Did you know that there are different types of chiropractic adjustments available to help you? There are many different types of adjustments that chiropractors use to make sure that you have decreased pain, increased mobility, and increased ability to perform activities. Lets go over a couple of the different techniques available at our office that can help you.
Manual Adjustment - At our office the most common way we adjust our patients is by manually adjusting you. We use a technique called the Diversified technique which is by far the most common technique used by chiropractors to help patients throughout the world. The great thing about manual chiropractic adjustments is that we are using our hands to make sure you get the movement you need in the joints that aren't moving as well. This mean we can change the amount of force we use making sure to either do a lighter adjustment or a firmer adjustment. Along with doing the adjustment we can do it a light version called a mobilization. The difference between a adjustment/manipulation and a mobilization is that the adjustment is usually quicker with more force that may have an audible crack. Mobilization are more slower with light forces that are just focused on getting movement in the spine. Mobilizations usually don't have the audible crack with the adjustment.
One disadvantage with a manual adjustment is that while we are trying to get movement in certain joints we have to lock out other joints by having them be at the end range of their movement. This can be problematic for this with previous surgeries, severe injuries, or other conditions. Luckily we have other adjustments we can do that may be better suited for these people that allow us to better isolate the less movable joint.
Activator/impulse - When manual adjustments are too much for a patients or cause a lot of soreness another option is using the activator or impulse to adjust you. The Activator or impulse is a hand held tool that does a quick, low force impulse directly on the part of your spine or other bone which allows for movement directly at the joint. This can be very beneficial for those who don't want their neck or back moved manually as there is no twisting involved. In fact we use the activator when you are in a more relaxed position such as laying down or sitting. The activator can also be really helpful for when we want to get one specific joint moving and not any of the others such as after spinal surgeries. It can also be helpful when a lower force is necessary such as when getting movement in the ribs for those with osteoporosis. All of our doctors are well versed in using the activator or impulse tool and can help you get rid of your pain and get movement back in your joints.
Note: we don't use the activator technique, we use the activator on the joints that aren't moving as they need to.
Drop Table - Another alternative is using the drop table to get movement in the joints. The drop table is a special chiropractic table that allows for certain segments to rise up and go down with an adjustable force. One great thing about the drop table is that it is a hands on adjustment but with the addition of the drop. This allows for us to do a lighter force or a firmer force if necessary. The drop table can be very beneficial because it doesn't involve any twisting when trying to get movement in the joints such as in the lumbar spine or sacroiliac joint. It can also be used in conjunction with manual techniques to help get more movement into the joints. Dr Zachary Owens uses the drop table at our office and he finds it very beneficial for those who don't enjoy the twisting movement with lower back manual adjustments but can handle some more force in the lower back.
Traction - Therapeutic traction is a technique that involves stretching of the spine. It involves pulling at in long axis distraction to help alleviate tight muscles, reduce muscle spasms, and relieve pressure off the discs and surrounding structures including nerves. This can be done at the neck or at the lower back to help relieve pressure off the discs and facet joints of the spine. Our chiropractors may use traction along with adjustment to help relieve pressure at your neck or at your lower back by pulling on your legs.
Blocking - Using blocking for your lower back at the sacroiliac joints can help to get movement in your joints by using gravity instead of with a direct force on your sore areas. It can be helpful as it can be done for your lower back while either laying on your stomach or on your back and doesn't require any twisting to get movement. It is low impact and can be a great alternative to get movement in your SI joints.
As you can tell there are lots of different types of adjustments or manipulations that can be done to help make sure you are moving better and have less pain. If you have questions about these different techniques you can always ask your chiropractor to see if a different type of adjustment is better suited for you.