Chronic back pain among Americans is common, along with other musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis. As we grow older and utilize our bodies—through work, sports, and activities of daily living—our bodies become more susceptible to injuries through repetitive use, strain, and the effects of aging on our joints, bones, muscles and tissue.
A lot of people find that their bodily aches and pains—including those occurring in the back, shoulder, and neck—are greatly reduced when they consult with a chiropractor. By using spinal adjustments, deep tissue massage, electrical stimulation, stretching, and nutritional counseling, chiropractors can greatly increase a person’s quality of life, whether they have an acute injury, or ongoing generalized pain.
The Benefits of Ultrasound
Baby boomers find electrical modalities especially beneficial to their various ailments. From the many kinds of electrical stimulation therapies available, the ultrasound and transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) are among the most commonly used on ailments like carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
CTS affects mostly people who are working with computers the whole day or in jobs which require repetitive hand movements (such as mechanics, or grocery store checkers). The ultrasound helps to reduce swelling of the wrist, relaxes muscles in the affected areas, increases local metabolism, and makes connective tissues more flexible. It’s important to use an ultrasound before doing soft tissue work, because the heat produced by the ultrasound loosens affected muscles.
Beyond CTS therapies, ultrasound can be effective in other conditions as well. This treatment is also prescribed for acute injuries acquired during sports, as well as for sprained ankles, lower back pain, tendon and joint issues, scar tissue problems, muscle spasms, and even for female urinary problems.
Handling Pain Better with TENS
TENS is sometimes used in conjunction with ultrasound. This treatment directly addresses painful symptoms felt in injured areas by stimulating the nerves which control pain. TENS can work well with painkillers too, particularly after a surgery. TENS can even replace the use of medications, reducing the risk of addiction to narcotics.
There are many illnesses in which TENS therapy can be effective. Aside from carpal tunnel syndrome and low back problems, it can also be effective in sports injuries, sprains, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, and postoperative pain.
Aside from these common electrical modalities, chiropractors also use other methods like icing, stretching, and therapeutic massage to address their patients’ medical conditions. In severe cases, of course, steroids and maybe even surgery are invoked, but until then, the chiropractors’ use of various modalities can suffice when it comes to the musculoskeletal injuries of their patients.