Chiropractors use a wide variety of skills to assess and treat pain. They must be able to use their hands but also have excellent communication and reasoning skills and knowledge of anatomy and pathology.

There are several different chiropractic manipulation techniques; many chiropractors will mix them to provide more customized care. The most common technique is called diversified adjusting. It involves a rapid thrust or impulse to correct spinal misalignments.


Flexion distraction is a treatment technique used to help those suffering from herniated discs. It’s a non-weight-bearing therapy that stretches the spinal segments and muscles safely, controlled using a chiropractic table.

The Greenville chiropractor will secure your ankles to the table and gently stretch your spine by moving the table in a rhythmic up-and-down motion. The movement creates space between the spinal discs, which relieves pressure.

This is similar to spinal decompression, but the movements differ in key ways. As the chiropractor manipulates the table, a section of the Leander tables will move, changing the position of your body slightly. This allows gravity to maximize the treatment and aids in realigning the spine.

Drop Technique

The Drop Technique is one of the most common chiropractors’ spinal manipulation methods. A specialized table has segments that can be raised and dropped, allowing gravity to work in combination with the manual adjustment delivered by the chiropractor to realign the spine.

Another unique aspect of this treatment is its detailed analysis of patients’ leg lengths through X-rays. Chiropractors believe that nervous system imbalances can cause muscular issues, often making one leg appear shorter than the other. This analysis can help determine which type of adjustments are needed.

Activator Technique

A chiropractor using the Activator method will use a small device that aids spinal or extremity manipulation. This device releases a quick, low-force impulse into the problem joints. It is more gentle than other methods and appropriate for older patients or patients with osteoporosis and arthritis that weaken the bones and joints.

This technique has also been shown to relieve headaches. One study found that a 74-year-old man with chronic headaches and low back pain after two weeks of treatment with the Activator method saw significant improvement.

The Activator method is less likely to cause muscle tension than manual techniques because it works quickly. This makes it easier for the chiropractor to get the precise force needed for an adjustment.

Extremity Manipulation

A chiropractor may physically manipulate joints in your extremities (areas outside the spine) to help align them and promote healthy mobility. This can be used for neck, shoulder, and other conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or poor posture.

A handheld adjusting tool called an activator delivers a gentle impulse into the vertebral segments of your spine and extremities. This feels like a light vibration and is commonly used to treat low back pain, headaches, and other conditions.

A participant and assessor-blinded, randomized crossover clinical trial examined the impact of upper and lower extremity manipulation on postural control in both the sagittal and coronal planes. Traditional balance measures of path length, range, root mean square, and sample entropy were evaluated before and after manipulation.

Spinal Manipulation

Spinal manipulation involves your chiropractor using their hands or a device to apply controlled force to specific joints in the spine. This can help reduce chronic back pain and improve mobility and overall quality of life. It can also be used alongside other treatment methods like physical therapy, acupuncture, and medication to enhance results.

Research has shown that spinal manipulation is a safe, non-invasive treatment option for musculoskeletal problems. However, it is important to note that some patients will not respond favorably to spinal manipulation alone.

Your chiropractor may prefer a gentler approach to spinal adjustments known as spinal mobilization for these individuals. These techniques generally involve less twisting and no forceful thrust but are still effective in reducing pain and improving movement.

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