Adjustments Help: A Chiropractor Blog

Which Chiropractic Modalities Can Help Chronic Pain?

If you are dealing with chronic pain, whether it's from a medical condition or an injury, you may be looking at different treatment avenues besides medications. While some people may think that chiropractors only offer spinal adjustments, a chiropractor can offer several modalities, or methods of treatment, that could help people with chronic pain. Here are four modality therapy to consider.

Ultrasound Therapy 

During ultrasound therapy, your chiropractor will use a device that transmits sound waves into soft tissues. These sound waves create friction and heat which can warm sore muscles, increase circulation, and decrease muscle spasms and stiffness.

Ultrasound therapy can be beneficial for a number of health conditions, like

  • Bursitis
  • Pain caused by scar tissue
  • Strains and sprains
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Myofascial pain syndrome

One study found that ultrasound therapy could reduce muscle spasms, muscle dysfunction, and depression in patients that were suffering from myofascial pain syndrome.

Massage Therapy

Your chiropractor may offer massage therapy on its own or as a precursor to adjustments. There isn't just one type of massage modality. You could opt for Swedish, deep tissue, trigger point, lymphatic, etc. Massage therapy can interrupt pain signals; this therapy encourages the body to release endorphins, which are hormones that provide an analgesic effect. Some people have chronic pain from muscle guarding. Muscle guarding occurs when the body tightens or splints muscle groups to defend itself from an anticipated or actually present threat. If muscles are continually guarding, you may experience a decreased range of motion and stiffness. Massage can help muscles relax and improve circulation.

Light Exercise

If you have your doctor's permission, a low-impact exercise regimen could be beneficial for chronic pain. Exercise can help to protect joint health and muscle deterioration. Your chiropractor can monitor your progress and teach you different exercises that you can easily do at home. One clinical trial found that proper exercise programs could help people with low back pain improve their strength and flexibility, and these exercises didn't increase the risk of back injuries.

Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

TENS units are small portable machines that use electric currents to manage pain. This current is delivered through cutaneous electrodes, which are positioned near areas of pain. TENS therapy is a great option for people who want to avoid medications since it can provide analgesic effects to opioid receptors in the body. TENS therapy can be beneficial for people with osteoarthritis, diabetic neuropathy, spinal cord injuries, or fibromyalgia.

These are just a few modalities that could help you deal with chronic pain. Reach out to a chiropractor for more details.