapies which reduce inflammation without drugs or their adverse side effects.
How Can a Chiropractor Help My Wrist?
Wrists can also fall victim to strains, sprains, and arthritis, but the wrist injury most commonly associated with chiropractic is carpal tunnel syndrome. It occurs when the median nerve (the main nerve of the front of the forearm) becomes squeezed or compressed, and often afflicts people who spend a lot of time at their desks.
There are several drug-free and nonsurgical chiropractic treatments available for carpal tunnel. They are often combined into a single program of treatment to promote faster recovery and pain relief. Such treatment programs typically include spinal adjustment. In addition to improving spinal alignment, chiropractic adjustment treats carpal tunnel by reducing swelling, improving blood flow, stimulating production of natural healing hormones, and strengthening the connection between the brain and the median nerve itself.
How Can a Chiropractor Help My Ankle?
Ankle sprain is a common injury, as it affects approximately 2 million Americans each year. A chiropractor treats sprains by taking a holistic view of the entire ankle. Instead of addressing a single injured ligament, they make slight adjustments to their patient’s entire spine. Though it may seem like a roundabout approach to treating an ankle, spinal manipulation’s effects resonate across the entire body. By restoring balance to their patient, the chiropractor improves the functionality of their nervous system – as well as the healing processes which directly benefit torn and overextended ligaments.
Joint manipulation is an especially effective chiropractic treatment for fractured ankles. The manual therapy involves applying gentle force to the joints in and around the ankle. In addition to restoring functional mobility, joint manipulation helps to reduce pain, improve muscle contraction, and increase the ankle’s range of motion.
How Can a Chiropractor Help My Foot?
Plantar fasciitis will affect about 10% of Americans over the course of their lifetimes. It occurs when the connective tissue spanning the arch of the foot becomes inflamed, and typically manifests as sharp pain in the heel. Chiropractors often prescribe a simple remedy for plantar fasciitis: stretching, which alleviates the pressure and tension that cause inflammation on the bottom of the feet. Many chiropractors also provide orthotics, which shift the patient’s body weight so it is carried more evenly across the feet. And as it does with so many other health issues, spinal manipulation excels at speeding up recovery from plantar fasciitis.
We only highlighted a few of the ways chiropractic care can treat patients’ knees, wrists, ankles and feet. To be sure, these areas of the body can exhibit many other problems which chiropractic was developed specifically to treat. And chiropractic’s benefits are hardly limited to the extremities. Low back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, headaches and migraine are all chiropractic specialties as well.
If you live in the greater Fargo, ND area and are suffering from pain or having difficulty moving any part of your body correctly, then we welcome you to schedule an appointment at Fargo Spine today. Our services include functional wellness, Focus Wave Therapy, the Graston Technique, and many other modalities suitable for treating an enormous range of conditions!