Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.
We believe that a combination of genetics, lifestyle patterns, and previous traumas contributes to conditions of acute and chronic pain. For example, a patient will seek treatment for a stiff neck and sore back. Based on the patient’s description of pain, his or her suspicion of its source, and a thorough examination, our doctor will identify the origin of the pain and make a tissue diagnosis. He will explain how different musculoskeletal habits—movement, posture, positioning—or even biochemical or emotional factors may cause the pain. After treatment, he will recommend exercises and stretches, also changes in nutrition and lifestyle habits, to ease and eliminate pain and optimize the patient’s well-being.
Patrick Tribble employs a variety of techniques for treatment and healing, based on his roots in chiropractic, applied kinesiology, reflexology, and Oriental and natural medicine. Our physical therapies include electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and the application of cold and heat (diathermy or moist heat packs). They also include bodywork, involving tissue massage—light to deep pressure—and manipulative joint therapies.
Specific Therapeutic Methods
Chiropractic Manipulative Therapies
Chiropractic manipulative therapies are designed to reestablish normal mechanics and movement in joints of the spine and extremities. Osseous high-velocity methods (also known as adjustments) restore joint function and improve circulation, reducing local muscle spasm and pain. We tailor the amount of force applied to each joint, to the joint’s capacity to receive manipulation, and the patient’s ability to process the sensory input of the adjustment. Not every patient benefits from manipulative therapy. Our doctors will use different methods with these patients.
Our unique approach to bodywork incorporates touch in varying degrees, from light pressure to deep-tissue massage. Our work allows muscles to relax and release their knots of tension, minimizes scar tissue formation, aids in scar tissue reduction, and promotes lymphatic system drainage. Discovering the character of a muscle is key to treatment. For example, muscle pain may be focused on the fascia (the covering) or in its individual fibers (deep or on the surface). Knowing and applying the appropriate touch is essential to promoting the relief of pain.
In evaluating a patient’s needs, we take a comprehensive approach. After reviewing his or her medical history and discussing health issues, we may recommend a personalized series of laboratory tests, which may include routine or extended blood chemistry panels; hair, digestive, and saliva evaluations; and other medical and holistic testing. Upon weighing the history, lab results, and any previous diagnostic testing, we may recommend nutritional supplements for short or long-term treatment, taking care to avoid any conflict with other therapies. It is in the patient’s best interest that our protocols work in conjunction with any other medical care he or she may be receiving.
Lifestyle and Rehabilitative Methods
Difficult issues require an innovative and thorough approach for rehabilitation and healing. For example, an unstable or chronic back condition (or similar injury) often needs strengthening, stretching, and balancing exercises to ensure proper and long-term results. Patrick Tribble will recommend specific exercises and stretches tailored to the patient’s specific needs. He will also advise on whether ice or heat is appropriate, what activities to avoid, what foods are supportive in healing, and any other therapies that may promote recovery.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS or Muscle Stim)
Electrical muscle stimulation occurs when a micro-current from a low-volt generator is applied to painful or contracted muscles. The goal is to reduce the pain of muscle spasm, knots, inflammation, and fluid congestion. Two or four pre-heated moistened sponges bearing the electric charge are placed on the appropriate area, causing the muscle or group of muscles to contract and relax in quick repetition. The patient controls the degree of intensity.
Patients often carry tension and stress in the abdominal region, resulting in decreased circulation and insufficient oxygen intake from decreased lung expansion. A short-wave heat-generating device produces deep warmth to improve blood flow and relax muscles of the body and the digestive system. Diathermy promotes relaxation and restores circulation, allowing patients to breathe better by expanding their lungs more fully. It also improves digestion.
Hot Packs (Hydrocollator Packs)
Hot packs are a milder and less penetrating form of moist heat (in contrast to diathermy) used to improve circulation, reduce muscle tightness or spasm, and reduce mild inflammation.
Ultrasound is a form of electricity that travels through a crystal, causing it to vibrate and produce sound waves at a million cycles per second. These sound waves cause cells to jiggle, generating a pleasant form of heat. This warm, soothing therapy is applied to the affected joint or muscle to reduce inflammation, pain, and muscle spasm.
Brain, Nervous System, and Vestibular Rehabilitation
Acute and chronic pain can often be the result of ineffective communication between brain and body, brought on by trauma, poor health, faulty genetic expression, or other disorders. This faulty communication can express itself as sensory mismatch. For example, a patient’s head may lean to the right to compensate for a weak eye muscle or a faulty vestibular canal (balance a canal located in the inner ear). Or the right cerebellar sensory output might be decreased as compared to the left cerebellum, resulting in a recurrent pattern of pain in the muscles and spinal joints on that side.
Trauma or fatigue can also affect how the brain interprets information from the joints, muscles, and vestibular receptors, leading to changes in spinal and extremity muscle function. If a patient’s balance is poor, the muscles that stabilize the spine tend to overcompensate by creating chronic tightness to prevent the patient from falling. For instance, if a patient senses unconsciously that he is falling to the left, his right side will overcompensate, creating a repetitive muscle tension and pain.
During patient evaluation, the doctor will review the brain and nervous system to determine if any such hidden influences are present. Specific exercises may be given to address these concerns.
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