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How do we differ from Massage, Physical therapy or Medicine?

All of our body aches, pains, inflammation, infection, disorder or disease involve irritated nerves. The irritation can be chemical, emotional, or physical but it is always interpreted and manifested through reactions in the nervous system.

Almost all nerves that control every function in our body arise from the spine. Most people understand that irritated spinal nerves can cause muscle aches, pains or spasms. What is not commonly recognized is that irritated spinal nerves have been linked to dysfunction in many other body systems, (lungs, intestines, immune system, etc.).
                                      
Chiropractors are unique among health professionals in addressing the relationship between improper spinal joint function and nerve function as it affects the various body systems. We defined it as the subluxation. We are also unique as a profession in providing a direct, effective, natural treatment by hand, the adjustment.

The following compares other approaches to health care and lists their limitations and differences.

Massage:
Massage can be great in relieving muscle tension, stress, and has some therapeutic benefit in muscle tears and adhesions or draining edema (stagnant fluid that may be related to inflammation or poor circulation).

Limitations:
Limited therapeutic benefits.
Effects usually do not last long.
Practitioners are not licensed or trained to diagnose therefore can’t officially treat or recommend treatment (need Dr. prescription).
No authoritative training or advice in nutrition and exercise.

Physical Therapy:
Physical Therapy can be a good alternative in treating certain muscle and joint problems. Tend to favor rehabilitation and exercise. Sub-specialties in cardiac / pulmonary rehab, burns, post-surgical, assisted living etc.

Limitations:
Not trained as physicians therefore practice limited to treating isolated conditions - not the whole person.
Can not diagnose and order testing.
Tend to concentrate in one area of pain and do not fully consider other joint inter-relationships.
Typically do not treat joint conditions to full extent of mechanical improvement.
Do not generate a spinal nerve response / normalization.
Do not consider / address neurological effects to other body systems.
Not trained in nutrition.

Traditional Medicine:
Practiced properly medical care can be great in acute pain relief, preventing disease and can be helpful in irreversible or potentially terminal conditions. Like any profession, if improperly practiced it can have serious implications.

Several medical providers emphasize natural treatments and prevention - unfortunately they tend to be the exception. The following list describes how traditional medicine practice tends to differ from chiropractic practice.

It is for informational purposes to allow you to make educated decisions about your health. It is meant to encourage you to ask questions while seeking needed medical care and not to discourage you from going to any particular type of physician.

Medical treatment options are usually invasive and change nature or balance of body (with medicine or surgery).
All medicine has side effects (epocrates.com).
Taking more than one medication amplifies the side effects due to interactions.
Chemical solutions (medicine) can not fully address a mechanical / physical problem (only masks the symptom).
Incomplete training in treating joint mechanics.
Tend to concentrate on waiting for illness or symptoms to develop and treat.
Lack of emphasis on natural prevention.

These trends can be equally attributed to our culture. The dependance ona  “quick fix” or "magic pill" has led to a widespread lack of personal responsibility for one's health. Not allowing nature to take it’s course, is taking us in a questionable direction of resistant bacteria, weak immune systems, and a negative spiral of drug interactions with compounded side-effects.  Our technological advances have improved life expectancy but the incidence of autoimmune and chronic degenerative disorders is on a dramatic rise.    
      
Chiropractic:
Our Chiropractic services offer a holistic and natural alternative that focuses on prevention, and maintaining balance and optimum function or health.

In our practice we respect, and work with other health care professionals. The best any physician can do is help maintain the balanced foundation that a person needs to function properly. Anything more or less than that and we bypass health and take the path to dysfunction, early degeneration, and disease. Sometimes one type of care is enough. Sometimes more than one is needed.

We do not claim to be able to help everyone. We will always seek to refer to the appropriate health care provider when patients are not responding to our care. Our priority is your health.

Our primary role is to inform you of our findings and opinion, present you with options, and help you prioritize them. Your healthcare choices, and to what extent you utilize our services, are ultimately up to you.

We are happy to be of service in any way we can!

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Personal Care Chiropractic & Massage, P.C.
©copyright Nicholas Stamoulos, D.C. 2008. All Rights Reserved.
104 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02474
781 641 4482 - www.mindyourspine.com