The Most Common Methods Chiropractors use to Adjust a Spine

Fact: According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association, up to 85 percent of working people can expect back pain at some point in their lives, and over 4 million Canadians visit a chiropractor each year.

Common reasons to visit a chiropractor include rehabbing sports injuries, relief of pain from accidents or muscles strains, and as a form of preventative health care.

What is chiropractic?

A chiropractic doctor is one who specializes in the back and neck, and provides treatment by manually adjusting the vertebrae and other joints, including the jaw and ribcage.

The underlying idea behind this is that the proper alignment of the axial skeleton(spine, ribcage, neck and skull) promotes the flow of energy through the body, which enables the body to maintain health and heal itself, without resorting to drugs or surgery.

Here are some common methods that your doctor may employ to adjust and straighten your spine.

Diversified technique

This is your standard chiropractic adjustment in which the chiropractor palpates by hand to determine where and adjustment is needed, then performs a high-velocity-low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust to manipulate the joint back into proper alignment. This is the movement that produces the “pop” normally associated with spinal adjustments. Diversified technique is commonly used in treating the lower back and lumbar area, and has also progressed into the passive extension technique, used to help patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Activator technique

The activator technique makes the use of a small, spring-loaded, hand-held tool to provide a gentle adjustment. The quick speed of the tool prevents the involuntary tensing on the part of the patient, which seems to help the overall effectiveness of the treatment. It also allows the doctor to make an adjustment to a very localized area.

Gonstead technique

This is a common method that helps the doctor locate where the adjustments need to be made. The Gonstead technique was developed by Dr. Clarence Gonstead and involves 5 different criteria, including a detailed x-ray of the spine. This method is thought to be the safest diagnostic method, and is used on pregnant women, children, and the elderly.

Applied kinesiology

Chiropractors, especially those who specialize in sports medicine, may also use a method called applied kinesiology that helps to balance opposing muscles that are attached to a misaligned bone. This is one of the specific diagnostic methods used when rehabilitating an injured athlete. Applied kinesiology relies on muscle testing, rather than palpating for bone misalignment, as the primary method of feedback for how a patient’s body is responding to treatment. You can learn more information at Chiro-Med Rehab Centre.