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13 Chiropractic Techniques

Explore 13 of the most common and effective Chiropractic Techniques. Learn how they work, when to use them, and what conditions they can help with.

By Ericka Pingol on Jun 16, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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13 Chiropractic Techniques

What are Chiropractic Techniques?

Chiropractic Techniques are a set of specialized manual manipulation and adjustment methods used by chiropractors to treat musculoskeletal conditions, particularly those affecting the spine. These techniques involve controlled movements or pressure applied to specific body parts to improve joint mobility and restore proper alignment.

Chiropractic care has gained popularity over the years as a non-invasive and drug-free approach to managing pain and promoting overall health. Chiropractors are trained healthcare professionals who use various techniques based on their patients' needs.

Benefits of Chiropractic Techniques

Chiropractic Techniques have been shown to provide a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Pain relief: Chiropractic Techniques can help alleviate discomfort and improve overall function by addressing the root cause of musculoskeletal pain.
  • Improved joint mobility and flexibility: By manipulating joints and soft tissues, chiropractors can help restore normal range of motion.
  • Enhanced nerve function: Misalignments in the spine can put pressure on nerves, leading to pain and dysfunction. Chiropractic adjustments can help release this pressure and improve nerve function.
  • Better overall health: Chiropractic care focuses on restoring and maintaining proper spinal alignment, which is crucial for optimal nervous system function. This, in turn, can positively impact overall health and well-being.

13 common chiropractic adjustment techniques

Chiropractors use various techniques to address different conditions and areas of the body. Some of the most common techniques include:

The diversified technique

This technique involves the chiropractor using their hands to apply controlled force to specific areas of the spine to correct misalignments and restore proper joint function.

Spinal manipulation

This chiropractic manipulation involves the chiropractor using quick, thrusting motions to realign the spine and improve joint function. This can help alleviate pain and improve overall mobility.

Activator method chiropractic technique

A gentler approach, this technique uses a handheld instrument called an activator to deliver precise adjustments to the spine. It is often used for patients who may not be comfortable with manual adjustments.

Spinal mobilization

This technique involves slower, more gentle movements to mobilize the spine and improve range of motion. It may be used for patients with conditions that cannot tolerate traditional adjustments.

The Thompson drop-table technique

This technique uses a specialized table with sections that drop when pressure is applied. This allows the chiropractor to adjust different spine areas without using as much force. It is often used for patients with trouble lying flat on their stomachs.

The Gonstead technique

Similar to the diversified technique, this approach also uses manual adjustments but with a focus on specific spinal segments that are causing pain or dysfunction. The chiropractor may use X-rays to identify these areas and apply precise adjustments.

Soft tissue therapy

Many chiropractors incorporate soft tissue therapy into their treatment plans in addition to spinal adjustments. This can include massage, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release to help relieve tension and improve mobility in muscles and connective tissues.

Spinal decompression therapy

This non-invasive technique involves using a traction table to gently stretch and decompress the spine, relieving pressure on discs and nerves. It is commonly used for bulging or herniated discs, sciatica, and degenerative disc disease.

Flexion distraction

Flexion distraction, also known as the Cox technique, is a gentle and non-invasive approach that involves the use of a specialized table to gently stretch and decompress the spine. This technique is particularly beneficial for conditions such as herniated discs and spinal stenosis, as it can effectively reduce pressure on the affected area and improve mobility. It is often used in conjunction with

Direct thrust technique

Also known as the high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) technique, this approach involves quick and forceful adjustments to specific areas of the spine. It is commonly used for neck or back pain, headaches, and joint dysfunction. This technique is not recommended for patients with osteoporosis or other bone conditions.

Active release

This technique involves applying direct tension to specific muscles while simultaneously moving the joint through its full range of motion. It is effective in treating muscle adhesions, scar tissue buildup, and joint immobility. Active release can also help improve athletic performance and prevent future injuries.

Graston technique

This technique utilizes specialized tools to break down scar tissue and adhesions in muscles and soft tissues. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. The Graston technique can also improve range of motion and reduce pain in affected areas.

Manual therapy

Manual therapy is a hands-on approach that involves gentle manipulation of the joints and soft tissues. It can help improve mobility, reduce pain, and increase circulation in affected areas. Manual therapy is often used in combination with other techniques to provide comprehensive treatment for musculoskeletal conditions.

What to expect during a chiropractic adjustment

During a chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor will first perform a thorough exam to determine the areas of concern and any underlying conditions. They may also use imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans to understand the patient’s spine and joints better.

The actual adjustment process involves the chiropractor using their hands or specialized tools to apply controlled force and pressure to specific areas of the spine or joints. This may result in a popping or cracking sound, which is simply gas being released from the joint.

After the adjustment, the patient may experience some mild soreness or discomfort, which is normal and should subside within 24-48 hours. It is common to feel immediate relief from any pain or discomfort before the adjustment.

Possible side effects and risks

While chiropractic adjustments are generally safe and effective, patients should be aware of some potential side effects and risks. These may include temporary soreness, discomfort, headaches, fatigue, or nausea.

In rare cases, more serious side effects such as nerve damage or stroke can occur. This risk is higher in patients with pre-existing conditions such as spinal cord injuries or certain medical conditions.

Moreover,  chiropractic adjustments may not be suitable for everyone. Pregnant women, individuals with osteoporosis or severe arthritis, and those taking blood thinners should consult with their primary care physician before receiving a chiropractic adjustment.

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Carepatron is a comprehensive and user-friendly chiropractic software that can revolutionize how you manage your practice. With its advanced features and intuitive design, Carepatron can help streamline your workflow, improve patient communication, and increase overall efficiency.

With our software, you can easily manage patient appointments, keep track of medical records, and access important information in just a few clicks. You can also create personalized treatment plans and set up reminders for follow-up appointments to ensure that your patients receive the best care possible.

In addition, Carepatron offers secure cloud-based storage for all your patient data, ensuring its confidentiality and accessibility from anywhere. Our software also includes built-in billing and invoicing features, helping you simplify your practice's financial management.

Experience the difference that Carepatron can make in your chiropractic practice today. Upgrade to our software and see how it can streamline your processes, improve patient care, and ultimately lead to a more successful practice.

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Commonly asked questions

Are Chiropractic Techniques safe?

Yes, chiropractic adjustments are generally safe when performed by a licensed and skilled professional. However, as with any medical treatment, there can be rare risks and potential side effects. It is important to discuss any concerns or known health conditions with your chiropractor before starting treatment.

Can anyone receive chiropractic care?

Most people can benefit from chiropractic care, but it may not suit certain conditions or individuals. For example, those with severe osteoporosis, spinal cord compression, or recent fractures may not be good candidates for chiropractic adjustments.

How long does a typical chiropractic appointment last?

The length of a chiropractic appointment can vary depending on the individual's needs and treatment plan. On average, a first-time appointment may last around 45-60 minutes, while follow-up appointments typically range from 15-30 minutes.

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