7 Common Chiropractic Adjustments and What They Do

1. The Diversified Technique

The diversified technique has 3 main purposes, and they are to restore spinal alignment, repair joint disfunction, and ensure proper movement and mobility. Using hands-on thrusts with extreme precision, practitioners can restore spinal alignment and increase a patient’s range of motion which may be affected by misaligned joints or bones. This technique is widely used, with 96% of all chiropractors using the Diversified Technique on approximately 70% of their patients. 

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2. Spinal Manipulation (aka Spinal Mobilization)

Spinal manipulation, also called manual therapy or spinal mobilization is utilized by both chiropractors and physical therapists to relieve pressure on joints, reduce inflammation, and improve nerve function. While spinal mobilization is a “manual therapy technique” similar to the diversified technique discussed above, it utilizes more gentle thrusting motions and involves more stretching. 

3. Thompson Drop-Table Technique

The Thompson Drop-Table technique utilizes a specially designed table constructed of padded platforms fitted with drop mechanisms so the patient can be “dropped” a fraction of an inch as the practitioner applies a quick thrust to complete the adjustment. The gentle dropping motion is comfortable for patients, resembling a light vibration.

4. The Gonstead Adjustment

The Gonstead Adjustment is used to restore normal disc alignment and restore maximum mobility. It can be administered with the patient sitting up or lying on their side. 

One unique aspect of the Gonstead adjustment is the specificity of the contact point on the chiropractor’s hand can be administered with the patient sitting up or lying on their side as the chiropractor manipulates the lower back or pelvis.

5. The Activator Method

A small handheld device known as an ‘Activator’ is commonly used by chiropractors to administer a gentle impulse to the extremities or the vertebral segments of the spine. The spring-loaded device is used to adjust the tone of the nervous system and can be used to treat a variety of conditions from headaches to lower back pain issues.

6. Flexion Distraction

The Flexion-Distraction technique utilizes a special table that distracts and flexes the spine in a gentle rhythmic motion. This technique is commonly used to treat symptomatic disc injuries with back pain and leg pain. The adjustment is pain-free and even considered comfortable making it a great option for patients with recent injuries or extra sensitivity to other adjustments.

7. Spinal Decompression

Spinal decompression could be considered more of a chiropractic technique than an adjustment, but is worth mentioning since it is so effective at treating symptoms of lower back pain that are a result of bulging, herniated, degenerated, and slipped discs. Spinal decompression utilizes a special table that works by carefully stretching the spine promoting the healthy flow of water, oxygen, and other essential fluids into the discs and throughout the spine.