doctor explaining chiropractic adjustment techniques

The 3 Most Used Chiropractic Techniques: Explained


Chiropractic therapy encompasses a wide variety of techniques that professionals master. Depending on the particularities of each case, your chiropractor will determine which one is best suited to help your condition. 


In this article, we will explore the three most used chiropractic adjustment techniques. But first...


What Does a Chiropractor Do?


To better understand chiropractic techniques and their use, let's have a quick look at the basics of chiropractic care. 


Chiropractic focuses on diagnosing neuromuscular disorders and treating them manually by adjusting the patient's spine or extremities. The main principle of chiropractic care is that a healthy spine translates into entire body health, even boosting the immune system.


While people usually seek the help of chiropractors when they experience back pain, neck pain, or mobility issues, there are many other problems that chiropractic care is beneficial for because, at its core, it has a holistic approach to treating patients. 


Chiropractors do much more than physical adjustment techniques. They also advise patients on lifestyle changes such as the importance of having a healthy diet, daily movement, and the importance of proper rest. 


All of these together, coupled with chiropractic care, will help improve their health. 


For treating patients, chiropractors use their hands to perform the adjustments. Still, in some cases, they might also use equipment.


What Are The Most Common Chiropractic Techniques?


According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), the most common chiropractic techniques used by professionals are the Diversified technique and the Extremity Manipulation technique — used by 95.5% of chiropractors. These two methods stand out from all the rest, with a sizable difference in popularity.


Other techniques you might encounter in a chiropractic practice are the following:

  • Activator Method

  • Gonstead technique

  • Cox Flexion/Distraction technique

  • Thompson technique

  • Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT)

  • Applied Kinesiology method

  • Cranial Technique


performing chiropractic technique


What Is The Most Effective Chiropractic Technique?


While the Diversified technique and the Extremity Manipulation technique are the most commonly used, finding the most efficient one ultimately depends on the particularities of each case. 


To determine the best treatment, the chiropractor will first examine patients and discuss their symptoms and medical history. Then, it is up to the chiropractor to choose the best-suited techniques for each case.


To help you get a better idea of how chiropractic treatment can benefit you, we will show you the three most common techniques used in our Los Gatos, CA office;


1. The Diversified Technique


As mentioned above, this is the most common chiropractic technique and the method behind the famous popping noise commonly associated with chiropractic therapy. 


Wondering what causes the noise? When a joint is unlocked during the procedure, it releases gas, resulting in a popping sound.


The Diversified technique entails the use of hands to apply pressure to the vertebral segment that needs to be treated. The aim is to restore proper movement in the area. 


This method includes a series of adjustments that are used to correct the vertebral segments. These are delivered quickly through short thrusts to the joints at a precise angle, direction, and speed. 


The Diversified technique is a high-velocity, low amplitude chiropractic adjustment. 


While this procedure is typically performed manually, it can also be performed using a table or a block. It is usually painless, and most patients will feel a sense of relief after it is performed.


2. The Extremity Manipulation Technique


As its name suggests, this chiropractic technique focuses on the patients' extremities, rather than their spines. So instead of performing adjustments to the spine, the chiropractor will manipulate the joints.


Extremity manipulation typically involves the patients' shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankle joints. This method aims to treat patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome or posture issues


The principle behind this method is that, by aligning the joints outside of the spine, pressure to it can be reduced. This method is painless in most cases, but it can cause some discomfort to patients with advanced joint issues.


3. The Activator Technique


The name of this technique comes from the spring-loaded instrument that chiropractors use when performing it, called an Activator. This instrument provides a quick low-force impulse to the patient's affected areas.


The main indications for this technique are back and neck pain. Plus, it also improves pain in the shoulders, knees, or other extremities. 


The main advantage brought by this method is that using the Activator limits muscle tension post-procedure. The instrument administers the impulse very quickly, which makes the muscles less likely to become tense.


Another benefit is that with this method, chiropractors can apply controlled force to the affected area without having to force the joint by bending or twisting it. 


If you enjoyed this article on the most common chiropractic techniques but have more questions, contact us or, even better, make an appointment to visit our clinic.


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