A chiropractor is a health care provider who focuses on the diagnoses and treatment of neuromuscular issues. They offer treatment by manually adjusting or manipulating the spine and other extremities. Chiropractic adjustments are a natural, drug-free approach to helping patients alleviate pain and achieve greater mobility. The nervous system works more efficiently when the spine is aligned correctly and neck and back strain is reduced. Chiropractic adjustments can effectively restore joint function, increase range of motion, and reduce pain.
Most people seek chiropractic care when they have neck and back pain or experience mobility issues. In addition to adjustments, a chiropractor might also provide patients with specific rehabilitation exercises and lifestyle changes to help with spine health. Depending on where you live, you can search for “Denver Chiropractor,” for example, to help you find the best chiropractor in your area who knows what common techniques can help you feel more comfortable when seeking chiropractic care. All chiropractors have preferences and may use specific techniques based on the patient and their condition. However, there are a few common practices. Let’s take a look at some chiropractic techniques.
1. Spinal Manipulation
The most basic treatment method for chiropractors is spinal manipulation. Chiropractors focus heavily on the spine, the relationship to your nervous system, and the symptoms and pain caused by that relationship. Chiropractors and physical therapists use this technique to relieve pressure on joints, reduce inflammation, and improve nerve function. A common occurrence during spinal manipulation is the “popping” sound made during treatment. This is a normal reaction and helps the doctor identify areas to be treated.
Spinal manipulation is a controlled force exerted manually by the doctor that involves gentle thrusts, adjustments, and stretching. Occasionally, the doctor will use their weight to put pressure on specific points. This technique can help your upper back, lower back, neck, and joints in your arms and legs. There are also more specific techniques related to spinal manipulation that rely on a special table and specific joints.
2. The Activator Method
This method of treatment uses a handheld device called an activator. With the patient lying facedown, the chiropractor will administer a pulsing force to the spine to help restore optimal motion to the joint or spine. This method offers low force but very quick pulses. Often, the pulsing is so quick that there isn’t time for the muscle to tense up in response. This technique helps the chiropractor locate and treat neck pain and back pain and help with headaches. The activator method allows the doctor to treat specific localized areas and is especially beneficial for older people and patients with severe pain.
3. Spinal Mobilization
Spinal mobilization is similar to spinal adjustments, but the thrust and adjustments tend to be a little gentler. Instead of quickly controlled thursts, this technique uses slower movements to mobilize the joint. Mobilization may be used instead of manipulation in cases where the nervous system is sensitive and more prone to muscle spasms. It is also effective if the patient is in severe pain or overweight. Spinal manipulation aims to restore and enhance joint movement and help with body realignment. Flexion-distraction utilizes a special table to distract and flex the spine in a gentle, rhythmic motion. The Thompson drop uses a table that allows the doctor to apply a force that also drops the table to add movement to target specific sections and joints.
There are several different types of chiropractic adjustments that might be used to help your doctor realign your body to relieve specific symptoms. Based on your unique needs, your treatment plan may include several adjustment options to help you on your path toward wellness.