Chiropractic adjustments uniquely restores muscle flexibility, joint motion and most profoundly, nervous system integration to the entire body, helping the body to heal and function better from head to toe and from the inside – out.
The unique tool of chiropractic health treatment is the spinal manipulation or “adjustment”. It may involve gentle pressure, a quick but gentle thrust, or mild traction and gentle stretching, to restore normal motion to joints that have become restricted or locked or misaligned (subluxated).
As a result, it is one of the only two treatment protocols given the highest recommendation for the treatment of low back pain by the Agency for Health Care and Policy Research (AHCPR) an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But don’t be deceived, spinal adjustments remove subluxations and make corrections which address more than just back pain. By adjusting the spine and better aligning the spinal bones, the spinal cord and the full potential of the nervous system to monitor, control, and heal the body. Since the nervous system controls every function of your body, wouldn’t you naturally be healthier if your spine were free of subluxations?
Activator Technique: The Activator Method Chiropractic Technique® is a diagnostic and treatment system used by some chiropractors to treat many types of back pain, neck pain, and headaches (both chronic and migraine). The Activator Method uses a small, hand-held instrument called the Activator Adjusting Instrument to deliver a gentle impulse force to the spine with the goal of restoring motion to the targeted spinal vertebra or joint. More… http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/activator-method-chiropractic-technique
Hands on Spinal Manipulations or Adjustments: The high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) technique is among the oldest and most frequently used chiropractic techniques. Most chiropractic clinical research has focused on the evaluating efficacy of this form of spinal manipulation, particularly for low back, mid-back, and neck pain.
There are many types of HVLA manipulation approaches. This article describes just a few of the more common HVLA spinal manipulation techniques:
- Diversified technique: This technique is the form of high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust that is traditionally associated with chiropractic manual adjustments. For this method, chiropractors apply a short (low-amplitude), quick (high-velocity) thrust over restricted joints (one at a time) with the goal of restoring normal range of motion in the joint. The patient’s body is positioned in specific ways to optimize the adjustment of the spine.
- Thompson Terminal Point (or Drop) technique: This technique involves specialized treatment tables that have sections that drop a short distance during an HVLA thrust, with the premise that the dropping of the table piece facilitates the movement of the joint. This adjustment approach is sometimes used in addition to or, in place of, a more traditional diversified HVLA adjustment. Here, the traditional “cracking sound” may or may not occur and therefore this type of manipulation may also be considered a form of mobilization, or a gentle adjustment approach.
Flexion-Distraction Technique: originally developed by Dr. James M. Cox, is based on the application of small, precise amounts of flexion and axial distraction to the part of the spine experiencing disc compression or herniation. As the vertebrae in question are gently pulled away from each other, negative pressure draws the herniated or bulging disc back into position, relieving nerve pressure and pain and moving much-needed fluids back into the disc. The Cox flexion distraction technique is a remarkably simple and comfortable experience for most patients and requires a special flexion-distraction adjusting table to perform.
An Evaluation Is Necessary
We often get calls from new patients who have never been seen or treated by me who simply want to be adjusted and do not want to allow me to review their health history or perform even the most basic physical examination. I won’t do it. Firstly, it doesn’t meet the standard of care of physicians and I am a physician. Secondly, how am I to determine what is the best course of care or type of adjustment to render if I don’t first find out what is wrong and evaluate the situation? If you are new to me as a patient, whether you have had chiropractic care in the past or not, you should expect me to review your medical and health history and perform at least a focused examination before receiving any treatment or treatment recommendations of any kind. You should expect this of any Nurse Practitioner, PA or Physician you see. Even your mechanic runs a diagnostic on your car to make sure they are fixing the right thing…why would you expect anything less from your doctor?
The structural system is virtually ignored in our health care industry until an injury actually occurs, but there are many structural findings that can be detected on a person, long before injury and ill health come about . Just as an orthodontist can determine the positioning of the teeth on a child, so, too can someone versed in biomechanics determine structural (skeletal and muscular) imbalances that are causing or may cause problems in an individual. That’s why I perform a complete Structural Chiropractic Exam on my patients. It is a set of tests, which may include a comprehensive physical examination, x-rays, muscle testing, postural assessment, and gait analysis which help determine structural and postural imbalances and identify the levels of the spine that are subluxated. Information collected from these tests is then combined with other data from your health history, such as daily habits and activities, current diet and previous injuries and interpreted to design a customized treatment and conditioning program. Following your care plan can, heal injuries, jump start corrections to structural imbalances, prevent future injuries, and maximize workouts and physical performance, all of which improve the function of the nervous system and enhance health and well-being.
It’s A Chain Reaction
Research has shown that 98% of lower back injuries and pain are mechanical in nature, not pathological. Pain that you may feel in your neck or lower back could be caused by a misalignment in your spine which may be caused by an imbalance in your feet. See? It’s a chain reaction.
Poor alignment and biomechanics of the spine (subluxations) can do more harm than simply cause you pain. Subluxations left uncorrected squeeze and irritate delicate nerve fibers and can cause a decreased function and regulation of your organs and internal systems. Remember, your spinal nerves innervate (go to) all parts of your body, not just your back. Think of your spine as the breaker box for your entire body.