The Balanced Body Center's Unique Physical Therapy Program
Our Physical Therapy Department is unique in its approach to the restoration of health. At The Balanced Body Center we have brought together the best chiropractic and physical therapy techniques to provide the highest-quality recovery experience for our patients.
Many physical therapy centers focus on the rehabilitation of the muscles after an injury. Our approach recognizes that the muscles are the last group of tissues required to be rehabilitated.
Our office is fortunate to have both chiropractors and physical therapists working together towards the same goal.
Our Physical Therapy Program is Divided into 4 Phases:
Active Phases 1, 2 & 3
This phase of care is all about reducing pain as quickly as possible. Our office uses cutting edge technology to get fast results. This may include the application of electrical stimulation, ultrasound, moist heat and ice as indicated to control, reduce and/or eliminate swelling/edema resulting from acute and/or chronic pain. Performance of manual therapy techniques (i.e. myofascial release, trigger point work, contract/relax, and other soft tissue mobilization techniques designed to reduce the affects of muscle imbalances), cervical and lumbar decompression utilizing the "3D Active Trac" decompression table is available in our clinic to help reduce pain from degenerated, arthritic joints and from disc injuries. Cold laser therapy treatment is also available in our office with the Med X Laser system. This uses the latest technologies to reduce pain and stimulate healthy tissue regeneration. For more information on these new advances in pain management, see our links listed below.
Active care is where our clinic becomes extremely specialized. It is exceedingly important to rehabilitate soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons and muscles in the correct sequence. Failure of this order may cause increased pain, fail to yield results and in many cases prevent long term correction. Spinal injuries involve many factors such as misalignment, loss of flexibility and weakness. In Phase One of active care, our office utilizes a series of unique devices to increase ligament flexibility to structures that have become rigid, strengthen ligaments and tendons that have weakened. This phase usually occurs concurrently with chiropractic care to improve alignment. Activities include repetitive cervical traction exercises, six-way stretch exercises, wobble chair exercises, vibration therapy and postural weighting.
Repetitive Cervical Traction Benefits - Reduces stress in the neck and aids in the prevention and recuperation of injuries. Assists in the healing of disc bulges and disc tears. Re-hydrates/re-inflates cervical discs and keeps them young and strong. Helps restore normal cervical 'arc of life' and relieve tension on the spinal cord. Warms up the disc prior to the adjustment and prior to spinal molding at home so you can re-shape your spine more easily. Increases the function of the first 4 cervical vertebra to re-stimulate endorphin production (chemicals which block painful stimuli). Stretches tight neck ligaments and musculature.
Six-Way Stretch Benefits - This traction is necessary for stretching chronic, splinted postural muscles. Helps to change the irregular muscle response and overcome the splinted memory. After the splinted muscle is stretched and warmed-up properly, normal function and memory can be retrained in order to support the body correctly
Wobble Chair Benefits - Adds strength and flexibility to the discs and ligaments of the low back. Reduces stress in the low back and aids in the prevention and recuperation of injuries. Assists in the healing of disc bulges and tears. Re-hydrates and inflates the lumbar discs and keeps them young and strong. Helps circulate CFS (Cerebrospinal fluid -fluid that nourishes the brain and spinal cord). Massages heart (via central tendon) and reduces chances of heart attacks. Stimulates reflexes to correct posture (when wearing body weights). Enhances oxygenation of blood and stimulates metabolism, which is necessary for the prevention of disease. Warms up the discs prior to the adjustment and prior to spinal molding at home to reshape the spine more easily.
Vibration Therapy Benefits:
1. Organic: Improves circulation, skin tone, bone density, serotonin levels, promotes lymphatic drainage, stress reduction, increases oxygenation of tissue, decreases cortisol levels and boosts energy levels.
2. Muscular/Skeletal: Improves muscle coordination, balance, posture, mobility, and strengthens postural muscles. The vibration forces the muscles to work harder, thus allowing the benefits of the head / shoulder / pelvic weights to be more effective.It also helps to strengthen muscles to hold proper alignment after adjustment.
Postural Weighting Benefits - Corrects Forward Head Syndrome and overall posture. Relieves tension on the spinal cord helping energy to flow easier from the brain into the body, restoring overall health. Relieves tension/stress on the heart. Promotes tissue oxygenation by increasing lung capacity. Relieves pressure and stress on degenerative discs and damaged ligaments so they can rehydrate/regenerate and heal. Strengthens weakened neck muscles and ligaments. When worn immediately after the adjustment (after cervical traction/wobble chair and vibration therapy), the Pettibon body weighting system will help you hold and stabilize your correction longer to accelerate your results.
Usually this phase begins when flexibility, alignment and symptoms have all improved. This phase incorporates all of the above activities and begins the use of isometric exercises developed uniquely to address each patient's needs based on x-ray results. The foundational strength of the spine originates from the tendons and ligaments. The most effective way to rehabilitate these tissues is through isometric exercise. Isometric exercise is defined by contracting a muscle group without any movement of the body. Our office utilizes specific fulcrum exercises and a device called the Link Trainer.
Fulcrum Exercise Benefits - Gain strength and flexibility to muscles and ligaments. Forms and strengthens lordosis. Increase motion to the spine and begin remodeling process of scar tissue. Increase proprioceptive function to soft tissues to support optimal spinal structure. Support re-hydration of the discs. Alternate stretching/relaxation provides mobility vital for metabolic function, helping eliminate the cause of sore joints and physical stress.
Link Trainer Benefits- Spinal muscles function in a linked chain to create balance, spinal structure and function. The Link Trainer is used to strengthen every spinal muscle to re-enforce permanent spinal and postural correction. It also strengthens the core which includes abdominal muscles, the gluteal muscles, the erector spinae musculature up the sides of the spine, spinal ligaments and disc.
Phase 3 usually begins once we have confirmed spinal correction utilizing post x-rays. In this phase we have usually established a home protocol for the continued progress of the white tissues (ligaments and tendons). Typical physical therapy can now begin to strengthen the red tissues (the muscles). Usually a few visits are required to establish a home protocol. In cases of severe muscular weakness a short program of in office therapy will be initiated. There are many services that may be provided in this phase such as:
- Therapeutic activities/exercises for improved range of motion (ROM), muscle strength and endurance. Neuromuscular re-education techniques designed to improve/enhance your body's ability to function during your activities of daily living. Exercise is the vital link in the chain and you will receive 'one-on-one', professional assistance in tailoring the program that is best for you.
- Instruction in performance of personalized home-exercise programs designed to maximize the time spent in the clinic and enhance your ability to self manage your physical signs/symptoms at home, work, sporting activities, etc.
- Exercise philosophy for treatment of spinal dysfunction generally includes 'core' exercises designed to stabilize and improve the strength/ endurance of abdominal/spinal musculature. Additionally, instruction in proper posture and body mechanics at rest and during ADLs is essential to any successful rehabilitation program and is very much a focal point of our self-directed programs.