Alternative Treatments should not really be called “alternative” because they are really a the true resolve for healing injury and getting to the source of the problem. Currently in the United States we spend a ton of money of medications, injections, and surgeries to resolve what really could be fixed with the proper treatment, maintenance and rehabilitation of our bodies. Unfortunately, this is not the case and we find ourselves often injured and not sure where to go for help. As a Physical Therapist, I am a firm believer that most injuries, let’s say 80% in my experience, can be healed through alternative treatment.
There are several types of Alternative Treatments for physical healing out there, but the most popular and well known are Physical Therapy, Chiropractic and Acupuncture. Within these three different specialties there are several different treatment options.
Physical Therapy is best known by most for rehabilitating injuries through exercise. For example if you pull a muscle or sprain your ankle you think automatically “I may need some physical therapy for this.” But Physical Therapy actually encompasses not only exercise but also soft tissue work, joint mobilization and manipulation, modalities for pain and exercise to strengthen and retrain proper movement. Physical Therapists are known best at “Movement Specialists,” but each PT is a little different from the next and each treats patients different from the next based on their education, clinical experience and philosophies.
I work side by side with an amazing Chiropractor and he has not only treated many of my patients but also he has performed adjustments on me as well. Chiropractic care is focused primarily on spinal alignment and therefore the primary treatment is correction of mal-alignment via high velocity manipulation also called and “adjustment.” But in addition many chiropractors use additional assessment and treatment options in their care. For example, many Chiropractors perform X-rays in the office. Many also perform soft tissue work on the muscles and some even prescribe exercise. Many also use modalities. Physical Therapy and Chiropractic care have become a lot more similar over the past several years and we are seeing PT’s do more osteopathic medicine and manipulation while Chiro’s are learning more about exercise prescription and movement.
Acupuncture is new to me. I have personally had it done on me and it has worked very well in healing a condition I did not want to take medication for.Acupuncturist’s work with conditions that involve pain and injury but they treat medical conditions naturally as well. Many also have studied Chinese Herbs and use them in conjunction with Acupuncture. Acupuncture is performed via tiny needles that are inserted in the skin. It looks very scary but you actually don’t feel much when it is performed. The philosophy is based on the Meridians. That is about as much as I know about Acupuncture!!
At the end of the day the goal is to get the patient pain free, moving better, back to their full function and on a maintenance exercise regimen to maintain health, wellness and strength. I work with my patients to figure out what type of physical exercise they enjoy doing so I can assist them in finding a program they can participate in routinely. Taking care of your body and a consistent exercise program is the best way to stay out of pain and out of my office!! #TakeCareOfYou
♥Dr. Ja’nae Brown
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