‘The best treatment we can give is whatever will work for you best’
Andrew’s practice is broad based and as such he has many ‘tools in his toolkit’ which can be used for different patients and different problems. He often finds that in a given treatment session he will utilise 4-5 different treatment techniques, depending on what the problem calls for. This can be extremely useful and ensures there is always the potential for further improvement in a patient’s progress.
Diversified spinal manipulation
After specific assessment of the spinal joint and identification of the fault, a manipulation can be induced to restore normal joint function. This typically will involve the Chiropractor placing a fingertip or soft part of the hand on the spine, and performing a very small, but very quick thrust in the direction required. This often results in a ‘crack’ as the joint is stretched – this is the treatment technique which people may be most familiar with from Chiropractors. When used correctly the specific Chiropractic manipulation is a fantastic tool for many problems such as neck pain, low back pain, or sciatica.
Some patients might not tolerate a full manipulation or not like the idea of having the spine being manipulated, therefore Chiropractors can also restore normal joint movement by mobilisation techniques – these are again aimed at moving the joint to loosen it up, but instead of one quick thrust (as with the manipulation) it will most likely take 10-15 gentle movements backwards and forwards which can be quite relaxing.
Another ‘non-manipulative’ treatment technique but this time utilising the activator tool – this will give a very small, but very quick ‘click’ which will gently nudge the joint. The speed of the activator likely gives the greatest impact and it almost ‘reboots’ the nervous system activating.
This system is called Sacro-occipital technique, and is chiefly concerned with restoring balance to the pelvis and re-aligning your body. After a number of muscular and neurological corrections the blocks are specifically placed around the pelvis and left for 2-10 minutes. Again this is another low force and very gentle treatment which is often used for patients with sciatica or during pregnancy.
Soft tissue techniques
This refers to working on the muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments. If you have neck pain for example, not only will the joints be tight, but the muscles will also stiffen and become painful which needs addressing. If you have nerve pain such as sciatica, the nerve irritation causes tension and pain into the muscles, which also need to be resolved.
A slow hands on pressure applied at varying depths into the affected area. This is a gentle way to relax muscle tension.
Trigger point therapy
A ’push and hold’ technique used to treat local knots (aka trigger points) within muscles. Mostly used when there is a focal point of tension only on one specific point of pain.
Mainly for muscles that are tight and have shortened.
A firmer, deeper pressure applied to the myofascial layers to release greater amounts of tension.
Instrument assisted myofascial release
A fast repetitive gliding over and into the effected tissue, applied gently or firmly.
Sports taping doesn’t just have to be used for athletes. It is a stretchy tape which is applied directly onto the skin and can affect joint and muscle function. Depending on the application type, this technique can be used to either stabilise, strengthen (facilitate), or inhibit (switch off/turn down) muscle function. I.e. if a muscle is weak then tape can be applied directly onto it to strengthen it and support it. This technique is very gentle as it is almost a ‘hands off’ treatment and will work once you have left the office. It is often used as an ‘add on’ to help maintain another form of treatment, or it can be applied i.e. for an athlete prior to a match.
Dry needling (acupuncture)
Dry needling is the medical version of acupuncture. It uses the same acupuncture needles which are very small. These are placed into areas of tension within the muscle, or often directly into a trigger point (knot) in a muscle. It is a fantastic method for reducing tension and pain and most useful when patients are in pain and would not tolerate a deeper/firmer pressure into an area – the needle(s) often go in undetected and patients are often surprised they didn’t feel a thing. A superb choice if you have sciatica or hip pain.