Everything there is to know about chiropractic tools
Chiropractic care is a special kind of complementary and alternative medicine. Its methods are useful in treating different musculoskeletal system issues, especially various spine problems. Many doctors and scientists think these methods are pseudoscientific.
Usually, these alternative medicine methods include manual therapy, exercises, and general counseling about health and lifestyle. Specialists that practice these methods usually affects the spine, muscles, joints, ligaments, and sometimes bones.
There are various devices that specialists use during their treatment procedures. But, as most of the techniques showed no evidence of scientifically based effectiveness and only showed some usefulness in the treatment of back pain, we will mostly give you information about devices oriented for spine treatment.
History of chiropractic tools
The first philosopher of complementary and alternative medicine was D. D. Palmer. He called it "a science of healing without drugs." The 18th of September, 1895, was the day when the chiropractic was born. That was the day Palmer, while performing manipulation on the Harvey Lillard spine, "cured" his patient's deafness.
The founder of this doctrine usually utilized manual manipulations as his primary treatment method for different conditions without the application of any device. He had big hands and believed that power was enough to perform the whole necessary procedures. However, numerous mechanisms were invented by his students and their students, as they needed to add additional strength to their hands.
One of the first chiropractic tools, a traction table, was first registered on the 25th of April 1915. After that came the invention and registration of various special instruments. Today, there is no consideration of this trend as a part of traditional medicine, and chiropractors don't need a medical doctor's diplomas and licenses.
Main varieties of chiropractic tools
Many specialists prefer to use devices created by themselves, which makes the whole classification a bit unobjective. Most of them are manually assisted in most cases, as they were in the past century. According to the main trends among present-day specialists, the most popular apparatuses are:
- Traction tables
- TENS machines
- Impulse adjusters
- Ultrasound machines
- Cold lasers
The central principle of functioning for them somehow relieve the spinal and muscular tension. The impact of different forces achieves that effect. For example, traction tables mostly used the mechanic force of the patient's weight and sometimes the pressure of any additional plummets.
Indication to use chiropractic tools
Specialists in this field claim that their treatment methods can potentially cure almost any disease. But, as there are no scientific approvals of those statements, it is necessary to focus on the confirmed effects of using these instruments. They influence different types of back pains and even show good results in comparison with many modern methods.
There are lots of etiological factors that cause back pains. Among them, lots have various contraindications against using different chiropractic devices. But, talking about those without contraindications, they are mostly connected with vertebral displacement, ossification of ligaments, and degenerative aging processes. Among them are:
Sometimes these chiropractic tools may also be used for various techniques of curing the hypochondria. But, the main idea while dealing with those types of patients is to give them a reason to think that they haven't got any additional pathology after your therapy, like bone fractures, vertebral bias, and others. Those complications very often may occur during spine manipulations.
Some instruments also find their place in various types of relaxing spa procedures, like massage and in-depth relaxation sessions, using various types of machinery. Those methods often involved, for example, hand activators, traction tables, or TENS machines.
In some cases, these practices may prevent the development of many chronic pathologies of the musculoskeletal system. But, those states usually are preventable with a dosed physical activity and reducing of a sedentary lifestyle time.
Complications of using chiropractic tools
Before using any of those devices, the specialist should examine a patient's spine very attentively. They need to have at least an X-ray conclusion before starting any treatment, which involves chiropractic tools; otherwise, lots of different complications may occur. Among the most often are:
- Bone fractures
- Vertebral bias
- Muscular breaks
- Ligament breaks
- Spinal cord traumas
- Vertebral fractures
- Nerves traumas
- Vascular trauma
As patients frequently do not understand that using chiropractic tools in most cases only leads to temporary symptoms relief, the main complication of the application of those devices occurs. That is a persistently recurrent pattern of the symptoms, leading to numerous repeated sessions of the procedures.
Contraindications for using chiropractic instruments
To prevent the occurrence of those, chiropractors need to understand what the contraindications for using these or other devices. Contraindications may vary a lot because every instrument has unique properties, but generally, they are:
- Vertebral and other bones fractures
- Spinal cord trauma
- Psychomotor agitation
- Previous surgeries, especially with implants
- Decompensated states
The main problem with these chiropractic tools is a lack of general, scientifically-approved standards, which often leads to the development of the complications mentioned above. Also, in many cases, using them is strictly prohibited, as that may cause a severe injury and even may cost a patient's life.
General specifications of chiropractic tools
As there is a wide variety of different devices used nowadays in chiropractic, it's almost impossible to give a summary of a review of their specifications. So, here is the brief specification of one of the most popular among the specialists in that field, but still not researched fair enough, a mechanical activator:
- Total weight - up to 23 oz
- Variable setting possibility - included
- Revolutions - up to 7
- Adjustable extensions - included
- Force range output - from 6 to 41 lbs
- Handle output grids - up to 3 for different tools
- Ergonomic of the handles - wide variety
- Automatic Pre-Load - included
Other types of chiropractic tools may have differing specifications. For example, cold lasers' differentiation is according to the intensity of their beams, its produced wavelength, the overall time length of safe procedure, and others.
How chiropractic tools work
The primary working mechanism of these instruments is an energy impact on the musculoskeletal system of the organism. It's not essential what will be the fundamental source of that energy. The main idea is to achieve the relaxation and physiological tension of the musculoskeletal system organs.
The frequent use of activators is for a point impact on soft tissues. The practitioner finds high-tension points on the surface of the body (mostly in muscles) and starts to use an activator to massage and press them. As a result, the pressure in the trigger point slowly decreases, the blood flow normalizes, and the pain fades away.
When the patient needs to relieve his back pain, specialists usually use various types of traction tools and techniques. A traction table is the most known among them. For example, if the patient has a lumbar pain, then his neck gets fixated, and with a special belt placed, stretching begins.
Many different types of those devices exist, and there are lots of manufacturers and distributors found in the market. But after little research, we discovered the most popular among them. They are:
- Stick On
- Gua Sha
- Med Master
- Magic Back
- True Power
Chiropractic tools are a big group of mechanisms for relieving tension and relaxing the spine, muscles, and other parts of the musculoskeletal system. There are lots of different types of those instruments, and many chiropractors prefer to use self-constructed tools during their patients' treatment.
Many arguments among different schools of professionals about the primary methods, etiological factors, and most effective mechanisms and tools are continuous for more than a century. But, in the end, every chiropractic tool, technique, and specialist is unique.
Most of the mechanisms are used not only by chiropractors but sometimes even by general medical practitioners, neurologists, and orthopaedists. That makes those instruments extremely useful for medicine in general.