Most patients who visit a chiropractor are typical. They are typical in the sense that they all complain of pain, and none of them have atypical things going on with their spines or hips. A lot of the chiropractic adjustments learned by chiropractors are "twist and pop" movements, which are fine for the typical patient. However, these are movements that are not so fine for the atypical patient. Here are some examples of atypical chiropractic patients, and how a chiropractor performs adjustments on these patients.
Patients with Fused Vertebrae
As you can imagine, a patient with fused back bones is not a good candidate for the typical spinal adjustments. Patients with this particular atypical handicap have to receive spinal adjustments meant to relieve pain without rotating and quick compression. A chiropractor who is trained in this particular area of chiropractic care can supply these patients with compression and decompression adjustments above and below the fused vertebrae, but should not, in any way, apply pressure to the fused bones.
Patients with Hip Replacements
Sometimes a chiropractor helps even out the awkwardness of hip alignment by having a patient lay on his/her side and then "popping" the hip forward, back or down. In patients with hip replacements, this clearly is not a good idea as the patients have metal ball-and-socket joints in their hips now. This type of adjustment may still be made in natural hips, but not in the artificial ones. The chiropractor may attempt to relieve hip pain in these instances by making minor adjustments to the lower back, where the nerves that sense hip pain are located. Physical therapy may also be prescribed to help manage hip pain in artificial hips.
Patients with Spina Bifida
There are two common forms of spina bifida; occulta (closed) and aperta (open). Both may be treated with chiropractic care, but spina bifida aperta requires a lot more caution because of the exposed opening in the patient's back. Still, a chiropractor can work around both the closed and open areas in the spine in spina bifida patients.
In the case of patients with an unseen bifida area of the spine, the chiropractor takes note of this area, and makes adjustments to the spine above and below this area. The patient may be positioned on his/her back, sides, and even stomach. Pain is relieved with high-velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) adjustments, which are very quick low pressure movements.
This differs from patients with spina bifida aperta, since the patient cannot lay on his/her back. Adjustments must be made while the patient is laying on his/her side or laying prone (on his/her stomach). The techniques used in these cases are much more precise and may be slower to avoid pinching off the aperture of the open bifida area.
Patients with Osteoporosis
Patients with osteoporosis are at risk of spinal fractures every day. Every movement could cost them. For the most part, chiropractors avoid direct pressure adjustments to the spine in patients with this debilitating condition. Instead, the chiropractor may opt to adjust the shoulders, shoulder girdle, hips, hip girdle, and neck. The only exception is if the patient has artificial joints and/or fusions in the vertebrae in the hip or shoulder areas. Then the chiropractor will refuse to treat this patient because of the numerous possibilities of injury.
If You Have Any of the Above Conditions
If you have any of the above conditions, first consult with your regular doctor about chiropractic care. Then, if your doctor thinks it might be possible, you can see a chiropractor. Only the chiropractor will be able to tell you with certainty if spinal adjustments and pain management through chiropractic care are impossible.
For more information, contact establishments like Aurora Chiropractic Clinic.