Posts Tagged: chiropractic care

Tony Schumacher is a seven-time world champion in the NHRA Top Fuel class of drag racing. During his long career, this race car hero has set all kinds of speed records. In 1999, he was the first driver to break the 330 MPH barrier during competition. However, things took a turn for the worse on October 7, 2000, during a qualifying race in Memphis, Tennessee.

Schumacher said, “I woke up that morning, I was in a great mood. I just felt like a champ. I got in that race car, and I thought to myself, ‘There is no possible way we can lose this world championship.’ I was on probably one of my best runs ever.”Tony Schumacher

With an 8,000 horsepower engine behind him, Schumacher reached over 300 mph in a little over 4 seconds. He explained, “That’s more acceleration than the Space Shuttle astronauts or the fighter pilots off the aircraft carriers.” The rear wing of the dragster provides thousands of pounds of downward force to help keep the car from going airborne. After about 1000 feet, at 320 mph, Tony Schumacher’s car fell apart. The wing came off and then everything went haywire.

As it was designed to do, the car came apart to reduce the shock of impact and the driver’s pod took off on its own. “I remember it being intensely loud,” said Schumacher about the accident. Remarkably, he survived. He had to be cut out of the roll cage and it was only then that everyone knew he was still alive.

Flown 14 miles by helicopter to the Elvis Presley Trauma Center, x-rays revealed serious injuries to his legs, including a fracture at one ankle. That alone could have ended his career, even if he survived the surgery. Thankfully no fractures were found in his neck or spine. After his condition was stabilized, Schumacher’s wife, Cara, had him transferred to OrthoIndy in Indianapolis where a team of specialists treat race car injuries. Tim Weber, Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon, treated Schumacher for his broken ankle, realigning the bone and fixing it in place so that it would heal properly.

Even in severe pain, the only thing Schumacher wanted to do was race again. But as his bones healed, he was still beset with debilitating headaches and dizziness. His doctors had no idea what was causing his pain. He also complained of discomfort in his neck and his middle and lower back. He decided to consult with chiropractor Marshall Dickholtz, DC, a Board Certified NUCCA Physician at HealthSmart in Northbrook, IL.

Dr. Dickholtz said, “What we found with him was that his body was leaning off to the left and one hip was actually four degrees lower on one side.” After a simple chiropractic adjustment, repeated over several visits, Schumacher felt like his old self again. He said, “It was amazing. It’s one of those things where I sat up. Everything was gone. No pain. Color was back in my face, and I thought to myself, ‘It’s like magic’.”

Only one month after his leg cast came off, Schumacher was racing again. He said, “I love what I do.” Within four years, he was once again a champion of his sport.

Chiropractic and Massage Therapy

Chiropractic medicine is based on the idea that your body can help to keep itself healthy if your spine, neck, and head are aligned properly and free from abnormalities that impair the proper flow of energy along your spinal column. Doctors of Chiropractic thus work with spinal structures, using manipulative techniques to correct injuries and abnormalities and to speed healing of health problems—particularly musculoskeletal and neurological ones—that arise from misaligned bones.

 

Chiropractic medicine is based on the idea that your body can help to keep itself healthy if your spine, neck, and head are aligned properly and free from abnormalities that impair the proper flow of energy along your spinal column. Doctors of Chiropractic thus work with spinal structures, using manipulative techniques to correct injuries and abnormalities and to speed healing of health problems—particularly musculoskeletal and neurological ones—that arise from misaligned bones.

At the same time, however, the bones of the spine are surrounded by muscle tissue and connective tissues (such as ligaments and tendons) that enable and control its movements. These soft tissues are affected by the spinal abnormalities, and may either cause or exacerbate structural problems. So massage therapy (which works to relax muscles, increase blood flow and improve mobility of connective tissues) is often a perfect complement to chiropractic manipulation (which works to resolve the structural problems).

Chiropractic and massage are not only compatible, they are complementary.

Massage is often recommended as an integral part of a broader chiropractic treatment plan, either in the form of massage to loosen muscle tightness before an adjustment, or after an adjustment to help the muscles adapt to the newly-repaired spinal structures. Many patients report that the combination of these two therapies works better than either therapy alone.

There is even objective evidence of this, in the form of an extensive survey of alternative health care treatments conducted by Consumer Reports magazine. Asking over 34,000 readers to rate both conventional and alternative treatments as to whether they “helped a lot,” “helped some,” or “helped a little,” the researchers found that chiropractic and massage rated higher than any other alternative health care methodologies, and in some cases higher than conventional medical care. Chiropractic, for example, was rated most effective in relieving back pain, while deep tissue massage was rated most effective in treating osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. As researcher Tiffany Field explained, “Moderate pressure to muscles and soft tissues stimulates a cascade of biological effects… We find that moderate pressure is essential for the effects we see from massage, and may be one way that chiropractic works as well, because typically a chiropractor applies moderate pressure.”

How is massage integrated into chiropractic treatment?

Many Doctors of Chiropractic work closely with trained massage therapists to provide the proper combination of therapies. For example, massage is often recommended before spinal adjustment because it relieves muscle tension that may be pulling joints out of alignment, and makes it easier for the chiropractor to move them back into place. Alternatively, many patients who seek pain relief from massage therapists but find that their discomfort persists experience more lasting relief by adding chiropractic care to their health regimen.

Many patients have discovered that they recovery from injuries much more quickly and much more completely with the combination of chiropractic care and massage therapy. This is most noticeable with conditions that cause chronic pain—the chiropractor works to relieve the structural problems and the massage therapist works to resolve the soft tissue problems. Most chiropractors who work hand-in-hand with massage therapists collaborate to find the most effective treatment regimen for each patient—the one that returns them to a feeling of health and well-being as quickly as possible.

So massage therapy can be seen as almost a perfect “partner” for chiropractic care. Both treatment methodologies are holistic and focus on helping patients without the use of drugs or surgery, and both are dedicated to finding and treating the underlying cause of your pain rather than just treating the symptoms.

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