There are a large number of chiropractic techniques employed by different chiropractors. Chiropractors specialize in dysfunctions that may result from irregularities in spinal structure or movement. They rely heavily on active procedures to work out structural and practical issues and they use manipulation of the spine in the process. The principal procedures employed by chiropractors are manipulations called adjustments that involve a spread of manual mechanical interventions. Some of these adjustments are:
- Manipulation: Movement of short amplitude and high speed that moves the joint into better alignment
- Mobilization: Movements that extend the overall range of motion
- Gonstead Technique: Detailed analysis of spinal X-rays is employed to help determine the course of treatment
- Activator: A small tool that delivers a light-weight and measured force to correct misalignments; it gently and painlessly moves the vertebrae
- Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique (BEST): Precise pressure applied by hand to get rid of blocked nerve energy, eliminate physiological interference, and balance sensory signals to the central nervous system
- Cox Flexion Distraction: Involves traction or stretching of the spine; designed particularly to correct lower-back pain
- Applied Kinesiology: Lightweight massage is applied to restore correct muscle movement
- Thompson Terminal Point: Hands are placed over the luxation and the elbows are snapped to convey fast pressure with no joint cracking
- Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT): Padded blocks are placed underneath the patient to permit the body to regulate itself, since muscle tension at the pelvis affects the neck
- Logan Basic Technique: A gentle, sustained pressure is exerted at the bottom of the spine to correct issues
- Nimmo Technique: Application of straightforward pressure to tender areas to unharness muscles from localized spasms
- Orthotics: Custom-made devices placed within the shoes to treat posture issues, like uneven leg length, abnormalities and inclined pelvises
What to Expect During an Adjustment
In general, adjustments consist of a fast, short, controlled thrust against a joint. The chiropractor can move the affected joint to the limit of its movement, thus building a fast thrust on the far side to stretch the joint capsule and close tissues.
While undergoing an adjustment, it’s vital that the patient stay relaxed. A definite speed of the thrust is used to make sure that the patient’s muscles don’t have any time to contract, then prohibit the movement. Cracking sounds may be detected throughout the thrust; this is often caused by gases within the synovia (the lubricating fluid within every joint capsule) and is harmless.
Chiropractors can treat only a joint that they believe is misaligned or subluxated. Some, however, prefer to treat the entire spine.
It is vital to remember that chiropractic manipulations involve a degree of risk, but this degree is very small. Choose a licensed chiropractor for the safest possible adjustments.
If chiropractic adjustment is contraindicated for any reason, like the chance that it would cause the patient excessive pain or anxiety, a joint can be stretched by inserting a roll or wedge in the correct position on the spine once the patient is lying down. However, doing this takes time, and therefore the results aren’t achieved as quickly as those led to by manipulation. Chiropractors additionally use a variety of soft-tissue techniques (massage, heat, ice, and kneading) to relax a patient’s muscles before a manipulation, to unharness trigger points (painful knots of muscle fibers), and to elongate tendons and muscles.