What Are The Best Chiropractic Techniques?

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A chiropractic adjustment is a procedure in which trained specialists use their
hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint. The
goal of this procedure, also known as spinal manipulation, is to improve spinal motion
and improve your body's physical function (definition from the Mayo Clinic). Chiropractic
adjustments have been a common approach to health care for over 100 years and have
shown to be effective for a wide range of health complaints. Some chiropractors utilize a
variety of adjusting techniques while others may utilize only one or two techniques.
Below is a brief review of some of the most common chiropractic adjusting techniques.
Diversified Technique- This classic chiropractic technique was developed by D.D.
Palmer. This is the most common of all chiropractic techniques and probably most
familiar to patients. The Diversified adjustment entails a high-velocity, low-amplitude
thrust that usually results in a cavitation of a joint (quick, shallow thrusts that cause the
popping noise often associated with a chiropractic adjustment).
Thompson Technique- The Thompson technique uses a precision adjusting table with a
weighing mechanism which adds only enough tension to hold the patient in the "up"
position before the thrust is given. The patient lies on a special table with sections that
drop down. The chiropractor applies a quick thrust at the same time the section drops.
The dropping of the table allows for a lighter adjustment without the twisting positions
that can accompany other techniques. The object of the drop is to distract (open) the
joint during the adjustment. The drop pieces assist the thrust, while minimizing the force
required for the adjustment. Cavitation of the joint may or may not occur.
Activator Method- This is a hand-held, spring-loaded instrument-based
manipulation/adjustment protocol. Instead of forces being delivered by hand, force is
generated with the small appliance that delivers a lighter, but quicker thrust than can be
delivered by hand. Activator can be used as a primary treatment protocol for all patients
or a selective method for patients who may not desire manual adjustment or where
manual adjustments may be contraindicate.

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