Mon, Wed, Fri 9:00-12:00 and 2:00-6:00
Closed Thurs and Sun
Throughout 24 years of clinical practice Dr. Woodruff has helped many patients with a variety of health issues.
At Woodruff Chiropractic Medicine you will receive attentive, one-on-one counsel and treatment. Because each person is unique, our patients receive individualized treatment and advice based on their health history, specific condition and personal health goals. No cookie-cutter approaches here!
Dr. Woodruff and Staff have many years of training and experience in helping patients get out of pain and get healthy! Integrity in all aspects of patient care is of utmost importance to us. You can rest assured that you will be treated with honesty and integrity by both Doctor and Staff.
Our fees are reasonable and transparent. We realize that in recent years insurance premiums and deductibles have increased dramatically. We work with patients who are on a budget to make high-quality conservative health care accessible. This saves you money now and may help to avoid more devastating health/financial crises in the future.
For many, Chiropractic Healthcare is synonymous with spine care in general and spinal manipulation in particular. It is true that the treatment that Doctors of Chiropractic provide is frequently utilized for its effectiveness in the alleviation of spinal pain. However, the comprehensive care that we provide in our clinic is designed to address issues throughout all regions of the human frame.
Metabolic problems which are commonly overlooked (or medicated) in most health care settings are addressed in our clinic with rational, scientifically based, nutritional and lifestyle modifications.
This approach emphasizes correction of the causes of health issues versus the masking of symptoms in and of themselves. This often results in a more authentic wellness outcome.
Many safe, natural and effective approaches are offered in our clinic including: skilled manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, dietary and nutritional supplement prescription, acupuncture therapy and lifestyle modification. Skilled application of these conservative approaches often leads to a legitimately healthier and more robust human constitution, as opposed to one which is perpetually dependent on pharmaceutical intervention or surgical technique.
Following are some of the essential services that we provide in our office along with a description of the methods we utilize to help our patients.
Chiropractic Manipulation Therapy (CMT) is utilized frequently in our office. Chiropractic manipulation is a very safe and effective treatment for the cause of many symptoms; it is however a commonly misunderstood therapy.
In order to appreciate how CMT helps people it is necessary to have a basic understanding of what it corrects and how it does so.
Chiropractic manipulation treats dysfunction of the joint complex.
Joint complex is a term that collectively describes specific joint structures along with tissues that are intimately associated with the joint, namely: muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs, as well as the blood and nerve supply to these tissues.
Joint complex dysfunction describes a state of aberrant joint biomechanics and motion which promote sensory disturbance, tissue inflammation, and ultimately, degradation of the tissues that make up the joint complex.
There are several common manifestations of joint complex dysfunction: pain, inflammation, stiffness, alteration of muscle tone, development of myofascial trigger points and accelerated tissue degeneration.
Joint complex structures receive their nerve supply from two main categories of sensory nerve receptors: nociceptors and mechanoreceptors.
Nociceptors are stimulated by potential or actual tissue damage via the local production of inflammatory chemicals, mechanical tissue irritation or ischemia (decreased blood perfusion). Nociceptor stimulation may or may not be interpreted by the brain as pain depending on whether or not the nociceptor activity exceeds the “pain threshold.”
Mechanoreceptors are stimulated by normal movement, loading and stretch of tissues that make up the joint complex. Normal mechanoreceptor activation typically increases the “pain threshold” which reduces the likelihood that nociceptive activity will induce the perception of pain in our higher brain centers. Mechanoreceptor sensory input to the central nervous system (CNS) is also crucial for the CNS to design effective motor output to the muscles which establishes appropriate muscle tone and movement patterns.
Chiropractic manipulative therapy helps to restore normal joint biomechanics thereby reducing/eliminating the subsequent sensory-motor aberrancy. This reduction in joint complex dysfunction induces local, segmental, and suprasegmental effects.
Manipulation improves mobility and biomechanics of the joint complex structure: joint and muscle function is improved, irritation and inflammation of joint complex tissues is reduced, mechanoreceptors are stimulated, tight muscles are stretched, weak and atrophied muscles are facilitated, nutrition to discs and joint cartilage is improved.
Chiropractic manipulation restores motion, sensation, function, and nutrition to the joint complex. Restoration of joint complex function results in reduction of mechanically induced inflammation and pain.
Mechanoreceptor activation continues to be normalized after the manipulation so long as the biomechanics and mobility of the joint complex remain improved. This lasting restoration in mechanoreceptor activity causes inhibition of the nociceptor (pain) pathway at the level of the spinal cord. Nerves going to muscles, blood vessels, and glands are modulated.
Chiropractic manipulation inhibits pain and regulates nerves going to muscles, blood vessels, and glands.
Normalization of mechanoreceptor input accompanied by decreased nociceptive input as a consequence of chiropractic manipulation causes excitation of nerve cells within the brain.
