Have you ever woken up feeling an uninvited guest of discomfort in your neck or back, affecting your productivity and mood? If so, you’re not alone. Millions seek relief from such ailments daily, and a promising solution lies in chiropractic treatments. These holistic methods, like spinal adjustments and therapeutic exercises, offer more than temporary relief – they aim to improve your overall health and prevent future discomfort.
Chiropractic care treats various issues, from chronic lower back pain to stress and insomnia, by addressing the root cause of your discomfort. Adding chiropractic care to your routine opens doors to a healthier, pain-free life. Stay with us till the end of this post to learn more about these treatments that, with the help of a chiropractor, you can integrate into your lifestyle to reclaim your well-being.
Unfolding the Best Chiropractic Techniques: Insights from Scientific Literature
Decades of research and numerous scientific studies have shed light on the best chiropractic techniques available. This information, gleaned from highly cited journals, is instrumental in guiding practitioners and patients toward effective treatments.
A comprehensive review published in the Chiropractic & Manual Therapies journal provides a detailed overview of the utilization of chiropractic services. It was found that spinal adjustments are the most common method chiropractors use. It involves four out of five chiropractic treatments and is a cornerstone of chiropractic techniques.
Further, a study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic care improved sensorimotor function in elderly individuals at risk for a fall.
In addition, myofascial trigger points and myofascial pain syndrome, often associated with chronic muscular pain, are also effectively managed by chiropractic techniques. This is corroborated by a systematic review in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.
Clearly, then, it can be seen from these scientific sources that chiropractic techniques such as spinal adjustments and manual therapy have been validated by research. When integrated into a personal routine, these techniques can significantly improve well-being and quality of life.
What are the Different Types of Chiropractic Techniques?
In chiropractic care, several techniques help patients achieve optimal health and well-being. Each technique has its unique approach and benefits, addressing different issues that patients might face. This blog post will delve into 11 types of chiropractic techniques proven effective in relieving pain and promoting overall health.
1. Direct Thrust Technique
Direct thrust is also referred to as a high-velocity, low-amplitude method or mobilization with impulse. It is one of the oldest and most popular types of manual therapy used by doctors of chiropractic. Different categories of thrust techniques include high amplitude and low velocity.
The use of direct thrust adjustment means the chiropractor will engage the restrictive barrier, which consists of pulling instead of pushing against body structures. The physician will monitor the increased restraint.
Then, he or she will position the joint to engage the barrier effectively. Most joints show movement in flexion and extension, translation, side bending, and rotation. Then, the joints are tested individually to diagnose the restriction properly.
For a direct thrust adjustment to be effective, the chiropractor must ensure that each barrier plane is engaged simultaneously. This will help create a solid feeling before applying the thrust. The efficacy of this process depends mainly on the physician’s experience and the patient’s initial pain condition.
Direct Thrust is used for:
- Spinal realignment
- Relieving pain
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving range of motion
- “Cracking” or “popping” the back
2. Spinal Mobilization
Spinal mobilization is a technique of passive movement of a specific spinal section. The goal of this treatment is to obtain a therapeutic effect. Experts associate the procedure with passive, gentle movements that help to improve the range of motion.
Essentially, the aim of mobilization is almost similar to spinal manipulation, which is to reinstate proper joint function. Your chiropractor may choose this method with respect to your personal preference, the sensitivity of your nervous system, a pain condition, or obesity.
Spinal mobilization is used for:
- Decreasing pain in the spine
- Increasing range of motion
- Re-aligning spinal segments
3. Articulatory Technique
This is an adjustment a chiropractor performs for therapeutic purposes. Your physician will use high to moderate amplitude forces and low velocity to restore a dysfunctional joint by engaging its full range of motion.
To successfully achieve the full range of motion, your doctor will engage the restrictive barrier repeatedly. He or she will ease off every now and then before re-engaging the restriction. To be precise, this chiropractic adjustment introduces a specific motion into a specific joint space.
The Articulatory Technique is used for:
- Improving range of motion in joints
- Decreasing pain
4. Myofascial Release
This chiropractic adjustment refers to a group of manual procedures a chiropractor uses to alleviate the tension in the body’s fascia. A doctor of chiropractic will apply sustained pressure with his or her hands to relieve stiffness and pain. According to research, Myofascial release is a resourceful treatment in sports medicine.
The advantages of this technique are not limited to fascia and muscle, but they extend to joints, bones, tendons, cartilage, blood, skin, and ligaments, along with the soft tissues of your body.
The advantages may be both long-term and immediate. The myofascial release does not involve entering a body cavity or puncturing the skin. Therefore, it can be considered one of the safest adjustments with virtually no side effects.
