Elbows, Wrists, Hands, Knees, Ankles and more
"I don't know if you can help this, but..." all the questions and answers about chiropractors adjusting extremities and parts of your body beyond your spine.
Lots of times our practice members will get up after a spinal adjustment and ask, do you do hands? or wrists? or feet? It's always so off the cuff and unsure, but believe me, it happens all the time and heck yes we do!
When we're looking at non-spinal joints we call it extremity examination and adjustment and your extremities can greatly impact how your body moves as a whole. Let's look at some of the ways your extremities may be limiting your movement, performance and overall function.
Toes, Feet, Ankles and Knees
We look at feet a lot. They're the foundation for your upright movement and standing postures. Pain here can come from muscle, joint or fascia dysfunction. If you've noticed that your body doesn't love going into a squat or is less inclined to do it on one side more than the other, we could be dealing with joint or soft tissue restrictions that many people find chiropractic very helpful for. When we're looking at the lower body extremities, we also want to see how restrictions of movement in the feet ankles and knees may be affecting the hips, pelvis and spine. You would be so surprised to see how far reaching a release of the ankles can be for normalizing gait patterns, decreasing uneven wear and improving biomechanics for the whole body.
Fingers, Wrists, Elbows and Shoulders
You probably have been told that cracking your knuckles is going to give you arthritis, but rest assured that as long as you're not altering the natural movement patterns of your joints, that is just an old wives tale. We adjust fingers most often after a jamming injury, but wrists, elbows and shoulder adjustments are far more common. If you avoid pushups or similar movements because your wrists struggle with extension, you may have some dysfunction in your carpal bones (the small bones making up your wrist). If you experience golfers or tennis elbow, there may be a mobility issue with your forearm joints and if your shoulder feels less than comfortable when you're giving a high 5 or reaching behind you to clasp your bra, we may be able to help you gain more range of motion with some gentle upper extremity adjustments.
Everything else in between
While not every joint is possible to adjust, we do look at way more than your spine. Many people who have their low backs adjusted also have their hips assessed and adjusted at the same time due to their close connection and movement strategies. Ribs, tailbones, collarbones, shoulder blades, sternums and even the bones of your skull are part of our full assessment of your body's movement.
Don't be afraid to ask
Now that you know that we likely do look at the thing that you've been putting off asking about, please, ASK! Sometimes our exam and observation take us in a direction away from the spine and towards your extremities, but sometimes things come up as we move through care and we would love to help you with it. So please feel free to bring up what you've noticed to see if we can help.
We love working with the many other talented healthcare providers in town and are so pleased to present you with options that other disciplines may offer. Massage, Physio, Acupuncture, supplements, and when necessary referral to your family doctor for imaging and further care. So even if the problem isn't something we can help you with, we'll make sure you get the help you need.