Nature's Way Back To Health


Serving patients needs for over 21 years in the Lehigh Valley.







Chiropractic physiologic therapeutics encompasses the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the body, using the natural forces of healing such as air, cold, electricity, rest, exercise, traction, heat, light, massage, water, and other forces of nature. To use these forces on a rational basis, the practitioner must have knowledge of their actions and an understanding of their predictable effects on the tissues and pathophysiologic processes involved.

The word physiotherapy is generally considered to be a shortened form for physiologic therapeutics: treatment by physical of mechanical means.

The term physical therapy is used in reference to the application of specific modalities, including rehabilitative procedures, concerning the restoration of function and prevention of disability following disease, injury, or loss of a body part. The phrase may also be considered synonymous with the term adjunctive therapy. To improve circulation, strengthen muscles, improve or normalize joint motion, and normalize other functional imbalances, for example, the therapeutic properties of the natural forces of healing described above are applied.

The Council on Physiological Therapeutics of the American Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic physiotherapy as the therapeutic application of forces and substances inducing a physiologic response and use and/or allow the body's natural processes to return to a more normal state of health.

A variety of therapies has proved to be effective. The most common clinical applications include the therapeutic use of cold, electricity, exercise, rest, heat, light, massage, nutrition, oriental therapies, rehabilitative procedures, supports, braces, traction, trigger-point therapy, vibration, and water. See below

  • Actinotherapy - Treatment of disease by rays of light, especially actinic (rays of short wavelength occurring in the violet and ultraviolet parts of the electromagnetic spectrum) or chemical light.

  • Cryotherapy - Treatment by means of cold; eg, the application of ice packs to a body part to relieve swelling.

  • Electrotherapy - The treatment of disease by means of electricity.

  • Hydrotherapy - The treatment of disease by using water; eg, Hubbard tank, sitz bath.

  • Mechanotherapy - The treatment of disorders using active and passive exercises; eg, traction (intermittent, sustained, or intersegmental), braces, shoe lifts, and casts or other supports.

  • Meridian therapy - The evaluation and treatment of disorders using the Oriental systems.

  • Nutritional therapy - The use of nutritional planning, dietetics, and special food or nutritional supplementation.

  • Rehabilitative therapy - The treatment and training of the patient that is geared toward attaining maximum potential for normal living physically, psychologically, socially, and vocationally.

  • Trigger point therapy - The stimulation of trigger points on the body surface by manual or other means.

  • Vibration therapy - The therapeutic use of soft-tissue manipulation, mechanical vibration, and massage.





As long as people have been thinking, feeling, creating, and deciding, they have sought relief for their discomforts. Their first source and recourse were to those natural agents and forces in their surrounding environment; viz:

  1. Heat such as derived from the sun, hot mineral springs, baths, and warm mud or clay packs.

  2. Actinic rays such as the ultraviolet effects of sunlight.





The role of physiologic therapeutics in the practice of chiropractic can best be appreciated by the answers to three basic questions:

  1. What role and place does physiologic therapeutics play in the practice of chiropractic? The agents and forces of nature in their basic state, but controlled, represent therapeutic aids and privileges that belong to all the healing arts. When adjunctive procedures are used, it should be in such a way that the body's innate natural responses are duplicated; eg, the use of microcurrent stimuli to promote healing. Therapies might also be used preparatory to a chiropractic adjustment such as relieving muscle spasm, dispersing edema, or alleviating pain. It also seems reasonable that rehabilitative procedures should be used in the restorative phase of a soft-tissue injury.

  2. What is the relationship between physiologic therapeutics and the chiropractic adjustment? The answer to this question is fourfold:

    First, solely the structural adjustment of a patient cannot always be considered to effect adequate case management by itself. Rest, exercise, diet, temperature control, sensory stimulation, circulation enhancement, and proper elimination are a few of the other important factors of health that must be addressed.

    Second, physiotherapeutic procedures often enhance and augment the structural adjustment by means of physical agents and forces. Heat tends to relax tense muscles, thus making them more receptive to adjustment. Certain forms of diathermy and galvanism often soften indurated tissue, allowing a corrective adjustment to hold a more favorable position for a longer period. When applicable, joint traction applied before and an orthopedic support applied after structural manipulation takes advantage of the biomechanical forces of intrinsic stress relaxation and creep. Both of these properties are a function of time that is difficult to achieve manually.7

    Third, when physiologic therapeutics are properly applied, the humeral, chemical, and cellular elements of the body are more competently readied and conditioned to allow for a more effective response to the structural adjustment.

    Fourth, total body function is enhanced. Physiotherapy aids proper elimination, promotes proper nutrition, and affects the mental and emotional status of the patient in a constructive manner.

  3. What is the major objective in the use of physiologic therapeutics? At all times, the primary purpose is to bring the body to homeostasis, to health, as effectively as possible. A secondary objective is to help the body normalize or adapt to the abnormal processes of a diseased state. An incorrectly applied physiotherapeutic measure, however, may worsen the condition. Another significant factor is strengthening a weakened area following injury.