Myofascial Release is used for:
- Muscle relaxation
- Improved tissue recovery and reduced soreness
- Reduction or suppression of trigger point pain and sensitivity
- Reduced adhesions along with scar tissue
- Increased joint range of motion
- Improved neuromuscular efficiency
- Regulation in the production of cytokines
- Decreased neuromuscular hypertonicity
- Promote growth and repair of muscle tissue
- Decreased effects of stress
5. Muscle Energy Technique
The Muscle Energy Technique is a chiropractic adjustment that stretches tight or weak muscles. This technique increases mobility, promotes healing, reduces muscle spasms, and alleviates soft tissue pain. It is particularly beneficial for patients with acute somatic dysfunction, such as severe muscle spasms or whiplash injuries.
This chiropractic adjustment of soft tissue incorporates directed and controlled constrictions tailored toward reducing back pain and improving musculoskeletal function. Your doctor of chiropractic can use muscle energy procedures to help stretch a muscle.
Muscle energy techniques are most effective for patients with unbearable discomfort from acute somatic dysfunction. This may include a whiplash injury due to a car accident or a person with severe muscle spasms from a long fall.
The Muscle Energy Technique is used for:
- Stretching tight or weak muscles
- Increasing mobility
- Promote healing
- Reduce muscle spasms
- Relieve soft tissue pain (as in whiplash)
6. Spinal Manipulation
The term manipulation is usually used to describe a range of manual therapy techniques, but our focus is on the rapid thrust or impulse used to correct misalignments.
Through palpation, the physician assesses each individual vertebra for movement. He or she will be trying to determine whether or not one or more spinal discs are not moving correctly in affiliation with the ones below or above.
Some chiropractors may conduct cervical spine manipulation to help relieve back pain. Your doctor may adjust your cervical spine in the supine position where you rest flat on your back while facing up. Some adjustments may also be made while sitting on a special chair.
Spinal manipulation will address the most minor details that may be causing abnormalities in your body by applying a gentle force on the affected joints. When you experience spinal misalignment symptoms, spinal manipulation is often a required treatment.
Spinal Manipulation is used for:
- Stop muscle spasms
- Relieve localized inflammation
- Re-align spinal segments
7. Functional Technique
This particular adjustment targets affected joints to free them from restriction and improve mobility. Your chiropractor will use gentle force as he moves the affected joint through its specific natural range of motion.
A doctor of chiropractic will move the joint until it meets any restrictions, then he will hold the joint on this restrive barrier until it releases. Like all forms of chiropractic adjustment, this functional technique must be conducted by a highly qualified practitioner. Like all forms of back cracking, chiropractors will use this functional technique only when required.
Functional Technique is used for:
- Restoring function to various joints
- Relieving pain
- Reducing inflammation
While some other adjustment techniques require force around the spine, flexion-distraction isn’t one of those. Instead, this method is about gently stretching the spine out and allowing the chiropractor to use a gentle (and some say relaxing) pumping method to align the spine.
Flexion-Distraction is used for:
- Sciatica relief
- Increased disc and joint motion
- Herniated disc treatment
- Pinched nerve relief.
9. Gonstead Method
The Gonstead method is a hands-on technique that nearly all chiropractors use. It is highly effective in relieving long-term back pain and aligning the spine. It’s named after its creator, Clarence Gonstead, and involves a very safe and precise set of steps the chiropractor performs to ensure the method will help their particular patient.
This method is performed while the patient sits up or is lying on their side. This method can be used at different parts of the spine to improve mobility and relieve pain.
The Gonstead Method is used for:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Hip or pelvic misalignments
- Chronic pain
10. Activator Technique
During some chiropractic adjustment techniques, the body’s muscles tend to tense up. Tense muscles can resist adjustments, prolong healing, and make the session unpleasant.
Enter the Activator device. This is a unique, spring-loaded device that’s used to perform localized low-force pulses to certain joints of the spine. The device is fast, so the body doesn’t have time to tense. Using the activator device can help the doctor of chiropractic perform effective treatments.
Since the device allows for pinpointed force, it’s ideal for keeping the rest of the spine or other joints from moving into compromised positions.
The Activator Method is used for:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
11. Thompson Technique
Finally, the Thompson or Drop-Table Technique uses a special table with platforms to perform low-force, high-velocity adjustments. The platforms drop while the chiropractor applies force to the spine, allowing for precise adjustments. This technique is used to relieve pain. It is also helpful in adjusting pregnant women.
