We have come a long way in Chiropractic since the days of basing our diagnosis and treatment off of palpation and radiographic findings. Don’t misunderstand me… X-ray is valuable when assessing bone structure, density and alignment in order to rule out more serious issues such as osteoporosis, tumors, fractures, osteoarthritis, etc.). However, x-rays are limited because they are static pictures that don’t show how a bone, joint or body part is moving through space and/or how well it is stabilized during normal movements. X-rays cannot tell us anything about a patient’s pain or how their daily activities are limited.
Fortunately, there are excellent ways to assess posture and function without exposing a patient to unnecessary radiation. The first way is to assess a patient’s static posture during normal standing. Dr. Brett often uses PostureScreen, which links a series of standing photographs to biomechanical software that calculates the forces acting on the spine. This tells us how much extra work your postural muscles are performing without movement. Most patients are shocked when they see that their spines are under significant and unnecessary pressure that contributes to back and neck pain, abnormal “wear n’ tear” and accelerated degeneration or degenerative arthritis.
Secondly, we assess the stability, mobility, and flexibility of joints and tissues in the body by observing our patients during basic movement patterns. This is important in determining what is contributing to their patient pain and dysfunction. For this, Dr. Brett uses a Functional Movement Screen that incorporates 7 movement patterns designed to test the most common movement patterns used by most of us during our daily activities, job demands and sport/ recreational activities.
The information gathered from the screens is analyzed and scored on a 21-point scale to help determine which additional diagnostic tests are needed and which treatment strategies will be most effective in treating the condition. Common treatment modalities that we use at UCSS include:
- Hot or cold therapy
- Deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy or relaxing massage
- Vibration therapy
- Myo-fascial release or stretching therapy
- Core muscle activation technique’s or Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS)
- Joint mobilizations and spinal adjustments
- Postural retraining
- Corrective exercise strategies
Assessment of baseline posture and functional movement patterns plays a vital role in identifying the cause of a person’s musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction as well as in determining the most effective course of care.
If you have questions regarding these screening methods or would like to schedule time with Dr. Brett to be evaluated, please call our office. We look forward to discussing these concepts further on our future blogs. Of course, your feedback is always welcome.
Drs. Brett and Nancy Lemire of Universal Chiropractic Spine & Sport 916-683-3900.