Family Chiropractic & Massage
of Charleston Inc. 

Types of Chiropractic Techniques

Welcome to the Family Chiropractic & Massage blog! Here, we will discuss anything and everything that has to do with chiropractic care and wellness. We will share helpful information and hopefully answer any questions you have through our articles. We are a chiropractic clinic that began in 1997 and has since grown to locations in North Charleston, Summerville, and Moncks Corner, South Carolina. We are dedicated to providing tailored care and treatment with traditional and new techniques to help our patients reach their wellness goals. We treat a variety of conditions including neck pain, back pain, injuries, sciatica, scoliosis, and more. Besides chiropractic care, we also offer physiotherapeutic care, rehabilitative care, and massage therapy. Our licensed massage therapists offer all types of massage from deep tissue to compression massage and more. We are strong believers in natural healing! Check out our website to find out more information about the services and care we offer, and contact us today to schedule an appointment with our experienced doctors!

In our last post, we discussed the correlation between chiropractic care and the digestive tract. Digestion is what moves food through your body, breaking down food molecules and transforming them into energy and nutrients. When the digestion process is slowed down or interrupted, it can leave you feeling tired, sluggish, and sick. Chiropractic care has been proven to reduce inflammation in the body and is a safe, effective, and healthier way to get relief and promote natural healing. If you are interested in learning more about how chiropractic care can help digestive issues, we encourage you to check out our last post!

Today, we’ll be discussing several types of chiropractic techniques. There are many chiropractic techniques out there and each one is performed in a different way and serves a different purpose. The type of technique used depends on each patient’s needs– No two patients are alike, so treatment choices are always different! At Family Chiropractic & Massage, our doctors are trained in techniques such as the Diversified Technique, Thompson, Palmer Package, Cox Flexion Distraction, Activator, Integrator instrument techniques, and more. If you are interested in learning about these techniques and how they can help you, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!

Diversified

This technique is perhaps the most commonly used among chiropractors. It involves the manipulation and adjustment of the spine and/or arms and legs. It is a combination of the best techniques found in other methods of manipulation, thus giving it its name. It is largely attributed to Dr. D.D. Palmer in 1897, as well as the work of Joe Janse in a book published in 1947. The Diversified Technique involves a very quick thrust or push to adjust the spine and correct any joint dysfunction. This may result in a popping noise as the spine and joints are realigned. The popping or clicking noise heard is known as joint cavitation, and is a result of the release of small air pockets built up in the joints being. This technique is a manual adjustment, meaning that a chiropractor will only use his or her hands for the adjustment– No tools or devices are used. The Diversified Technique is characterized by a low amplitude and high-velocity thrust and can restore movement and function to affected joints. This technique can relieve symptoms such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches, and can help ease symptoms from conditions such as sports injuries. 

Thompson

The Thompson Technique involves adjusting the full spine with emphasis on high-velocity, low amplitude, and low force adjustment. This is also known as the drop table, or Thompson drop table, due to the table used to perform the technique. Dr. Clay Thompson created a table with drop pieces for adjusting the lumbar, dorsal, and pelvic areas in 1957. The technique usually begins with the patient lying face down on the table, and a leg-check analysis is performed. A leg-check analysis locates problems such as an inequality in leg length, and helps the chiropractor determine the site and state of subluxations. When the drop pieces are moved, the table drops slightly and allows gravity to assist with the manual adjustment. This minimizes the amount of force needed to perform the adjustment and aids in alignment. The Thompson Technique can result in improved posture, increased flexibility, and pain relief. 

Palmer Package

Originating from the Palmer College of Chiropractic, founded by Dr. D.D. Palmer, this method utilizes portions of other chiropractic techniques. It includes elements from Diversified, Thompson, Gonstead, and Toggle Recoil. The adjustments focus on regions of the spine to restore spinal alignment and repair joint dysfunction. The Gonstead technique focuses on the body’s structural foundation and intervertebral discs. Each adjustment is made by using precise methodology. It is designed to have maximum effect on the discs while also restoring normal alignment. The Gonstead technique utilizes a spinal assessment with five main criteria: visualization, instrumentation, static palpation, motion palpation, and X-ray analysis. The Toggle Recoil is a technique that is very specific and focused, similar to the Gonstead. It is popular with patients who require a more gentle approach to an adjustment. Using the hands, a chiropractor performs a very fast, yet very light thrust. The Palmer Package utilizes elements of these techniques in order to address almost every clinical problem. 

Cox Flexion Distraction

Sometimes referred to as the Cox Technic, this technique was developed by Dr. James Cox and is a gentle adjustment aimed to help the spine heal naturally. It is based on principles of chiropractic and osteopathy to provide fast relief from low back and leg pain. This technique is often performed on a table designed by Dr. Cox, which has moving parts that are separated for different sections of the spine. With the use of the table and the gentle pressure from adjustments, this technique effectively decompresses the spinal column and restores the joints to their proper alignment. This technique provides benefits such as increased circulation, reduced pressure on the discs, improved posture, and improved range of motion. Because the process is gentle and pain-free, it can be used on patients who are recovering from spinal surgery. 

Activator

The Activator technique is one of the most widely researched techniques and has been around since 1967. It uses the Activator adjusting tool, which is a spring-loaded handheld instrument that allows chiropractors to perform quick, low-force thrusts. The instrument moves quickly, so the body’s muscles are less likely to tense in response. It also uses applied force to a specific area, so the joint is not bent or twisted. This technique is used to treat the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), disc problems, inflammation of joints, back and neck pain, and more. The process is completely painless, which makes it great for children and the elderly. 

Integrator

The Integrator is a handheld tool that reproduces the thrust performed using the Toggle Recoil technique. It is the first FDA-approved adjusting instrument. The tool is precise, allowing chiropractors to pinpoint the exact area of a subluxation or part of the spine that needs adjustment. It has a choice of three tip sizes, shapes, and density characteristics that allows chiropractors to correct almost any subluxation. It provides the perfect amount of force without the cracking or popping sound often heard from manual adjustments. The gentle force is applied at 1/10,000th of a second! This instrument is great for those who may be nervous about chiropractic adjustments, including children, because it is non-invasive, gentle, and the patient is able to stay in a neutral position throughout the adjustment. 
As you can see, there are a variety of chiropractic adjustment techniques out there. A chiropractor should assess your needs and concerns and identify which technique would be best for you. We hope you found this article informative! Feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions or concerns; It would be a pleasure to assist you. At Family Chiropractic & Massage, we have doctors who have studied various chiropractic methods in order to render care to patients with different types of conditions. As people vary, so do the techniques chosen to help each patient get well. We use evidence-based treatment methods to help patients get better faster. If you are suffering from any type of back pain, contact us today to set up an appointment so we can assess your needs and create an effective treatment plan. One of our experienced doctors would love to help get you on the track to living a healthy, pain-free life! Thank you for reading, and we hope you’ll check back for more articles about chiropractic care and all it has to offer!

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