Mechanoreceptor input ultimately causes neurons in the cerebellum, brain stem, thalamus, and the cerebral cortex to be stimulated via the release of various neurotransmitters. Consequently, a reduction in mechanoreceptor input due to joint complex dysfunction, has the potential to cause physiological deviations from optimal function in any of these brain areas. This can lead to a confounding array of symptoms that will likely vary from individual to individual due to the complexity and uniqueness of “neural wiring” in each person.
Chiropractic manipulation increases mechanoreceptor stimulation to various brain structures.
Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) is an approach which seeks to classify and treat musculoskeletal pain based on the patient history and mechanical characteristics of pain provocation and relief which are discovered upon examination.
Musculoskeletal pain is categorized into 3 basic categories:
2) Dysfunction, and
3) Posture and Other.
This categorization assists the doctor in discovering which if any mechanical drivers of pain and inflammation are present for each individual.
This information is invaluable because often patients have unknowingly developed patterns of movement or postures which are perpetuating pain sensitization.
These aberrant movement/postural patterns need to be corrected in order to truly address the cause of pain.
Exercise recommendations that are individualized to each patent's specific condition can then be more effectively prescribed. These exercises help to both centralize the pain (reduce the distribution) and to progressively lessen pain severity and frequency.
Acupuncture Therapy is often very effective, especially for painful conditions.
Historically, acupuncture was discovered and developed in China over the last 2000 years.
Modern neural science is shedding new light on how and why acupuncture works. This new understanding regarding the scientific basis of acupuncture suggests methods of applying acupuncture that enhance therapeutic effectiveness.
Acupuncture therapy is generally not painful, in fact, it is often accompanied by relief of symptoms and an overall feeling of well being.
There are several different known mechanisms explaining the effects of acupuncture.
Acupuncture stimulates local sensory nerve endings in the skin and muscle. These sensory nerve endings send nerve impulses into the spinal cord and brain. In addition, these nerve endings release various chemical substances into tissues that are proximate to the needle stimulation. These substances cause local blood vessels to dilate and blood flow to increase. This release of chemical substances from sensory nerve endings and the resultant increase in local blood flow, help to promote local tissue healing.
Nerve impulses generated by sensory nerve endings travel into the spinal cord. In the spinal cord, these impulses cause the release of enkephalin, a chemical substance that inhibits the activity of nerve cells that transmit painful sensations to the brain. By this mechanism, acupuncture not only inhibits pain from the area being treated, but also any body part that sends its nerves to that particular segment of the spinal cord. For example, a painful knee joint uses nerves that enter at the same spinal segment as do the nerves from the muscles that surround it. By treating these muscles, pain signals from the joint can be inhibited. Adjacent spinal segments are also inhibited, although to a lesser degree.
Acupuncture reduces the relay of pain signals in spinal cord segments.
Inflammation is a biochemical process that is necessary for immune function and healing. However, emerging scientific evidence is demonstrating that modern dietary patterns and nutrient deficiencies can induce a pro-inflammatory state.
This pro-inflammatory state is a chronic, low-level increase in bodily inflammatory chemical composition and immune activation. This state of enhanced systemic inflammation may exhibit symptomatically as a generalized feeling of stiffness, soreness and fatigue or remain clinically silent until a severe health crisis emerges. It may also serve as a baseline from which mechanical drivers of tissue inflammation superimpose upon, causing specific regional pain complaints.
Pharmaceutical interventions aimed at reducing inflammation (steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can temporarily reduce production of specific groups of inflammatory chemicals, however, their use does not address the root causes of enhanced inflammation and they are causative of serious side effects, particularly with long term use. Unfortunately this type of treatment is the rule and not the exception thus enabling behaviors and lifestyle choices which are the true sources of inflammation and pain.
Rational anti-inflammatory dietary and supplement advice is an important part of authentic pain management.
Chiropractic Manipulation Therapy (CMT) plays an important role not only in the relief of pain, but also with regards to functional restoration of joint complex structures and sensory-motor neurological mechanisms.
Normalization of sensory function from musculoskeletal structures assists in correcting sensory-motor errors that frequently impede physical rehabilitative efforts. Aberrant joint complex biomechanics with subsequent sensory sequelae can persist even after pain has abated.
CMT in conjunction with other aspects of functional correction (exercise therapy and lifestyle modification) helps lead to an efficient, stabile and more complete functional restoration.
Therapeutic Exercise recommendations should be based upon an individual patient’s unique presenting symptoms and examination findings. Ironically, many exercises that are commonly promoted to help the back can actually cause back pain! Therefore, generic exercise recommendations as well as most exercise machines should be avoided for back pain patients.
Initially, the doctor may recommend patients perform specific positional loading exercises for spinal pain caused by disc and joint derangement or dysfunction.
Spinal stabilization techniques are often employed to improve endurance, coordination and stability of core musculature.
Functional resistance exercises are recommended for weak (de-conditioned) muscle groups and stretching for tight (short) muscle groups.
