Many people don’t understand exactly what a chiropractor does. It may seem like they are randomly pressing on your back until there is a pop signaling alignment. However, there is a specific science to how a chiropractor adjusts your joints, along with improving your overall health. There are over 100 chiropractor treatment options available throughout the world. a trusted chiropractor suggests is one of the authority sites on this topic. Each chiropractor chooses up to ten of their favorite treatment techniques to use in their practice. Because of how many chiropractic treatment options there are, if you visit three different chiropractors you may experience completely different ways of aligning your joints. The goal of a chiropractor is to find the best techniques to restore and enhance joint function. They choose techniques they believe best reduces joint inflammation and pain.
Spinal manipulation is a technique that you can hear working with the pop of adjustment. Chiropractors often use their hands to apply force to the misaligned joints in the body positioned in a specific way. There are many different kinds of specialty exam tables that chiropractors use to make sure the body is positioned correctly for adjustment. There are three popular techniques used for spinal manipulation treatments. The first is a diversified technique where the chiropractor applies a short and quick thrust on misaligned joints one at a time. The goal with this technique is to restore normal range of motion in the joint.
The second technique is called Gonstead adjustment which is similar to diversified technique. The difference is in locating the joint out of line and specifically adjusting the body to best treat it. This is where specially designed chairs and tables are used to position the patient, including the cervical chair or chest-knee table.
The third technique is called the Thompson Terminal Point, more commonly known as Drop. Special treatment tables are in the exam room. There are sections of the table that will drop a short distance when the chiropractor makes a short and quick movement on top of the affected joint. The dropping of the table encourages joint movement. The pop sound common with adjustments may not occur, making the Drop method a form of spinal mobilization with a gentler approach to adjustment.
Spine mobilization is the other main kind of adjustment. It is a more gentle option used for treating certain conditions like osteoporosis. It is also used based on the patient’s size, comfort, preference, and pathology. Some chiropractors prefer spinal mobilization because it does not require any kind of force or body twisting.
There are five main techniques used for spinal mobilization. The activator method requires the use of a hand held, spring loaded manual tool that gives a low force impulse. The patient lies face down on the table while the chiropractor analyzes leg length for hip alignment, tests muscles, and adjusts the spine or joints using the tool.
The second technique is the Cox Flexion distraction which uses gentle adjustment to adjust vertebrae by applying gentle stretches to the lower spine in a series of repetitive and slow movements. This simulates a rocking movement. The McKenzie technique is third and uses a position chosen by the patient to reduce pain.
Release work is when the chiropractor applies gentle pressure with their fingertips to separate the misaligned vertebrae to restore it back to natural positions. Lastly, the Sacro-Occipital Technique involves placing wedges or blocks under the pelvis, allowing gravity and low force from the chiropractor to realign the pelvis.
Manipulation of the spine is not the only treatment method chiropractors use. They also have something called adjunctive therapy. This can include applying heat and cold to fatigued nerves, using electrical stimulation to relax tense muscles, and ultrasounds. The patient needs to explain their symptoms and any treatment preferences with their chiropractor. From there, the chiropractor will suggest the best treatment options based on their personal case along with knowledge gained from thorough examination and interviewing.