Spinal adjustment is one of the procedures that sets chiropractic care apart from other medical fields. This is most commonly performed through manual application of controlled force. Such technique is called the high velocity low amplitude thrust. However, aside from doing this by hand, a chiropractor also uses other techniques with the assistance of instruments.
The activator method, one of the most commonly used therapeutic intervention next to the diversified technique, is a both a diagnostic and treatment system used to treat many conditions affecting the muscular, skeletal and nervous systems. These include back pain, neck pain, chronic headaches and migraine. In the United States, more than half of the full time chiropractors include the activator method in their practice. The method is is used across the globe particularly in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
What kind of instrument is used to facilitate the activator method?
With a small, hand-held instrument called the activator adjusting instrument, the chiropractor delivers a impulse force to the spine. The adjusting instrument used is fitted with a spring that allows it to release a series of quick but gentle forces at specific points along the spine. Properly doing this can improve mobility and restore motion to the targeted spinal vertebra or joint.
How does the activator method work?
The instrument can deliver force with such a high speed that prevents the muscles to respond in a tense manner or to resist the manipulation. The speed of the instrument contributes to an effective treatment. Also, the applied force is limited to the target area, and no additional torque or bending moment is experienced by the joint.
When treating musculoskeletal pain, one of the evaluation techniques involves looking at differences in leg length. An apparent difference may indicate vertebral misalignments in the spine, but this is still controversial as no clinical evidence supports this as of yet. Because of this, activator providers may or may not use the evaluation method.
What does the activator method entail?
The activator method involves several steps. The typical treatment is done while the patient is lying face down on an adjustment table. The chiropractic techniques begins at the lower back and progresses towards the neck. Each vertebral segment is targeted with the instrument individually.
While doing this, the chiropractor evaluates the patient for signs and symptoms that can help identify which joints or the extremities may be the source of complaints. Areas are assessed to find which parts are amenable to treatment.
During the adjustment with the activator instrument, the chiropractor presses the device against the tissues at or near the affected joint. The initial pressure is followed with a quick thrust from the device. This step may feel similar to having the reflex tested by tapping the knee. While the chiropractor does this, the patient remains still, without twisting or turning as often done during a traditional chiropractic adjustment.
After the procedure, the chiropractor must re-evaluate for correction of the signs and symptoms associated with the pain or the complaint.
Activator Method from a Chiropractor 37416
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