As researchers continue to learn about the human body and technology continues to advance, DCs have an ever-increasing list of tools at their disposal.
The most important tool is, of course, the knowledge, experience, and dedication that DCs use to help patients; however there are several types that may be useful for DCs, each one representing new ways to care for patients and increase your bottom line.
Spring-loaded, mechanical force tools are used to make targeted adjustments and have many advantages, including making the work that DCs do on a daily basis less physically demanding and decreasing the fear some patients feel regarding adjustments.
Another type of hand-held tool that many DCs use is electromagnetic. These tools are somewhat similar to mechanical force tools in that they deliver specific, targeted adjustments. The technology is vastly different, though, as are the costs of the tools. Electromechanical adjusting tools deliver a fast, exact impulse.
Computer-assisted adjusting tools
One of the most technologically advanced types of tools available to DCs are computer-assisted adjusting tools. There are many different ways computers can assist in adjustments. Strictly speaking, low level laser therapy (LLLT), which is rising in popularity among DCs, is computer-assisted.
However, computer assisted adjusting tools are a specific category. The computer provides the DC with very precise measurements, showing the effect of the adjustment clearly. It gives the DC more information and can be helpful for patients, as well.
Soft tissue manipulation tools
STM tools do not generally have moving parts. They are used to stimulate tissue, are useful for a number of situations, and are usually a part of a larger therapeutic plan. Patients with specific tissue problems, such as plantar fasciitis or shoulder impingement, may benefit from treatment that includes STM.
Tools that use electricity to stimulate the nerves and muscles fall under this heading. These tools are most often used for pain relief, and DCs who have patients dealing with chronic pain may find electrotherapy a useful modality.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulators (TENS) are a type of electrotherapy tool used for pain relief. When using a TENS unit, the DC chooses settings based on the patients’ issues.
Interferential Current (IFC) is another type electrotherapy and is sometimes described as “a deeper form of TENS, according to Spine-health.com.
A third type of electrotherapy is Galvanic Stimulation (GS). It is more often used for acute injuries and gives off a direct current instead of an alternating current, as with TENS and IFC.