8 Types of Chiropractic Adjustments and How They Work

Oct 15, 2021

The goal of chiropractic care is to keep the spine in alignment, which in turn helps the nervous system work correctly while reducing strain on the muscles and bones. The alignment can be achieved in a number of ways, tailored to meet your body’s needs. One benefit of visiting the best chiropractor in Atlanta is that they will often know how to perform multiple types of adjustments, allowing them to use the one that best fits your treatment plan. To understand what kinds of adjustments are available, read on.

1. The Diversified Technique

This type of adjustment focuses on restoring spinal alignment, repairing joint dysfunction, and promoting proper movement and mobility. This is achieved through a series of hands-on thrusting motions that are performed extremely precisely. The thrusts take one part of your spine and quickly move them to one side in a quick motion. With about 96% of all chiropractors trained in the Diversified Technique, this is widely used for a range of conditions that impact range of motion.

2. Spinal Manipulation

You may hear spinal manipulation referred to by a few names, including manual therapy and spinal mobilization. The technique is used by both chiropractors and physical therapists to relieve pressure on joints, reduce inflammation, and improve nerve function. While this is similar to the Diversified Technique, spinal manipulation uses more gentle thrusting motions and includes more stretching.

3. Thompson Drop-Table Technique

The Thompson Drop-Table Technique requires a special table that is designed for this purpose. The table is constructed using padded platforms that have been fitted with drop mechanisms, allowing the patient to be “dropped” a fraction of an inch during quick thrusts from the provider. The motion is gentle enough to be comfortable for the patient, more similar to a light vibration.

4. The Gonstead Adjustment

Used to restore normal disc alignment and maximum mobility, the Gonstead Adjustment is administered with a patient either sitting up or lying on their side. One element of this adjustment that makes it different from others is that the patient can be in these different positions. This allows a specificity of the contact point on the chiropractor’s hand to be administered, allowing for manipulation of the lower back and pelvis.

5. The Activator Method

This method uses a small handheld device known as an “Activator.” This allows for a chiropractor to administer a gentle impulse to the extremities and vertebral segments of the spine. Activators are spring-loaded and designed to adjust the tone of the nervous system, meaning they can be used to treat conditions ranging from headaches to lower back problems.

6. Flexion Distraction

The Flexion-Distraction technique is another method that uses a specialty table, this time designed to distract and flex the spine in a gentle, rhythmic motion. Common uses for this technique include treatment of symptomatic disc injuries with back pain and leg pain. Adjustments using this table are pain-free and can be considered comfortable, making them a good choice for patients who have been recently injured or experienced high sensitivity to other forms of adjustment.

7. Spinal Decompression

While it’s more of a chiropractic technique than a formal adjustment, spinal decompression is extremely effective at treating symptoms of lower back pain, especially those associated with disc problems like bulging, herniation, degeneration, and slippage. Spinal decompression uses a special table that carefully stretches the spine, promoting a healthy flow of water, oxygen, and other essential fluids into the disc and throughout the spine.

8. Extremity Manipulation

This technique is used on joints outside of the spine, such as the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, or ankle joints. The idea is that by aligning these joints, stress on the spine can be reduced. Carpal tunnel and posture-related issues are often treated using extremity manipulation.

What Type of Adjustment Should I Get?

There is no one type of adjustment that is best for everyone. Your chiropractor will work with you to determine the technique that could provide the best results for you. Factors such as your age, body type, and injury may impact what works best for your body. Some chiropractors will also specialize in one technique or be uncomfortable practicing another.

In order to make sure techniques are applied and performed properly, you’ll want to find the best chiropractor in Atlanta. AICA Atlanta offers a range of techniques and skilled chiropractors who can confidently offer them. Call us today to schedule a consultation and discuss what technique is right for you!