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Five Common Chiropractic Adjustment Techniques

Aug 17

Chiropractors often use chiropractic adjustment to alleviate pain and improve function. The spine can be adjusted using many techniques. These are the five most popular adjustment methods used by chiropractors.

  1. Activator technique

The Activator technique uses an instrument to apply a gentle impulse force on the bones of your spine. The Activator instrument, a small handheld device, delivers a low-force, quick impulse to the target area. This technique works on the principle of sending vibrations through your nervous system. These vibrations activate muscle spindles. The stretch reflex stimulates muscle contraction, which resets the joints and muscles to their normal positions and motion. This technique is claimed to be highly effective in treating musculoskeletal conditions such as neck pain, headaches, back pain, and other issues. Although there is not much evidence to support these claims, the Activator method may have some advantages over other chiropractic adjustments methods. For example, it provides a more comfortable experience for patients sensitive to manual adjustments.

  1. Thompson technique

The Thompson technique is a chiropractic manipulative procedure developed by J. Clayburn Thompson in the early 20th century. It is also known as the "drop table" technique due to the use of a drop-down section of the chiropractic table. The patient lies face down on the table, and the drop-down section is rapidly brought up to create a high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust. This thrust is applied to the cervical spine (neck), lumbar spine (lower back), or thoracic spine (upper back). The Thompson technique aims to restore normal alignment and motion to the spine. It is often used to treat vertebral subluxations, which are misalignments of the vertebrae that can cause pain and other problems. The Thompson technique is considered to be one of the most gentle and safe chiropractic procedures. It is often used on patients who have narrow spinal canals or who are pregnant.

  1. Gonstead technique

Clarence Gonstead created the Gonstead method in the 1920s. Gonstead was a mechanical engineer who brought his biomechanics knowledge into chiropractic. It was a practical and precise way to treat nerve and spine disorders. Chiropractors around the globe use the Gonstead method. The Gonstead technique involves an in-depth evaluation of the spine with x-rays and nerve tests. The Gonstead practitioner can then create a customized treatment plan for each patient. It is safe and effective, and millions have found relief from back pain and other problems with their health using the Gonstead method.

  1. Flexion distraction

Flexion distraction is a chiropractic adjustment used to treat various conditions, including lower back pain, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis. The goal of flexion distraction is to relieve pressure on the spine by gently stretching the muscles and ligaments surrounding the spine. This stretch allows the disc material to move back into place, taking the pressure off the nerves. Flexion distraction is usually performed with the help of a unique table that supports the patient's body weight while the Chiropractor applies pressure to the affected area. The treatment is typically done over a series of visits, and most patients report significant relief from their symptoms after completing a course of treatment.

  1. Diversified technique

The diversified method is a delivery method for chiropractic adjustments that use a low velocity and high amplitude thrust. The vertebra is adjusted with the aim of restoring motion to the joint. The thrust causes cavitation in the joint, which reduces pressure on the nerves, and helps ease the pain. This is the most popular adjustment method used by chiropractors today. Although it can be used to treat many conditions, it may not be suitable for all. This adjustment should not be given to pregnant women or patients with specific medical conditions. Talk to your Chiropractor if you aren't sure if this diversified approach is right for you.


There you have it. These are five of the most popular chiropractic adjustments. Do not wait to see a chiropractor if you are experiencing neck or back pain. It may surprise you how quickly pain can be relieved with a few simple adjustments.