Chiropractic techniques

Chiropractic techniquesChiropractors use a variety of techniques designed to do one of two things:

  1. Identify areas of the spine that are subluxated; or
  2. Remove spinal subluxations.

What are subluxations?

These are areas of the spine where two or more vertebral bones (vertebrae) are no longer functioning as they should. This malfunction causes nerve interference. The end result of this nerve interference depends on the type of nerve, ie. if it’s a sensory nerve, then the brain will perceive a sensation which is not real or which is different to reality (e.g.: numbness, pins & needles, or pain). Alternatively if a motor nerve is affected, it may cause a loss of muscle power or, muscle spasm (which can cause pain or alter blood flow).

Techniques vary in their intensity. In my rooms, I use six chiropractic techniques which allow me the flexibility to treat gently, such as when treating  older patients, or more firmly, such as when treating sportsmen and women.

The techniques used at First Chiropractic include:

  • Diversified Technique – Uses static and motion palpation, to identify areas of subluxation. Then by using his/her hands the chiropractor delivers specific high velocity, low amplitude thrusts to move spinal vertebrae and in that way remove subluxations.
  • Gonstead – Using x-rays to determine areas of subluxation, and to determine the best method of correction of the subluxation, this technique uses a specific directional thrust to make the correction/s.
  • SOT (Sacro Occipital Technique) – Using a variety of observations and tests the chiropractor categorises his patients. Once categorised the patient is mobilised, adjusted and is then placed on small padded wooden blocks (while lying on either their stomach or their back), allowing the force of gravity to assist in removing spinal subluxations.
  • Flexion-Distraction – Using a dedicated flexion-distraction bed, a patient’s spine is moved through specific ranges thereby mobilising their spine. Sometimes spinal traction is applied at the same time as the mobilisation. This bed is particularly helpful for arthritic patients.
  • Activator – Uses a number of specific body position checks to determine the site of subluxation. Then using a small spring-loaded instrument to deliver a very fast but very light thrust on a specific vertebrae thereby removing subluxations. This technique is particularly helpful when treating fearful patients and older patients who require low force.
  • Impulse IQ adjusting instrument – The Impulse IQ Adjusting instrument has a high-tech sensor that precisely measures how the spine is moving during the treatment and this feedback is given to the computer processor located within the instrument in real time. The instrument senses the changes in the movement of the spine and automatically speeds up until optimum movement has been reached. There is no cracking or popping of the joints with this technique and the gentle pulses generated by the instrument make it a very comfortable treatment.
  • Drop – Using a specifically designed chiropractic bed, a patient’s spine can be adjusted with very fast and light force with the aid of drop away sections in the bed. These sections drop ½ an inch under the chiropractors predetermined pressure. This is a great technique for patients experiencing a lot of pain as the movement is very quick and does not require a lot of pressure.

Other techniques employed at First Chiropractic

Other techniques I employ include:

  • Trigger Point Therapy – Uses history and muscle palpation to determine the presence and location of trigger points (small areas of muscle spasm). Once located, these areas/trigger points are treated by way of “dry needling”, compression, stretch and heat.
  • Massage – The massage of muscle and connective tissue which enhances the function of those tissues and promotes relaxation and well-being. Therapeutic massage can ease tension and reduce pain. Highly effective for reducing the symptoms of backache, neck/shoulder pain and other disorders of the muscles and/or nervous system.
  • Traction – Stretching of the spine muscles and ligaments to achieve therapeutic outcome, e.g.: relaxation, altered blood flow and lengthening of soft tissues.
  • APS – The use of electric stimulation of specific body parts, to minimise pain, swelling, inflammation and muscle spasm.
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