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There have been various advancements in using multiple modalities in tandem with traditional manipulation in chiropractic treatment in recent years. While these treatments aren’t mean to replace the core fundamentals of chiropractic treatment, they can be used to enhance the outcomes of traditional treatment and pain reduction.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy has many benefits in pain reduction and tissue healing. Depending on the intensity of the laser, the number of diodes, and the type of diodes used, laser therapy can have different effects. It can either have a deep heating effect on the tissues, increasing blood flow to the area to promote the body’s natural healing process, or blue laser can be used for a more superficial effect to promote tissue healing and provide an antimicrobial effect on wounds like pressure ulcers. The heating of the tissues can help with collagen extensibility, making this a great pre-treatment for the bone and joint manipulations associated with chiropractic work.

Electrocorporeal Shockwave Therapy

Similar to ESTIM, electrocorporeal shockwave therapy can be a great way to relieve muscle spasms or aching muscles, as well as pain resulting from more from the acute healing process. Depending on the intensity, frequency, and pulse duration, EST can be used to reduce acute pain through gating, essentially providing somatosensory stimuli to interrupt the a-delta nerve signals, or it can give a lower frequency charge for a longer pulse duration to trigger the c-fibers and cause muscle contractions. These contractions can help relax spasming muscles by fatiguing them and starting the natural release of endorphins through repeated muscle contractions.

Spinal Decompression

Spinal decompression is another common technique used in chiropractic settings to help relieve pressure on the spine. There are various techniques involved with spinal decompression, either via manual traction or using a harness and a traction table to administer treatment. The theory behind decompression is that applying a physical force to the spine will help release any compressive forces on the vertebrae, help relieve pain, increase blood flow to the area, and possibly reduce the stress applied to other tissues like nerve roots. There are also some decompression techniques that patients can learn to perform on themselves by simply putting their body in the proper position, which works well for patients with lumbar back pain resulting from poor posture or spinal dysfunction.