Chiropractic Techniques

Chiropractic Techniques

Diversified Technique

Diversified Technique (DT) is the most commonly used adjustment technique by chiropractors. Like many chiropractic and osteopathic manipulative techniques, Diversified technique is characterized by a high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust. Diversified is considered the most generic chiropractic manipulative technique and is differentiated from other techniques in that its objective is to restore proper movement and alignment of spine and joint dysfunction. The Diversified technique remains the principal system taught at National University of Health Sciences, New York Chiropractic College, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Northwestern College of Chiropractic and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.
Diversified technique is the classic chiropractic technique, developed by D.D. Palmer, DC. and taught in all chiropractic colleges. It was refined and developed by the late Otto Reinert, DC, to address bio-mechanical failure in each section of the spine, as it relates to specific subluxation.

The focus is on restoration of normal bio-mechanical function, and correction of subluxation. In addition, Diversified methods have been developed to adjust extremity joints, allowing for beneficial applications in treating spinal sports, and other injuries.

Diversified adjusting of the spine uses precise lines of drives for all manual thrusts, allowing for specificity in correcting mechanical distortions of the spine. X-rays and case histories are used in analysis and diagnosis. No instruments are used in the adjusting procedure. Motion palpation and full spine, hands-on techniques are used to deliver a deeper thrust, which makes an osseous (popping) sound as the adjustment is given.

Thompson Technique

The Thompson Technique is another method of adjustment that involves analyzing the length of the legs. This technique uses a ‘drop table’ for adjustment, where a gentle thrust is applied to the joints which, in turn, sets the drop piece into motion and targets the specific joint or tissue. Varying amounts of pressure of the joints set a drop piece in motion, which in turn affects the muscles tissues and joints.

Most chiropractors perform a ‘leg length analysis’ to determine exactly where the imbalance is occurring. The “Leg Length System” is based on the work of Dr. Deerfield of Detroit, Michigan and contends that the basis of many problems in the musculoskeletal system can be traced to the length of the legs and how the body is positioned and balanced on the feet when standing up straight. The chiropractor determines whether the legs are out of balance by observing the legs in an extended position on the table. They may flex and straighten the feet to see whether one leg is longer or shorter than the other, and how this may affect the individual’s health.

The Thompson Technique was so effective when it was first used, that Dr. Thompson was granted a patent for it in 1955. The technique is now used worldwide, and is often recommended by family chiropractic clinics because it produces very precise adjustments for many spine and posture problems.

All of the adjustments performed with the Thompson Technique are manual adjustments, and the chiropractor must exert varying amounts of pressure and force to perform the adjustment process successfully.

Activator Technique

Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique involves analyzing the length of the legs, and determining whether a pelvic deficiency is present. Since each person stands and holds their hips in a different way the result can be excessive pressure on one side; over time a difference in leg length may contribute to pain in the hips and leg joints. The Activator Methods technique aims to restore the body by correcting vertebral and pelvic misalignments using an Activator mallet to push and set the joints back into the correct position.

The Activator Method Chiropractic Technique is a gentle, low-force approach to chiropractic care. The technique has been used safely on patients of all ages since the late 1960s, bringing relief to people with a variety of health concerns. Incorporating the latest advances in orthopedic, neurological and chiropractic examinations, this unique system of administering spinal adjustments using research-based analysis and the Activator Adjusting Instrument can help restore spinal balance safely and comfortably.

Because of its effectiveness and gentle nature, the Activator Method has grown to become the world’s most widely-used instrument chiropractic technique.

Restoring spinal balance safely and successfully has been the driving force behind the Activator Method Chiropractic Technique.

The technique utilizes specific protocols to detect spinal joint dysfunction, analyze leg length inequality, identify issues with body mechanics, and test neurological reflexes. By analyzing results of these examinations, an Activator doctor can initiate the process of restoring spinal balance in the patient, gently and effectively.

The Activator Adjusting Instrument has been studied extensively with results published in hundreds of peer-reviewed research papers, and was designed to give patients a specific and gentle adjustment. The Activator provides a controlled, fast thrust that is comfortable for the patient. In fact, adjustments with the Activator are so quick and measured, the body’s muscles are less likely to resist, allowing for a more precise and accurate adjustment.

Patients from all ages can enjoy the benefits of an Activator adjustment. The technique is especially helpful for children who sometimes have trouble laying still. Older patients or those with arthritis, osteoporosis or other bone-weakening conditions find the Activator Method preferable. The low-force thrust of the Activator Adjusting Instrument, and the doctor’s ability to pin point the exact location of the problem through Activator analysis, can relieve a patient’s pain without discomfort.

Cox Flexion/Distraction Chiropractic Technique

Cox Flexion/Distraction Technique offers an option for patients suffering from back, leg, neck, or arm pain who do not want to pursue surgery. It is considered a safe alternative to back surgery, and helps restore the range of motion in joints and muscles after bringing the spine into alignment. Treatment is performed on a special table that flexes and bends various muscles and joints. It is commonly used to restore herniated discs, reduce headaches, and improve posture. Dr. James M. Cox, the chiropractic developer of the Cox® Technic, describes this technique as a marriage of chiropractic principles and the basic tenets of osteopathy as set forth by Alan Stoddard, DO, in his book Osteopathic Technique.

