Do you know how many different styles of chiropractic adjustments or techniques there are? Some sources state that there are over 200. There are seven primary manual adjustment styles, six styles using adjustment instruments, and four upper cervical adjustment techniques taught in chiropractic colleges. With so many different chiropractic techniques, which ones are best for you?
It can take time to decide, especially if you’re new to chiropractic care. Keep reading to take a closer look at which chiropractic technique might be best for you.
What Is a Chiropractor?
A chiropractor is a healthcare professional focusing on the nervous system and body health conditions. They use adjustments of the spine to accomplish this. These adjustments are effective for many common complaints, including:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Arthritis pain
Other health conditions that respond well to chiropractic adjustments include:
- Blood pressure irregularities
- Digestive issues
Pregnant women often seek chiropractic care to ease back pain and other discomforts.
Where Can I Find a Chiropractor?
Chiropractors often work in collaborative practices. These may include private practice, interprofessional clinics, family health teams, and hospitals. They can also work in the home for some patients and even onsite for large corporations.
What Happens During a Chiropractic Visit?
A chiropractor evaluates patients through a thorough physical examination and may order tests. Then, the practitioner develops a treatment plan based on the spine’s condition, the extent of an injury, and the patient’s long-term goals.
The chiropractor may also order tests to determine if the patient is deficient in specific vitamins or minerals. As a result, they may recommend supplements.
Why You Need a Chiropractor?
Chiropractors use a combination of manual and non-invasive techniques to treat various ailments. Their treatments address unique patient situations. For example, chiropractic adjustments improve blood circulation to the affected muscles and joints, helping you avoid further pain and stiffness. They can also help you maintain a healthier lifestyle by preventing future injury and illness.
Popular Chiropractic Techniques
The most popular techniques that you will encounter in clinics are:
- Koren Specific Technique
- Atlas Orthogonal
- Blair/Palmer Specific HIO
- Cox Flexion Distraction
- Chiropractic Biophysics
- Sacro-Occipital Technique
- Network Spinal Analysis
- Torque Release
- Thompson Technique
Every technique uses different ways to address spinal subluxations or misalignments. But they all help remove nerve system interference to help the body function better.
Chiropractic care also reduces the need for pain medications. Let’s take a look at how a chiropractor can help achieve relief.
During spinal manipulation, a doctor applies a gentle thrust to the spine with his hands, specially-designed instruments, or a combination of both. This technique has many benefits, including reduced pain and stiffness and less risk of complications. A chiropractor may use specific or general spinal adjustments depending on the issue.
Direct Thrust Technique
The direct thrust technique is the most commonly used technique in chiropractic care. It is a specialized method for realigning the spine, restoring normal joint range of motion, and relieving pain. A chiropractor performs a direct thrust by applying high to moderate amplitude forces at low velocity to a restricted joint.
The direct thrust technique engages the restrictive barrier repeatedly before relaxing it. In addition, it is one of the most effective methods for releasing pectoral muscles and correcting rounded shoulders.
The direct thrust technique also helps improve circulation and reduce pressure on spinal nerves. It can treat various spinal ailments, including leg pain and herniated discs. It is easy to use and is considered to be very comfortable. It is often used to relieve back pain in patients who have recently sustained an injury or have extra sensitivity to pressure.
This technique is not one size fits all, and the chiropractor will work with you to determine the appropriate amount of pressure to use. The chiropractor may use their hands or a small instrument to apply thrusting pressure. However, direct thrust is not recommended for patients with osteoporosis.
The Gonstead method of chiropractic treatment is an effective and safe method for adjusting the spine. It is based on a thorough examination that evaluates the entire health status of a patient.
The Gonstead method allows the chiropractor to focus on specific areas of the spine that are causing problems. During the initial visit, the chiropractor will take x-rays to examine the overall back health, spinal posture, and minor tissues.
The Gonstead method also uses biomechanical analysis and recognizes that certain spinal problems originate from foundation issues. For example, a misalignment of the lower spine can lead to a misalignment in the upper spine.
Because of this, the Gonstead method focuses on correcting the misalignment of the lower spine before addressing the upper spine. This allows for permanent adjustments to the spine.
A chiropractor who uses the Thompson technique can achieve numerous health benefits for patients. The method is gentle and requires little force, which allows it to be used on a wider range of patients. It can also help relieve pain in the nervous system, which is vital to a healthy body.
The Thompson technique involves the use of a drop table. This specialized table is used to perform adjustments. It has padded platforms that drop slightly when the doctor makes an adjustment. The gentle dropping motion is felt by the patient as a vibration. This technique can be used on the spine and the extremities.
Activator Chiropractic Technique
The activator technique is a non-manipulative chiropractic technique. It does not leverage bones to manipulate joints. This allows chiropractors to apply controlled force at a specific angle.
Dr. Arlan Fuhr introduced the technique in 1967. It is clinically researched, and chiropractors use it to treat back pain, neck pain, and extremity pain.
The activator technique is often used for patients with acute disc herniations or scoliosis. It’s preferred over other chiropractic techniques for these patients because it is much less traumatic to the soft tissues. This technique also provides faster recovery.
Since the activator technique is gentle on the spine and joints, it’s often used on children and pregnant women. It is also helpful for those who have osteoporosis or arthritis. It can target specific areas and reduce inflammation.
Koren Specific Technique
This new and exciting chiropractic technique was developed in 2003 by Dr. Tedd Koren. He created this improved form of chiropractic care from research and clinical experimentation.
The gentle but very effective technique uses a three-step process of challenging the area of the body, checking to see if that area is in the proper position, and correcting with a specific adjustment with the Arthostim adjusting instrument.
This style addresses the deep stresses a patient has experienced over the years without twisting, turning, or “cracking” the spine. The feedback people most often report after a KST adjustment is a sense of balance and ease in their bodies.
To learn more about this technique, check out this article- What Are the Benefits of the Koren Specific Technique Chiropractic Method?
Feel Like Your Best Self
Chiropractors are specialists in spine health and wellness and can help get your body back into balance. The chiropractic techniques used during an appointment vary depending on the condition being treated and your personal needs.
If you’re curious about chiropractic care and whether it could be right for you, schedule an appointment with us! We’ll work with you to find the chiropractic technique that provides the most relief so you can feel your best
With over 20 years in the field, Dr. Dody is a seasoned chiropractor specializing in Functional Nutrition, Neurofeedback, and the Koren Specific Technique (KST). His unique ‘whole person approach’ identifies the root causes of health issues, offering patients not just relief but lasting wellness. Recognized for his expertise, Dr. Dody’s treatments often yield dramatic improvements from the very first visit.