Posted by: Tracy Barsamian | April 2, 2013

What is Chiropractic?

Now that my Website got a face-lift (compliments graciously accepted btw!!), I’m inspired to get even more serious about the site content!  I feel like I have done so much research on holistic healing.  And, we here at OFF KLTR have had some really amazing results with alternative therapies.  I really want to share them!  Get the word out.  And P.S. Universe:  I’d like to make a lot of money in the process – enough that my husband can stay home full-time with the kids and me.  Okay?  So today, it’s serious business!:  What is Chiropractic?

Defining Energy Kinesiology was a cake-walk compared to trying to define Chiropractic!!  Here is what the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has to say about chiropractic care:

“Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.  Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

Doctors of Chiropractic…practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.

The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as “spinal manipulation,” also called “chiropractic adjustment.”   The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile – or restricted in their movement – as a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.”

But, there are soooo many different types of chiropractors.  They differ by the chiropractic technique that they use.  And the techniques are just SO different!  At Lydian Chiropractic, for example, they don’t really do the traditional chiropractic adjustments described above by the ACA.  They call their appointments “treatments”, not “adjustments”, as you would never hear a “popping!” sound there.  So it’s very tricky, choosing a chiropractor.  So I guess that makes my sweet little Website that much more useful!

The two OFF KLTR recommended chiropractic offices are:  Lydian Chiropractic and Wellesley Chiropractic.

Lydian Chiropractic uses axial stability method (see below) which, it seems to me (a mother with a masters degree in Foreign Language Education), is a mix of SOT, applied kinesiology, and activator methods.

Wellesley Chiropractic uses SOT (see below).  In fact, Dr. Rosen is the current president of the SOT Organization.

Parker University Chiropractic School explains several of the most common chiropractic techniques:

Activator Method

This technique uses specific protocols to detect spinal subluxation, analyze leg length inequality, identify issues with body mechanics, and test neurological reflexes. The activator instrument is a hand-held tool used to deliver a gentle, fast-thrust, low-force chiropractic adjustment.

Applied Kinesiology

This is an approach to chiropractic in which several specific procedures may be combined. Diversified adjusting techniques may be used with nutritional interventions and light massage of various points referred to as neurolymphatic and neurovascular points.

Axial Stability

Axial Stability Method is a precise, gentle, non-force chiropractic technique that works by restoring the structural stability of the “axial” core of the body.  …What makes it different from other chiropractic techniques, is that it stabilizes the sacroiliac joints, which are the principal joints within the pelvis.  This is extremely significant because the pelvis is the body’s center of gravity.  When the pelvis is stabilized, the whole body has a stable, reliable reference point for all of its other functions – musculoskeletal, neurological, immune, and even endocrine and gastrointestinal.

Cox Flexion/Distraction

This technique employs mechanical and hands-on adjustments utilizing a special table on which the spine is tractioned and flexed forward. This technique is primarily used in treating cervical and lumbar disc herniations, non-disc spinal disorders, and to increase mobility of spinal joints.

Cranial Technique

This may be utilized by several chiropractic techniques where the application of the chiropractic adjustment to joints of the skull is applied. Since individual anatomy of skull joints varies, the styles of adjustment are different and no cavitation occurs.

Diversified Technique

This is the most commonly used of all chiropractic techniques and is the one most familiar to patients. The diversified adjustment entails a high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust that usually results in a cavitation of a joint (quick, shallow thrusts that cause the popping noise often associated with a chiropractic adjustment). As the name implies, the diversified technique can be used to adjust many of the joints in the body.

Extremity Adjusting

This is the application of chiropractic adjustments to joints other than those of the spine, i.e., shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand/finger, hip, knee, ankle/foot/toe. Examples of conditions treated by extremity adjustment: carpal tunnel syndrome and gait- or posture-related problems.

Gonstead Technique

This is a specific chiropractic technique named after its founder Dr. Clarence Gonstead. It utilizes adjustments by hand that usually result in joint cavitation. X-ray analysis, palpation, and temperature gradient studies are used in clinical decisions as to which segments to adjust.

Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT)

Wedge-shaped blocks are usually placed under the pelvis of the prone patient to treat problems identified in the low back. Low force, slow pressure types of adjustments may also be used to address joint problems identified in the skull. SOT may be used as an exclusive treatment or as an adjunct method of patient management.

Thompson Technique

This chiropractic method uses a special table with several segments called drop pieces. These segments are propped up a fraction of an inch so that when the thrust is delivered, the table drops slightly, assisting the thrust while minimizing the force used for the adjustment. Cavitation of the joint may or may not occur.

Toggle Recoil

This chiropractic technique is used to adjust the upper cervical spine. The theory is that a specific adjustment of this area also addresses problems throughout the entire body of the patient. Usually no cavitation occurs. X-Ray analysis, temperature gradient studies, leg length analysis, and palpation are commonly used in determining which segments to adjust.

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