Our Services - Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Physical Therapy, Orthotics - Dr. Erika Kuehnel

By: Erika Kuehnel  09-12-2011
Keywords: Acupuncture, back pain, Physical Therapy

Dr. Kuehnel is an experienced, caring chiropractor who uses a combination of traditional chiropractic methods, rehabilitation and physical therapy principles, acupuncture and orthotics to address muscle and joint pain and dysfunction.

Chiropractic and Physical Therapy

Chiropractors are doctors with a minimum of 7-8 years of post-secondary education who specialize in treatment of the neuromusculoskeletal system – that is to say your bones, joints, muscles, other soft tissues and nervous system. Like many other professionals, different chiropractors practice differently depending on their areas of interest, education and experience.

Dr. Kuehnel specializes in a pro-active approach to health, rehabilitation and musculoskeletal fitness. More often than not, musculoskeletal problems are more easily treated early rather than later. She uses a variety of chiropractic and physical therapy techniques to treat not only back and neck problems and headache, but also peripheral injuries, such as knee, shoulder (rotator cuff) and foot problems.

Your first visit will start with a thorough history and physical exam to diagnose your particular symptoms. Dr. Kuehnel will explain and deliver treatment that day (if appropriate), provide you with advice for home so that you can help yourself between sessions, and if warranted, may request permission to send a note to your family doctor so they can know the details of the initial exam and treatment. These Initial Visits are usually 45 min-1 hour in length.

Treatment visits will be tailored to your injury and how you specifically are progressing. These visits are usually 20-30 minutes in length and may include:

  • electrotherapy (TENS, IFC)
  • ultrasound
  • acupuncture
  • stretching
  • supervised exercise
  • adjustment/spinal manipulation
  • joint mobilization
  • soft tissue therapy/myofascial release

Depending on your level of symptoms and function, Dr. Kuehnel will recommend a treatment plan and estimate how many visits may be required. If your condition will require >3-4 weeks of therapy, re-assessment will occur within that time frame to ensure that you are improving and treatment is working.

Acupuncture is form of therapy in which fine needles are inserted into specific acupoints on the body. Sometimes, these needles are stimulated with low volt electricity.

Acupuncture is useful for pain relief in a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, including:

  • rotator cuff injuries
  • chronic headaches
  • osteoarthritis
  • acute low back pain
  • lumbar disc injuries
  • ankle sprains
  • and many more

There are very few contra-indications for acupuncture, and it won’t cross react with any medications you may be taking.

Smoking Cessation

Acupuncture can also be used for non-musculoskeletal purposes. Dr. Kuehnel is experienced in using acupuncture to help people quit smoking. The program is approximately 3-4 weeks in length and is appropriate for people who have tried to quit and been unsuccessful in the past.

Orthotics are custom made inserts for your shoes that are worn daily. Orthotics can be helpful to relieve foot, knee, hip and sometimes even low back pain. They work by supporting the arch of your foot and controlling the movement of the joint below your ankle, correcting your lower limb biomechanics.

A properly made orthotic consists of the following steps:

  1. Patient interview or history, where the practitioner discusses any symptoms you may have, problems with standing or walking, and previous injuries to your feet and legs.
  2. Physical exam of your legs and feet, which should consist of a portion where you are not weight bearing (sitting) to examine joint range of motion and a portion where you are weight bearing to observe for any changes or imbalances.
  3. Gait Analysis.

Your feet will then be casted using a foam or plaster cast, and the cast along with instructions from the practitioner are sent to an orthotics company who will make the orthotic to the practitioner’s specifications. When you pick up your new orthotic you’ll be provided with advice on appropriate wearing instructions and what to do should your orthotic require repair or modification.

Keywords: Acupuncture, back pain, injuries, Orthotics, Physical Therapy