Traditional manipulation is the cornerstone of chiropractic care, and it can provide excellent pain relief and a greater range of motion. However, in rare cases, manipulation doesn't achieve the desired effects. In other cases, patients may not be good candidates for manipulation. Here are 3 different types of chiropractic adjustments to try when traditional manipulation isn't working for you, or it's contraindicated for your particular health conditions.
1. Adjustments With a Drop Table
Chiropractic tables are specially designed to allow a chiropractor to perform a number of different adjustments. One such adjustment that has been proven particularly effective is drop table adjustment. This type of treatment involves "dropping" a portion of the table in order to stretch certain areas of the body. For example, a patient lying on the table on their stomach can have their legs "dropped" in order to stretch their lower back well. The portion of the table with the patient's legs on it can then be moved up, down, and side to side to achieve full motion and stretching of the affected area. This type of stretching can elongate the spine and the surrounding muscles, providing a patient with pain relief and an increased range of motion without manipulation.
2. Mobilization of Joints
Stretching and mobilizing different areas of the body is a chiropractic technique called "mobilization" and is quite effective when used in conjunction with or in place of traditional manipulation. Joint mobilization can be done much more slowly and steadily than a manipulation, and is ideal for patients who have a medical condition that prevents them from having a manipulation done, or those who experience discomfort during traditional manipulation. During mobilization, the joints are stretched slowly and moved through their entire range of motion deliberately. For example, a chiropractor may stretch and mobilize the shoulder joint by slowly moving the arm forward, behind, and to the side of the patient while stretching the muscles surrounding the joint.
3. Adjustments Using Instruments
Depending on the type of equipment that a chiropractor has in the office, he or she may be able to use special instruments to provide adjustments quickly and comfortably instead of using manipulation. For example, an instrument that is called an activator can be used to quickly reposition a single vertebrae or to stretch a smaller area of muscles. This instrument is quite helpful for patients who are unable to tolerate the force needed for typical manipulation. Because the activator has a much smaller surface area, only low force is required. The muscles surrounding the affected joint are less likely to tense in response to the treatment, and may possibly make this type of adjustment more effective. Patients can expect a high degree of success with minimal discomfort when undergoing activator therapy.
If you are unable to undergo traditional manipulation, it doesn't mean that you won't be able to enjoy the health and physical benefits of going to the chiropractor. Chiropractors have dozens of different techniques other than manipulation that can be used to stretch the muscles, gently move subluxated vertebrae back into position, and give patients a greater range of motion. By utilizing the above techniques along with others that are indicated for your particular condition, you can experience the benefits of chiropractic treatment without the need for forceful manipulation.
If you're interested in discovering the pain relief and other rewards that chiropractic care without manipulation can offer, contact your chiropractor to discuss your condition and book an appointment. Your chiropractor can perform a full examination to determine what treatments you would be a good candidate for, and which are most likely to be effective for you.