Chiropractic care is a therapy system that is focused on the body structure, particularly the spine. Chiropractic care is only practiced by certified chiropractors; they manipulate the body´s alignment to improve the body function, expedite the body´s healing process, and to relieve pain. Chiropractic care is used in conjunction with massage therapy to provide a host of medical benefits.
Now, there are many different techniques and approaches related to chiropractic care. However, there are a couple of terms that often manage to divide opinions. Those terms, manipulation and adjustment, are often used interchangeably, therefore, leading to confusion. Fortunately, we are here to clear the air and set things straight.
Let´s first discuss chiropractic manipulation techniques. In the simplest of terms, manipulation basically refers to a force that is applied over numerous spinal segments with a sole purpose of mobilizing the area. Manipulation techniques don´t isolate or focus on a specific vertebra or joint; it is more of a “one-size-fits-all” motion approach. The main objective of the manipulation technique is to provide and facilitate global movement. Manipulation does lead to relief. Regrettably, the relief is generally short-lived as care is not given to specific problem areas.
With manipulation, a contact is made over several segments simultaneously and whatever “cracks” does so without a specific goal in mind other than global movement. Every patient is manipulated on their left side and right side. Their necks are cracked from the left and then the right too.
Unlike manipulation´s blanket approach, adjustments are more specific in nature; they target specific problem areas. Under this procedure, the trained chiropractor first diagnoses the condition of the patient and examines him/her thoroughly. Then, based on the detailed assessment, the chiropractor formulates a treatment care factored around adjustments of a specific vertebrate that produce individual results, not blanket results.
Therefore, if you want to treat a specific problem whether it be back pain, migraine, sciatic pain, or chronic pain condition etc., you will need relief that fits your individual need. You will not benefit from getting a treatment that everyone else gets.
There are many types of common chiropractic adjustment techniques and some of them include:
Diversified technique: Instead of using instruments, chiropractors use their hands to perform spinal adjustments.
Drop table: The patient is asked to lie down on a special table that boasts of sections that lift about 2 inches and drop down when the adjustment is made. The chiropractor usually applies a quick thrust at the same time the section drops.
Flexion/Distraction: This technique is usually used to treat symptomatic disc injuries involving back pain and leg pain. A special table is used to perform this technique. The table does an exceptional job of gently distracting or stretching the spine, allowing the chiropractor to segregate the area of disc involvement while gently flexing the spine in a uniform rhythm.