Basic Forms of Physiotherapeutic Applications

  1. Thermotherapy
        (a)  Hot moist packs
        (b)  Infrared
        (c)  Heating pads
        (d)  Ultraviolet
        (e)  Paraffin

  2. Cryotherapy
        (a)  Ice
        (b)  Cold Packs
        (c)  Vapocoolant sprays
        (d)  Cold therapy
        (e)  Cold immersions
        (f)  Alternating heat and cold

  3. Microwave

  4. Ultrasound

  5. Interferential current (medium frequency)

  6. Low-frequency currents
        (a) Direct current, eg, low-volt galvanism
        (b) High voltage current
        (c) Alternating current
             • Sine wave and other muscle stimulating currents
        (d) TENS
        (e) Microcurrent
        (f) H-wave

  7. Hydrotherapy

  8. Exercise therapy

  9. Rehabilitative therapy

  10. Meridian therapy
        (a) Pressure techniques
        (b) Acupuncture

  11. Vibratory therapy

  12. Traction and Stretching

  13. Bracing and Supports



Common Physical Agents and Their Effects


Physical Agent Primary Effect Secondary Effects
Hot water, hot air, radiant heaters, incandescent lamps, diathermy, microwave Thermal (superficial and deep) Hyperemia, sedation of sensory or motor irritation, attenuation of microorganisms
Cryotherapy (vapocoolant, ice) Hypothermal Sedation, decongestion, ischemia
Ultraviolet (sun, heated metals, carbon arc, mercury vapor arc) Photochemical Erythemia, pigmentation, activation of ergosterol
Ultrasound Mechanical, thermal, chemical Cellular massage, heat, sedation
Low-volt galvanic currents Electrochemical Polar, vasomotor
Low-frequency, interrupted current, sinusoidal current, other alternating currents Electrokinetic Muscle stimulation, increase of venous and lymph flow, reflex stimulation, pain control
Vibration, massage, traction, intermittent), therapeutic exercise Kinetic Muscle stimulation, increase (intermittent), therapeutic tissue stretch, reflex stimulation



The following conditions can be treated by the above mentioned modalities: Acid Stomach & Heartburn, Acute trauma, Adhesions, Allergies, Ankle pain, Ankle spur, Anterior tibial syndrome, Arm pain, Arthritis, Articular jamming, Asthma, Auto Injuries, Back Pain, Bladder Disorders, Bladder pain, Bowel Disorders, Bowel stasis, Brachial neuritis, Bronchial asthma, Bronchitis, Bulging Disk, Bursitis (subacute, chronic), Calcific bursitis, Cancer, Capsulitis, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, Causal myopathies, Causalgia, Cholecystitis (chronic), Cluster headaches, Coccydynia, Compression fractures, Constipation, Decubital ulcers, Deficient IVD hydration, Degenerative disc disease, Dental disorders, Disc problems, Disk Herniation, Diverticulosis, Dysmenorrhea, Eczema, Effusions, Epicondylitis, Facet syndrome, Facial palsy, Fibro Myalgia, Fibrositis (subacute, chronic), Fibrotic polymyositis, Foot pain, Fractures, Frequent Colds, Frozen shoulder, Gall Bladder Disorders, Gout, Hand pain, Headaches, Heel spurs, Hematoma calcification, Hemiplegia, Hemorrhoids, Herpes zoster, High Blood Pressure, Hip Pain, Incontinence, Intercostal neuralgia, Intermittent claudication, Intestinal Disorders, Ischialgia, IVD syndrome, IVF narrowing, Joint contractures, Joint deformity, Joint hypomobility, Joint mobilization, Joint pain, Kidney Disorders, Knee pain, Kyphosis, Labor, Leg Pain, Liver Disorders, Lordosis, Lordosis (chronic), Low Blood Pressure, Lumbago, Lumbosacral pain, Lymphedema, Migraine, Morton's neuroma, Multiple sclerosis, Muscle Spasms, Myalgia, Myositis, Neck Pain, Nerve problems, Nervous Disorders, Neuralgia, Neuritis, Neuroma, Neuromas, Occipital neuralgia, Osteoarthritis, Overweight, Pain (idiopathic), Painful neuroma, Passive stretch pain, Periarthritis (nonseptic), Peripheral nerve injury, Perivertebral adhesions, contractures, and fixations, Perivertebral congestion, Perivertebral hypotonicity, Phantom limb syndrome, Pinched Nerves, Plantan facitis, Poor Posture, Postoperative pain, Posttraumatic edema, PMS, Prostatitis, Psoas syndrome, Radiculitis (subacute, chronic), Raynaud's phenomenon, Raynaud's syndrome, Rheumatic disorders, Rheumatism, Rheumatoid arthritis (subacute, chronic), Scalenus anticus syndrome, Scars, Sciatica, Scoliosis, Senility, Shoulder-arm syndrome, Should pain, Shoulder-hand syndrome, Sinus headache, Sleep disorders, Spasm, Spasticity, Spinal nerve root impingement, Spondylitis, Spondylolisthesis, Spondylosis, Sports Injuries, Sprains (splinting effect), Sprains (subacute, chronic), Sprains Contractures, Spurs, Steinbrocker's syndrome, Stiffness, Stimulation of mechanoreceptors, Stomach Disorders, Strains (subacute, chronic), Stump pain, Subdeltoid bursitis, Subluxation syndromes, Suboccipital headaches, Sudeck's atrophy, Synovitis, Tendinitis (subacute, chronic), Tennis Elbow, Tension Headache, Thoracodynia, Thrombophlebitis, Tic douloureux, TMJ dysfunction, TMJ syndrome, Tonsil tunnel, Torticollis (subacute), Trigeminal neuralgia, Trigger points, Trigger points, Underweight, Varicose ulcers (chronic, with caution), Vascular and lymphatic stasis, Vasospasm, Vertebral subluxation (subacute, chronic), Whiplash, Whiplash syndrome (uncomplicated), Whole back pain, Work Injuries and Wrist pain.