The Different Types of Chiropractic Care

When you suffer from an injury or chronic pain, you may turn to chiropractic treatment to ease your discomfort and improve your overall health. To ensure you receive the appropriate treatment for your condition, you benefit from understanding the different types of chiropractic care available to you.

Find out about common chiropractic care methods and how they benefit your health.

Types of Chiropractic Care

The Different Types of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care uses manual and mechanical methods to adjust spinal and joint alignment. Depending on the cause, location, and extent of your condition, your chiropractor may use a variety of methods. Popular chiropractic techniques include:

Diversified Technique

Also called direct thrust, this is one of the most popular chiropractic methods. To adjust the patient’s spine, the chiropractor manually applies a rapid thrust to move it into alignment. Although the diversified technique is widely used, it is not ideal for individuals with bone conditions or serious injuries.

Manual Spinal Mobilization

During spinal mobilization, also called spinal manipulation, the chiropractor uses less forceful thrusts to align your vertebrae. The technique also incorporates some stretching and movement to encourage spinal realignment. Spinal mobilization aims to gently move your spine back into ideal alignment, thereby reducing pain and stiffness.

Gonstead Technique

The Gonstead technique uses a whole-body approach. A chiropractor diagnoses the fundamental source of the patient’s discomfort and addresses it using small, targeted manual adjustments.

The technique uses extensive diagnostic and imaging methods to assess the state of the patient’s spinal column. The chiropractor then uses highly focused adjustments to specific parts of the spinal column to address inflammation, pain, and discomfort.

Activator Method

Instead of using their hands, chiropractors use a spring-loaded tool called an activator to make spinal adjustments. The activator allows the chiropractor to deliver a small, focused impulse to the affected area. Chiropractors often use the activator method to address headaches, neck discomfort, and back pain.

Thompson Drop-Table Technique

The Thompson drop-table method, or the Thompson terminal point method, uses specially designed tables to facilitate spinal alignment. The table is divided into segments that are designed to drop when the chiropractor applies pressure.

The goal is to realign the spine by allowing it to move naturally as the table drops. The technique allows for gentler adjustments, as less direct force is necessary to move the back joints into alignment.

Flexion-Distraction Technique

Flexion-distraction aligns and decompresses your spinal column using gentle motion. You lie face-down on a three-segmented table known as a Hill table. With your feet gently strapped to the bottom segment, the chiropractor gently moves the bottom segment up and down while applying gentle, focused pressure as needed.

The movement of the table segment slowly pulls your spinal vertebrae away from each other, reducing pain, stiffness, and discomfort associated with spinal compression. This method may also be used to treat nerve pain from compressed nerves in the spinal column.

Spinal Decompression Methods

Chiropractors may use mechanical or manual means to effect spinal decompression. The goal of decompression therapy is to stretch the spine by pulling the skull upward or the lumbar spine downward, depending on the location of the spinal compression.

Your chiropractor may use manual manipulation to gently stretch your neck and relieve pressure in the cervical spine, but compression in the thoracic or lumbar areas may require mechanical means. Traction therapy incorporates a combination of pulleys and springs that allow the chiropractor to slowly stretch your middle and lower spine. Since the lower body can be heavy, mechanical traction ensures safe, controlled adjustments.

Reflex Therapy

Reflex therapy addresses the connection between all parts of your body and uses that knowledge to address specific issues. The chiropractor determines where the patient’s vertebrae are out of alignment by assessing their reflexive responses. Based on the results of their diagnostic investigation, the chiropractor will apply pressure to specific pressure points in the hands, feet, spine, and other areas of the body.

Reflex therapy can improve circulation, which in turn promotes faster healing, pain reduction, and enhanced mobility.

Extremity Adjustments

Chiropractic methods can also apply to joints in the extremities, including the hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Your chiropractor may use a combination of methods to adjust the affected joints and realign your spine for optimal movement. Since the whole body is connected, realignment of a specific joint may also require spinal adjustment to keep your body balanced and ensure optimal weight distribution.

Extremity adjustments are useful for treating chronic issues that arise from repetitive motion, poor posture, musculoskeletal disorders, and neuromuscular disease. They can also help patients cope with joint pain and mobility issues after an acute injury.

Chiropractic Adjustments Vary Depending on Your Condition

Chiropractic adjustments are highly personalized. They require comprehensive diagnostics and skilled care from a licensed, trained chiropractor. Chiropractic methods often apply to specific parts of the body. The treating chiropractor must also consider the patient’s medical condition and history before beginning treatment.

A skilled chiropractor can create a dedicated treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Conditions they can treat using chiropractic methods include:

  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Bursitis
  • Herniated discs
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
  • Muscle sprains and strains
  • Spinal injuries
  • Scoliosis
  • Sciatica

Whether your pain occurred because of a car accident or is a result of a chronic condition such as arthritis, chiropractic treatment from a knowledgeable physician can speed your healing and improve your overall quality of life.

To hasten your recovery, chiropractors often incorporate physiotherapy services into your treatment plan. Such treatments may include massage therapy, electrical muscle stimulation, and strength training.

Schedule Your Chiropractic Care With Naples Community Injury Center

If you suffer from back, neck, or joint pain due to an injury, musculoskeletal disorder, or neuromuscular disease, contact Naples Community Injury Center to discuss how the different types of chiropractic care we offer can enhance your well-being.

Our team of licensed physicians can establish a personalized treatment plan with a combination of chiropractic methods and physiotherapy treatments. We aim to help you recover your health and improve your overall quality of life.