Dr. Emily Flannigan  

Licensed Doctor of Chiropractic,  
Certified Acupuncturist and NREMT-B  
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Treatments/Ailments

+Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a Chinese based medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. One of the earliest forms of acupuncture was done in the New Stone age (10,000-4,000 years ago) by using fine stone needles.

Acupuncture works with a person’s “Qi” or energy. This energy is carried through the body by different “meridians” or pathways. When this energy becomes unbalanced or is not flowing properly, different symptoms may appear. Fine needles, approximately the size of a strand of hair, are inserted along the appropriate meridians to balance the energy. This helps to provide relief of pain and promotes general health. The needles remain for approximately 20 minutes as the patient rests in a relaxing treatment room.
Patients have noticed improvement with the following after treatment:
  • Headaches
  • Low Back Pain
  • Allergies/Sinus issues
  • Improved Energy levels
  • Digestion
  • Arthritic related aches and pains
  • Tight/Tense muscles

+Spinal/Joint Manipulation

When a chiropractor is adjusting you, they are correcting subluxations or misalignments of your spine and joints. Sounds simple right? It’s much more than that! A subluxation is a disruption of typical biomechanics and physiological dynamics of connecting structures thus creating neural disturbances or impingements.

What in the world does that mean? Well...

The main components of your nervous system are your brain, the spinal cord which stems directly from your brain, and your spinal nerves. Spinal nerves branch off of the spinal cord and extend out to different organs and muscles. Essentially, nerves are the electrical wiring that control your entire body. These spinal nerves travel through your vertebrae via holes called foramen. When a vertebrae becomes misaligned from its correct position, it can cause an increase of pressure on the spinal nerve root which disrupts neural communication to the rest of the body and brain. It’s kind of like putting a kink in a water hose. Messages to and from the brain to the body cannot be delivered as effectively until the “kink” is released. This brings us to what the manipulation consists of.

A manipulation is typically done manually, by hand. A mild pressure is applied to a specific subluxated spinal or joint segment and a quick, non-forceful thrust is given to correct the misalignment of the segments. The patient may hear a popping noise when this technique is used. The popping noise is called a cavitation. This noise is caused by pockets of gas, mostly nitrogen, releasing during the adjustment. It is NOT the bones making this audible noise.

In some cases, a manual adjustment may not be the best option. These include, but aren’t limited to, osteoporotic persons, advanced joint degeneration and acute conditions. At Willmar Chiropractic, we offer different techniques that do not require quick or twisting motions that would be better suited for certain situations.
The chiropractic adjustment can improve:
  • General aches and pains
  • Recovery time after injury
  • Headaches
  • Blood pressure
  • Colic
  • Otitis Media (ear infection)
  • Vertigo
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Immune function

+Hydrotherapy and Intersegmental Traction Tables

Before receiving a chiropractic adjustment enjoy relaxing on one of these tables. The hydrotherapy table is a warm jetted water table that relaxes muscles. The intersegmental traction table has a roller that moves up and down your spine providing minor traction to each segment, as well as massaging the paraspinal muscles.

+Ultrasound and Electrical Stimulation

Therapeutic ultrasound and electrical stimulation are effective in treating tight or spasmodic tissue, and inflammatory responses whether chronic or due to injury.

Ultrasound produces non audible sound waves. When this is applied to the patient it causes a vibration with in the tissue producing heat.

When electrical stimulation is performed it is done so by applying small pads to the patient's affected area. Different electrical frequencies are used depending on the condition. These electrical frequencies travel through the applied pads and into the muscle. This causes a contraction and release response with in the tissue helping to relax tight or spasming muscle.

+Spinal Decompression

Decompression of the spine benefits patients with disc herniations/bulging discs and degenerative disc disease.

The disc is basically a cushion between your vertebrae that acts as a shock absorber. These discs are made up of a center composed mostly of water and surrounding fibers. Think of the disc as the following: the center of the disc is like a balloon of water which is surrounded by strings of yarn making up the disc as a whole. There are essentially two types of herniations or bulges. In one, the center of the disc tears through the surrounding fibers and can rupture, leaking its contents. (The balloon is under so much pressure it expands through the layers of surrounding yarn and may “pop” leaking water into the yarn.) The other possibility is that the center of the disc, the balloon, is under pressure but not enough to break through the surrounding fibers, the yarn.

Both cases can be very painful. Persons with a herniation often experience arm or leg pain typically on one side of the body, numbness or tingling in the affected area, or muscle weakness.

Degenerative disc disease can occur as we age and is a fairly normal process. The discs, which previously mentioned are mostly water, basically break down and dry up. Remember teasing Grandma and Grandpa about shrinking as they aged? Well, this is due to the discs losing height from degeneration. It causes the spine to settle, thus losing postural height. As this degeneration occurs it can cause severe, mild or no pain at all. Spinal decompression therapy can be done on both the lower back and the neck. The patient lies on their back and is secured/belted/strapped around the treatment area. A computerized machine then slowly tractions the spine in the affected area. This allows the intradiscal pressure to be relieved and creates a vacuum like pressure within the disc. This can allow any fluid that has leaked from the center of the disc to be reabsorbed, improving the healing process. Spinal decompression is a great alternative to invasive or surgical options of treatment.

+Soft Tissue Mobilization

At Willmar Chiropractic we utilize special instruments to assist with this treatment. Soft tissue mobilization helps to release trigger points, adhesions and scar tissue. It also improves lymphatic and blood flow. This therapy is beneficial for those stubborn tense muscles and after injury to a muscle, tendon or ligament.