Activities


The 4 pillars:  Diagnosis, Treatment, Advice and Aftercare.


Diagnosis


Comparable to every medical practice, the first step before treatment begins is an extensive investigation of the case history of the patient, including the sequence of events leading to the ailment(s).  After the orthopaedic and neurological investigation, the first practical examination consists of gentle touching (palpation), using the fingertips for the functional assessment of the spinal column, pelvis and the peripheral joints.  An X-ray examination can be used to corroborate the diagnosis and confirm the palpation finding or identify any contraindications that would render manual handling inappropriate.  In addition, X-rays provide valuable insight concerning pelvic distortion, difference in leg length, spinal sidebending deformity (scoliosis) or degeneration of discs and vertebral joints.  The chiropractor is capable of using additional techniques for guidance such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computer Tomography (CT), scintigrams, or the results from laboratory analyses.

Treatment


Every treatment follows only after a thorough case history evaluation.  After the standard orthopaedic, rheumatological and neurological investigative methods, specific chiropractic correction techniques are applied.

Practising the Gonstead full spine technique, I use equipment that measures the temperature of the skin near the spinal column (thermography).  From the X-rays, I can also identify further important evidence of the static and dynamic skeletal functions.  The following procedure is used in the Gonstead system:
a) Skin temperature alterations give an important clue to identify where there is actual nerve pressure.  Swelling of the surrounding tissues can also greatly help to indicate where an adjustment is required.
b) Having identified the spinal segment in question, I use light touch palpation to assess in which direction the bone has moved.  With this information, I can determine the best adjustment to use in order to return the segment to the correct position.
c) This finding is confirmed by X-ray
d) The skin temperature analysis also tells the chiropractor when not to adjust or when it is better to leave an already adjusted segment alone!

The intention is for the treatment to reverse the source of the restricted movement and misplaced vertebra.  Only with high precision and speedy application can these treatment methods be successful.  In order to avoid exceeding their anatomical or physiological limits, joints are moved only a little beyond the normal range of movement.  The objective is not only to restore normal flexibility of the joints, but also to act positively on the neighbouring tissues (muscles, tendons and the nervous system).

The chiropractor is authorised to issue certificates for those who, due to their condition, are unable to work.  The measures performed by the chiropractor in Switzerland are, like doctors and chemists, recognised (including the fees charged) by the basic medical, accident, military or incapacity insurance policies.

Chiropractors must, like other therapists, know their own limits and their scope of practice;  this forms an integral part of their clinical training (contraindications of chiropractic treatment).

 

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