Manipulative Therapy Methods

Osteopath performing sacral decompression osteopathy on a young woman manipulating her spine and lower back to realign and reposition the vertebrae


For many people, back and neck pain are a continuing problem throughout their lives. A chiropractic adjustment, also called chiropractic manipulative therapy (CMT) works to treat the areas of pain. SPINE-Health explains that “the objective of this chiropractic treatment is to reduce the subluxation, with the goals of increasing range of motion, reducing nerve irritability, and improving function.” Different techniques are commonly used by chiropractors. Here are four examples that may be used on your visi

1. Diversified. This is one of the more commonly used chiropractic treatments. It involves the application of manual high velocity, low amplitude thrusts on a specific joint. It can result in a “popping” sound as the spine and joints are pushed back into place.

2. Drop Assisted. During this method, a unique table is used that can drop by tiny increments as the chiropractor applies pressure in a thrusting motion to adjust the patient’s spine or other regions. The subtle table drop helps reduce experiencing any pain or discomfort during the procedure. The patient rarely needs to move because the drop table provides the controlled shift needed for adjustment.

3. Arthrostim. This treatment is performed with an electronic handheld instrument. As opposed to a single thrust being given by a chiropractor manually, this tool can deliver increments of 12 to 14 thrusts per second. The arthrostim method may help patients feel comfortable as it does not make popping and cracking sounds commonly heard in the diversified technique. It’s less invasive than conventional adjustments.

4. Activator. The activator chiropractic technique uses a spring-loaded, hand-held mechanical instrument to provide a quick, low force impulse at specific points. The impulse forces bone into its proper alignment without significantly changing muscle tissue or nerve function. The applied force is localized and does not put the joint in a compromised position or tense your muscles. According to SPINE-Health, next to the diversified technique, the Activator adjusting instrument is one of the more common therapeutic interventions used by chiropractors.


Before your chiropractor applies any of these techniques, they must first determine the nature of your problem. Talk to Dr. Taylor Davis at Davis Spine and Sport in McKinney, TX about which method would work best for you. He will align your body to help reduce pain and provide improved mobility and strength. Schedule your appointment today with Davis Spine and Sport.

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