Aberrant movement patterns and postural distortions which are common perpetuating factors of musculoskeletal pain are corrected by “grooving” proper motor engrams.
Balance is often an overlooked aspect of fitness. The use of a rocker board, wobble board, balance pad, and stability ball provides sensorimotor stimulation leading to improved neuromuscular control.
Our goal for incorporating therapeutic exercise with patients is to improve physical function to the point where patients can safely start, return to, or continue with a healthy, active lifestyle. This should include regular exercise at home or at the gym.
We empower patients with an aptitude for physical activity which reduces therapist dependence.
Lifestyle Modification encompasses a broad range of adaptations for improving human health including changes in: posture, general exercise, movement competency, activity performance, diet, sleep, cognitive and behavioral issues, stress, breathing patterns etc..
Persistent health problems are often perpetuated by subtle but significant lifestyle issues that prevent optimal functional restoration. Lifestyle modification is highly individualized for different patients with different conditions.
A comprehensive approach to functional restoration must attempt to discover and correct lifestyle issues that may act as impediments to the return of optimal function.
Chiropractic Manipulation Therapy (CMT) can play an important often overlooked role in overall wellness.
The effects of Joint Complex Dysfunction
can often times be subtle and subclinical. Symptoms only become apparent when functional problems become advanced— when inflammation and sensory changes are sufficient to exceed the pain threshold.
Even lower levels of mechanically driven inflammatory chemistry can promote premature degenerative changes to joint complex tissues.
Aberrant joint complex biomechanics also has neurological consequences: sensory sensitization, sensory-motor dysfunction as well as other central nervous system issues.
Occasional "check-ups" can go a long way in catching problems in their early stages before inflammation, degenerative changes and sensory changes have become advanced.
Nutritional Therapies are an important part of a well rounded approach to patient care. Most people do not fully appreciate what a profound impact proper dietary choices and appropriate nutritional supplementation can have on avoiding many of the chronic health conditions that plague modern man.
Three major categories of cellular/biochemical processes are complicit in either promoting or directly causing many of the chronic diseases that are rampant in our society, including: osteoarthritis, aches and pains, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, premature aging, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, Alzhemier’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and others.
These three biochemical drivers of chronic disease are as follows:
1) Chronic inflammation (long term overproduction of chemicals that produce inflammation and pain)
2) Oxidative stress (free radical damage to cellular structures)
3) Decreased ATP production (reduced cellular energy production)
We take an evidence-based approach to nutrition that addresses these three major areas of cellular biochemistry. The correction of dietary imbalance with the strategic use of dietary modification and rational nutritional supplement recommendation promotes restoration of healthy cellular biochemical processes. These changes can help to reduce chemical causes of pain, inflammation and chronic disease expression.
The human body is genetically engineered to be active. For the vast majority of human history rigorous activity was inherent to every day survival. Sedentary lifestyles, afforded by ever increasing modern conveniences, have existed only for a very short time in relation to human history. Many people now live their lives in a de-conditioned state. This has, in part, resulted in the scourge of chronic diseases that plague modern humans.
We promote a healthy active lifestyle by advising patients on what types of exercise may be best suited to their individual condition, life circumstance or age group.
All truth passes through three stages.
First it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self evident.
Readiness to change precedes all education and intervention.
—G. Lorimer Moseley
To be effective, treatment must somehow reach and reverse the painful process at its source in a lasting fashion. If one is not successful reversing the pain-generating disorder, it will persist, allowing pre-existing psychological disorders to become operative, flourish and even dominate.
—James Cyriax, M.D.
Pain is, in essence, a message; a primordial signal which prompts behavioral change.
This message is, with rare exception, purposeful, protective, and profound, however cryptic and difficult to decipher it may be.
Seek not to mute the message in and of itself thereby enabling its basis, but rather to understand its significance, heed its warning, and rectify its cause.
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Dr. Woodruff is a 1994 magna cum laude graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic. He has been in private practice since 1994.
After completing post graduate training in clinical neurology from the Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies, and passing board examinations given by the American Chiropractic Neurology Board, Dr. Woodruff earned the advanced designation of Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist in 2005.
He completed training in acupuncture from the National University of Health Sciences in 2006. Dr. Woodruff has also completed coursework and was awarded certification in electrodiagnosis in 2008 from the National University of Health Sciences.
Tana has been a Chiropractic Assistant in our clinic for the past 15 years. She is a very competent and experienced professional who is also very compassionate and caring. She is likely with whom you will talk when you call our office.
Certified Diabetes Educator
Master of Business Administration
Gwendolyn Woodruff is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. Gwendolyn assists us with regards to the nutritional aspects of our practice.
Please feel free to contact us anytime with any questions or concerns that you may have.
Mon, Wed, Fri 9:00-12:00 and 2:00-6:00
Closed Thurs and Sun
Address: 1403 Essington Rd. Suite 400
Joliet, Illinois 60435