The Thompson Method is used for:
- Chronic back pain
- Pregnancy chiropractic care and adjustments
- Pediatric chiropractic adjustments
- Correcting neck curvature
Each of these chiropractic techniques offers unique benefits, and the choice of technique often depends on the patient’s specific needs and conditions. A qualified chiropractor can guide you in choosing the most suitable technique for your health concerns.
What is a Basic Chiropractic Adjustment?
A basic chiropractic adjustment is another name for spinal manipulation and spinal manipulative therapy. As noted above, it is a technique where trained specialists (chiropractors) use their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint. The goal of this procedure is to improve spinal motion and improve your body’s physical function.
What is the ABC Chiropractic Technique?
The ABC (Advanced BioStructural Correction) technique is used to identify bones that are out of place and that the body cannot self-correct, creating mechanical stress and leading to pain or discomfort. Once identified, these bones are adjusted to help the body return to its natural alignment.
What is the Webster Technique in Chiropractic?
The Webster Technique is a specific type of chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment often used on pregnant women. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation or sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which improves neural function, balances pelvic muscles and ligaments, reduces torsion to the uterus, and potentially improves the comfort and ease of birth for pregnant women.
What is the Most Effective Type of Chiropractic Adjustment?
The “most effective” or “best” chiropractic technique largely depends on an individual’s needs and condition. Each method has its own unique benefits, effectiveness, and suitability for different situations. It’s always recommended to consult with a qualified chiropractor to determine the most appropriate technique for your needs.
What to Expect During and After Adjustment?
During a chiropractic adjustment, you may feel pressure applied to your body and hear popping or cracking sounds. While these sounds can be surprising, they are a normal part of the adjustment process.
After the adjustment, it’s common to experience minor discomfort or mild soreness. You might also feel lighter and more flexible. Drinking plenty of water and resting can help your body adjust to the changes and heal more effectively.
What are the Limits of Chiropractic Adjustment?
While chiropractic adjustments can be highly effective for a range of conditions, they are not a cure-all treatment. They may not be suitable for people with severe osteoporosis and inflammatory arthritis or those on blood-thinning medications. Adjustments should only be performed by trained professionals to ensure safety.
What Conditions Do Chiropractic Techniques Treat?
Different chiropractic techniques treat different musculoskeletal conditions. Here is a compilation of several conditions and the techniques that treat them.
Herniated Disc Chiropractic Treatment Techniques
Chiropractic care for herniated discs may involve flexion-distraction technique, a gentle, non-thrusting type of spinal manipulation, and pelvic blocking techniques, which involve using cushioned wedges placed under each side of the pelvis along with gentle exercises.
Sciatica Chiropractic Treatment Techniques
For sciatica, chiropractors often use spinal adjustments to realign the spine and reduce nerve irritability. They might also utilize ice/cold therapy to help reduce inflammation and control sciatic pain.
Degenerative Disc Disease Chiropractic Techniques
Chiropractic treatments for degenerative disc disease include spinal manipulation to restore joint mobility, manual and mechanical traction, and flexion-distraction technique, a gentle, non-thrusting type of spinal manipulation involving pumping action on the disc instead of direct force.
Cervical Radiculopathy Chiropractic Techniques
Chiropractic care for cervical radiculopathy includes cervical spinal manipulation, cervical traction, and de-compression therapy, which can help relieve pressure on the nerve root.
Muscle Strain Chiropractic Techniques
For muscle strain, chiropractors may use techniques such as manual therapy to reduce muscle tension, therapeutic exercises to strengthen weak muscles, and advice on posture and movement to prevent further muscle strains.
Piriformis Syndrome Chiropractic Techniques
For piriformis syndrome, chiropractors may use a combination of spinal adjustments to restore misaligned vertebrae to their proper position and physical therapy to help stretch and strengthen the piriformis muscle.
Conclusion: Discover a Life Unhindered by Pain at Better Health Alaska
Imagine a life where pain doesn’t dictate your daily activities. A life where you can enjoy simple pleasures without the nagging discomfort of chiropractic issues. This isn’t just a dream; it’s a reality within your grasp. At Better Health Alaska, we’re not just about alleviating symptoms. Our expert Anchorage chiropractor utilizes techniques like those discussed above to tackle the root cause of your pain.
Our mission is to guide you toward wellness, providing support at every step. With our help, you can regain control over your life and experience the joy of a life free from debilitating pain. Don’t let another day go by under the shadow of pain. Reach out to Better Health Alaska today and schedule your appointment. This call isn’t just about making an appointment; it’s about taking the first step toward reclaiming your health and well-being. Your journey to wellness starts here. Call us now at +1 907-346-5255.