The Cox Technique makes use of flexion-distraction and decompression to adjust and manipulate the spine, thus

  • increasing intervertebral disc height, which removes tension on the anular fibers and the spinal nerve and improves circulation
  • dropping pressure within the nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral disc
  • increasing the area of the intervertebral foramen by up to 28%
  • and essentially realigning the spine by restoring vertebral joints to their proper physiological relationships of motion

Cox Technic flexion-distraction and decompression is a well-researched, well-documented, and proven-effective technique for decompressing spinal nerves and treating low back pain. It’s a gentle, non-surgical, no-force procedure that helps the spine heal properly – and keeps it as pain free as possible.

Since introducing the Cox technique in the mid-1960s, Dr. Cox has continued to refine its protocols. He has also developed The Cox Table, the perfect instrument for efficaciously delivering Cox technique treatment.

Today, Cox technique is the “gold standard” used by thousands of physicians around the world to treat low back and leg pain, neck and arm pain, and other spinal pain conditions.

Motion Palpation

A technique developed by Henri Gillet, a Belgian chiropractor, in which the practitioner’s hands are used to feel the motion of specific segments of the spine while the patient moves. The purpose is evaluation of the dynamic movement of the extravertebral joints and vertebrae to assess dysfunction between the joints.

Motion Analysis was brought to the United States in 1981 and quickly gained acceptance as a standard diagnostic tool for the chiropractic profession. Motion palpation is now taught in chiropractic colleges throughout the world. Motion Palpation is a diagnostic technique used to locate joint dysfunction within the spinal column and extremities. This method of spinal analysis, also called Motion Analysis, is based upon the conclusion that a vertebra cannot be displaced or remains displaced if some anomaly in the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, articular capsule, etc.) does not cause and perpetuate its malposition. Therefore a study of the normal and abnormal movements of all the vertebral joints and eventually all the extra spinal joints was done to determine whatever anomalies in motion could be found in relation to subluxations. Methods of palpating, and later of measuring mobilities, were developed before and after different adjustments.

Motion Analysis/Palpation was created as a system of spinal analysis, which permits an easy examination of the spine, both in pinpointing the different subluxations and in determining their types. This system also serves in determining direction and force of adjustment. It was found that subluxations could be classed according to the degree of restriction of mobility. It was also found that correction of the fixation usually has a spontaneous correcting effect on smaller fixations. Furthermore, when the key fixation in any series is discovered and corrected, there was found to be a series of fixations which usually occurred together and disappeared together. A thorough history and examination is used to determine if a subluxation to be adjusted is the site of any pathology. Clinical diagnosis is also necessary to determine if additional diagnostic tools or a specialist consultation are needed before proceeding with adjustment.

Graston Technique®

Changing the way soft tissue injuries are treated
Graston Technique® is an innovative, patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The technique utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to specifically detect and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation.

Originally developed by athletes, Graston Technique® is an interdisciplinary treatment used by more than 11,000 clinicians worldwide-including physical and occupational therapists, hand therapists, chiropractors, and athletic trainers.

GT is utilized at some 1,000 outpatient facilities and industrial on-sites, by more than 185 professional and amateur sports organizations, and is part of the curriculum at 49 respected colleges and universities.



The Kinesio Taping® Method is a definitive rehabilitative taping technique that is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion as well as providing extended soft tissue manipulation to prolong the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting. Latex-free and wearable for days at a time, Kinesio® Tex Tape is safe for populations ranging from pediatric to geriatric, and successfully treats a variety of orthopedic, neuromuscular, neurological and other medical conditions. The Kinesio® Taping Method is a therapeutic taping technique not only offering your patient the support they are looking for, but also rehabilitating the affected condition as well. By targeting different receptors within the somatosensory system, Kinesio® Tex Tape alleviates pain and facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin. This lifting affect forms convolutions in the skin thus increasing interstitial space and allowing for a decrease in inflammation of the affected areas.

Based upon years of clinical use, Kinesio® Tex Tape is specifically applied to the patient based upon their needs after evaluation. The findings of the clinical evaluation or assessment dictate the specifics of the Kinesio® Tex Tape application and other possible treatments or modalities. With the utilization of single “I” strips or modifications in the shape of an “X”, “Y” or other specialized shapes as well as the direction and amount of stretch placed on the tape at time of application, Kinesio® Tex Tape can be applied in hundreds of ways and has the ability to re-educate the neuromuscular system, reduce pain and inflammation, enhance performance, prevent injury and promote good circulation and healing, and assist in returning the body to homeostasis.

The Kinesio Benefit
Evaluation and assessment are key in the treatment of any clinical condition. In order to get the desired results from a Kinesio Tex Tape application as well as any other treatment, a full assessment of your patient is necessary. In some cases, the treatment of a condition may require treatment of other underlying conditions as well. This assessment should include manual muscle testing, range of motion testing, gait assessment, and any other orthopedic special tests that you deem necessary. The information gained from these assessments will allow for the proper treatment protocol to be laid out. Kinesio Tex Tape can be a valuable addition to this protocol. It has been proven to have positive physiological effects on the skin, lymphatic and circulatory system, fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. It can be used in conjunction with a multitude of other treatments and modalities within your clinic and is effective during the rehabilitative and chronic phases on an injury as well as being used for preventative measures.

Education is a one of the key elements of the Kinesio Taping Method and its continued success in the world of therapeutic taping. Along with certified KT practitioners around the world, Dr. Kase is dedicated to advancing the art and science of the method through education, clinical practice and research. It is vital that a consistent standard of practice is maintained and allied health professionals wishing to learn more about the Kinesio Taping Method are encouraged to participate in seminars and courses which are offered by Certified Kinesio Taping Instructors (CKTI). After completing a certification course, practitioners join a select group of medical professionals who are able to properly use the Kinesio Taping Method within their realm of practice.


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