Chiropractic Adjustments for Pain Relief: Activator Method vs Diversified Technique

chiropractic activator vs manual | chiropractor santa fe

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 Methods Chiropractic Technique?

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 Methods 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. The Activator website maintains a worldwide directory of qualified chiropractors with a current proficiency rating in the Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique. Follow this link to find a certified Advanced Proficiency Rated Activator chiropractor near you.

What is the Diversified Chiropractic Technique?

The Diversified technique is a manual adjusting approach to spinal manipulation that utilizes a high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) thrust into the spine or extremities. The three 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 which can cause an audible popping sound called cavitation. Cavitation occurs when an applied pressure or force separates the surfaces of a synovial joint which creates a reduction in joint pressure. When the synovial joint has a reduced pressure within the joint cavity, the synovial fluid within the joint releases oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide gasses, producing a sharp popping sound. 

While some patients worry about popping sounds, others feel they indicate if their spinal adjustments are done correctly. In actuality,
popping is irrelevant to short or long-term therapeutic outcomes. In other words, the presence of popping sounds, as well as the lack of
them, are not indicative of whether your adjustments are effective. This can only be determined by the specific adjustment techniques used by your chiropractor. Sometimes, proper techniques will generate popping, and sometimes they won’t. So, should you worry about popping sounds during spinal adjustments? The answer is no. Instead, focus on finding an experienced chiropractor with the skills to treat your specific health problem.

More Blog Posts

Voted One of America's Top Chiropractors by Consumers' Research Council of America