Chiropractic Adjustments for Pain Relief: Activator Method vs Diversified Technique

Chiropractic Adjustments for Pain Relief

If you are looking for a natural and easy way to increase your spinal mobility or relieve back pain, neck pain, headaches, or pain in the extremities, chiropractic adjustments are a great solution with a variety of technique options. Spinal adjustments reduce nerve blockages that cause pressure on your nervous system and restore normal alignment in the spine and other joints throughout the body which in turn reintegrates the nerve supply between the body and brain, enhancing overall wellness. The most common techniques include the Activator Method or the Diversified technique. 


What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?

Chiropractic adjustments are a drug-free approach for pain relief and mobility recovery. Your chiropractor applies an instant yet gentle force to the spinal or extremity joint for pain relief. The spine or extremity becomes properly aligned to optimize your body’s physical function by increasing range of motion and reducing spinal or extremity joint pain. With a few different methods to choose from, let us explore when you should use either the Activator Method or Diversified technique.


What is the Activator Chiropractic Method and When Would I Use It?

The Activator Method is one of the most widely researched chiropractic techniques and the only instrument adjusting technique with clinical trials to support its efficacy.  The Activator Method Chiropractic Technique uses a spring-loaded, hand-held mechanical instrument called the Activator adjusting instrument. This instrument allows chiropractors to provide a quick, low-force impulse at specific points. There are two theoretical advantages of an Activator instrument-assisted treatment:

High speed. The instrument is so quick that the body's muscles are less likely to tense in response, and resist the treatment. The lack of muscle resistance may facilitate the treatment’s effectiveness.

Controlled force. The applied force is localized and does not put the joint in any compromised positions, such as bending or twisting.

When searching for an Activator practitioner it’s important to find a doctor who is Advanced Proficiency Rated in the use of the technique.


What is the Diversified Chiropractic Technique and When Would I Use It?

The Diversified technique is a more traditional, hands-on approach to spinal manipulation that utilizes a high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) thrust into the spine or extremities. The 3 main goals of the Diversified technique are to restore proper alignment, revitalize mobility, and reestablish normal joint articulation. When manually adjusting a patient, the chiropractor will bring a joint to a point of natural resistance and then apply a short thrust past that point of resistance. At this point you may hear an audible popping called cavitation. This audible release is caused by a cavitation process whereby a sudden decrease in intracapsular pressure causes dissolved gasses in the synovial fluid to be released into the joint cavity. Small bubbles of joint air form in the synovial fluid and the intraarticular space (within-joint). When the adjustment is performed these small bubbles then rapidly collapse, producing a sharp sound.

Get in touch to set up a chiropractic care appointment in Santa Fe, NM with Dr. Brian Short, DC.

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