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Chiropractic & Low Level Laser Therapy

Traditionally chiropractors are trained to detect and correct misalignments in the musculoskeletal system. By shifting bones, muscles, and ligaments back to their natural positions, the body is freed to heal itself more efficiently. Research backed by years of clinical experience, supports this view that manual manipulation of joints can treat a wide variety of symptoms, with pain and stiffness being number one.

As chiropractic care evolves parallel to modern medical science, new approaches to treatment are being incorporated into its methodology. Some of these new treatments include massage therapy, elctrotherapy, and low level laser therapy. Using these modalities in combination with traditional manual chiropractic adjustment, offers chiropractors a repertoire of modern skills to use and broadens the range of treatment. No longer is chiropractic just about adjusting the spine. 

Low level therapy, also called cold laser therapy, has been shown by research to have compelling treatment possibilities which includes the acceleration of healing of wounds and treating pain and stiffness.

A study from 2011 that was published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therepeuatics, and focused on a controlled experiment wherein randomized groups of people being treated for cervical facet pain and restricted range of motion in the area of the cervical spine, were compared to each other. One group received chiropractic adjustments another received low level laser therapy, and a third a combination of both. The criteria for the people selected included being 18 to 40 years old, being in pain from restricted motion of the cervical area of the spine, and having these symptoms for at least a month. Treatments were divided into six sessions over the course of three weeks. 

To begin with, all patients reported a similar level of pain and restricted motion. By the end of the course of treatments there was a significant difference seen between all three groups in range of cervical spine motion, with the group that underwent a combination of chiropractic care and low level laser therapy showing the greatest improvements. The conclusion was that both chiropractic care and low level laser therapy are effective treatments for cervical pain but, for some reason, they are more effective when in combination. What this factor is that makes them greater when used together than just the individual treatment alone is unknown and more research is required. 

As chiropractic care moves into the future with the rest of contemporary culture it is important to recognize that although manual manipulation remains effective, that it can be improved upon.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Barney Moss

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