Learn about the various chiropractic adjustment techniques such as Diversified, Thompson, Flexion-Distraction, Activator, and Extremity.
Chiropractic medicine is a form of natural health care that focuses on treating a patient without the use of drugs or medicines. Doctors of Chiropractic, more commonly known as chiropractors, are primary health care providers licensed in all 50 states, and are recognized by governmental health care programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Workers’ Compensation programs and more. Every year, more than 30 million Americans see chiropractors as part of the regular health care programs and with over 84,000 licensed chiropractors nationwide and more than 10,000 students currently enrolled in chiropractic school, it is the fastest growing health care profession.
This is a widely used type of chiropractic manipulation/adjustment that includes most of the procedures taught in chiropractic institutions. This technique is the most commonly used of all chiropractic techniques and is the one probably most familiar to patients. The Diversified manipulation/adjustment entails a high velocity, low-amplitude thrust delivered by hand. This usually results in a cavitation of a joint (the popping noise often associated with an adjustment). The Diversified Technique can be used to treat many of the joints in the body. The adjustment is designed to restore normal joint and neurologic function to the area that is being addressed. With restored function comes pain relief and decreased symptoms.
This is a specific chiropractic method that utilizes a table that has several segments called drop pieces. A gentle thrust is applied to the joints, which in turn, sets the drop piece into motion and targets the specific joint or tissue. The drop pieces allow gravity to assist the thrust while minimizing the force used for the manipulation/ adjustment by the provider. Typically the technique does not illicit any noise from the adjustment and it is lighter than a manual adjustment.
Flexion Distraction Technique
This is a non-surgical, doctor-controlled, hands-on spinal manipulation/therapy performed with the patient laying on the table. A special table permits the effective administration of flexion-distraction or decompression manipulation/adjustment. Research shows that flexion-distraction and spinal decompression helps to relieve pain and returns patients to their desired quality of life by
- dropping intradiscal pressure to as low as -192mm Hg
- widening the spinal canal foraminal space by 28%
- reducing pressure on the spinal nerves
- returning motion to the spinal joints
Activator Assisted Adjusting
An activator is a hand-held, spring-loaded, manipulation/adjustment tool that can be used alongside a manual adjustment or on it’s own with the activator protocol. Instead of the manipulating/adjusting forces being delivered by the doctor’s hand, the force is delivered by the small tool that provides a lighter, quicker thrust. In our office, the activator is most often used as an elective method for patients who may not desire a manual manipulation/adjustment, or when the doctor chooses it because a manual manipulation/adjustment may be contraindicated.
This is the application of chiropractic adjustments to joints other than those of the spine, i.e., shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand/finger, hip, knee, ankle/foot/toe. Examples of conditions treated by extremity adjustments include carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and gait or posture related problems.