A Holistic Approach to Orthopedics
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) works from a holistic and whole-body approach when treating our athletic and active-minded patients. We begin with having a new patient fill out a full Health History form, followed by a short telephone or Zoom interview discussing lifestyle, diet, physical habits, sleep position, etc.
This all occurs before the patient even enters the clinic. We then meet with the patient and assess their range of motion, posture, gait, and spinal health. Before treating, we also perform muscle and joint testing to assess which muscles are not firing, and/or which joints may not be functioning properly.
This gives us a clear roadmap as to where the root of the problem may be stemming from, so that we can treat it at its source, as well as where the issue has manifested (the pain point). Example: Shoulder pain may be related to a tight cervical spine or taut neck muscle(s), as the neurological signal for the shoulder muscles originates in the cervical spine.
Throughout each stage of our patient's progression - pre-season or event, during training, injury assessment and subsequent repair, and even during rehabilitation of the injury - we utilize the full scope of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
This includes Acupuncture (as well as specialized techniques like Motor Point and Trigger Point therapies), Tui Na (Chinese Medical Massage) and Manual manipulation (Chinese Orthopedics). Additionally, we add TCM external therapies such as Cupping, Electro-stimulation, Gua Sha, Far-infrared Lamp Therapy, External Liniments, soaks or salves, Dietary Nutrition, and Herbal Medicine when appropriate.
We are trained to look at both your emotional and physical health from a whole-person perspective, and in the context of your everyday lives, so that you can safely return to the lifestyle and activities you enjoy.
COMMON INJURIES WE TREAT
Spinal Compression or Rotation
Twisted Joints (wrists, fingers, ankles, feet, toes, knees)
Cruciate Ligament Tears
Tennis / Golf Elbow
Rotator Cuff Tears
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Approach to Treatment for Orthopedic Issues
After we understand where the patient's discomfort presents, we focus on their chief complaint (or the "local" problem) they present to us. Our goal is that each patient leave their treatment session with some improvement from their discomfort. At the same time the root of the problem (or the "global" imbalance) is addressed.
This aspect of their health issue and the severity of the "local" discomfort dictates how we proceed, as every patient's constitution, age and ability to recover can differ greatly. Sometimes we need to correct a patient's nutritional habits, their sleep, or sleep-position.
Other times it's a gait issue, or the athletic shoes they choose. These discussions happen with every patient, as we feel correcting a lifestyle or nutritional issue greatly impacts our patients long-term healing and progress on their road to true healing.
The First Session
We begin treatment with a combination of acupuncture, electro-stimulation, Motor/Trigger points and possibly one of the above therapies. After the acupuncture treatment we employ Tui Na (Chinese medical massage) and possibly manual manipulation (Chinese Orthopedics) to help align and smooth the patient's muscles and joint spaces.
We finish with a discussion about desk or sleep position and assign the patient a corrective exercise related to the injury. This allows the patient to continue to work with their issue at home in between treatments and is a pro-active way to get them involved in their healing.
What You Might Expect After Treatment
Sometimes patients will feel sore after the first treatment, as we are moving muscles that have been stuck for a while (much like what you might feel after a gym workout, when you haven't exercised for a while).
However, after 24 hours or so, most patients report increased range of motion, flexibility and a relaxed feeling in the muscles or joints that have been treated during the session.
Every condition is different of course, but our holistic approach creates a re-balancing and restoration of the patient's whole body, which relieves the tension and stress the system has been experiencing.
We discuss this during the first treatment and outline the natural progression from the "sympathetic" phase, where the body is on constant alert, to the parasympathetic phase, where the "exhale" happens, and where at least partial function returns.
Though the original pain may not be completely gone, it is most times considerably better as we move towards stabilization of the health issue.
Maintenance Treatment Schedule
After we've stabilized a patient's condition, we recommend that the patient return for what we call "Maintenance" treatments. Old habits have a way of creeping in and sometimes a patient will either lapse with the exercises we have recommended or re-injure a recently recovered area.
For 3-6 months after recovery from an injury, certain areas of the body can be vulnerable to re-injury if the patient moves too quickly back to full workouts or even new training. Excited that their body feels well they may dive back in without caution.
The Maintenance Program is designed to help maintain our patient's recovery and provides feedback as to which activities would be advised and which to steer clear of.
We are always available for questions and direction. We feel it important for our patients to understand that after recovery from an injury the next steps should be approached with guidance and perspective. We offer that option to every patient whether they are a top athlete or a weekend sports enthusiast.
Optimal function is our goal and we strive with every session to help our patients ultimately move toward self-care.