I have always thought that the more tools you have, the more things you can fix. The same is true with different adjusting techniques. While I tend to use the time-honored “Diversified” method that DD Palmer taught, and for which the profession is based, there are other means of adjusting that allow me to treat a wider variety of problems, and to appeal to other patients that either can’t handle, don’t like, or are in too much pain to receive traditional chiropractic adjusting techniques by the Diversified method. At times I will often change a adjusting technique in order to stimulate and encourage a different response. Simply put, chiropractors are bone-setters. If you know several ways of moving a bone, good chance you’ll get the result you’re looking for.
Here are a list of different adjusting techniques and physical therapy techniques I use in the office. I’ve simplified the descriptions a bit, but I think you’ll get the idea…
“Palmer Package” – This is the educational combination that’s taught at Palmer Colleges. As a Palmer graduate I’ve learned each of these standard techniques, which are Diversified, Thomson, Gonstead, and Toggle Recoil. Further explanations of these is as follows:
- Diversified Adjustment – Cervical Spine
Diversfied Method – “Traditional” adjusting techniques use parts of the vertebrae as levers to set them properly. Usually accompanied by ‘audible release’ noises which most patients LOVE! It uses spinal analysis to identify the improper position of one or more vertebrae, and the administration of a manual thrust.
- Sacro-Occipital Technique
Sacro-Occipital Technique – Uses pelvic wedges (grey wedges, pictured here) and a specific diagnostic technique in order to the skull and shift pelvic bone positions. Typically this takes more time, but is great for acute care patients that cannot handle the Diversified Method.
- Activator Adjustment
Activator – The Activator is a small hand-held adjusting instrument which delivers a precisely measured, gentle thrust in a specific direction. This is also great for acute care as well as extremities. It is considered one of chiropractic’s best adjusting techniques for extremely acute conditions that cannot tolerate much movement. It is also well-tolerated by children and the elderly, and it does not generally elicit the the renowned “popping” noise of the diversified method.
Pierce-Stillwagon Technique – This technique is used mostly for the restoration of the cervical curve. It employs the use of a special inertia-drop mechanism on the table that assists in delivering the adjustment. Extremely effective for very stubborn cases of straightened and reversed curves.
Thompson Drop Technique – This method of treating utilizes the force of gravity as well as an “inertial thrust” that helps set bones. It uses a special table (present at the office) with drop-away sections to minimize the amount of energy needed to adjust the specified segment or extremity. While extremely effective for also treating larger patients, it is also less stressful in that there is no rotation employed. It is also the treatment technique of choice for extremity injuries (sprained ankles, hip problems, shoulder sprains, etc).
- Flexion Traction, position 1
- Flexion Traction, position 2
Flexion Distraction Technique – Utilizing a special table in the office this is the technique of choice for treating low back disc herniations in the office thru manual decompression. It applies divergent forces against the vertebrae while gently stretching and flexing the lower half of the body. This is quite a dynamic technique for these injuries and most respond very well.
Toggle Recoil – consists of the administration of a high-speed, low-force thrust to the upper spine. I generally use the Diversified method in Toggle’s place.
Physical Therapy – My office uses a standard compliment of PT equipment in conjunction with spinal and extremity adjusting in order to help maximize the healing and repair process. Those therapies include Electrical Muscle Stimulation(EMS), Ultrasound(U/S) and Exercise programs. In addition, there are a series of manual therapy (hands-on) techniques used in the office to help treat a whole series of muscular problems, including therapeutic massage, trigger point therapy, joint mobilization and neuro-muscular re-education.