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Exploring the Different Types of Chiropractic Adjustments & Their Benefits

Today, chiropractors treat over 27 million Americans every year - which translates into about one million chiropractic adjustments every business day. Chiropractic care continues to grow in popularity as a safe holistic alternative for pain relief, with more people coming into chiropractic practices for a variety of ailments. As more scientific studies are being conducted to prove the benefits of chiropractic adjustments, the more this treatment will cement itself as an accepted holistic practice. 

What is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic treatment is a system of holistic therapy focused on the structure of the body, specifically the spine. By manipulating the spine’s alignment, a chiropractic adjustment is intended to relieve pain, improve bodily functions, and encourage the body to heal itself. 

The goal of chiropractic adjustments is to correct spine misalignments, which are also called subluxations. Chiropractic care believes that these misalignments result in improperly transmitted nerve signals between the spine and body - resulting in negative effects on your health. 

What Are The Different Types of Chiropractic Treatments?

All types of chiropractic treatments focus on aligning the spine. There are a wide variety of different types of chiropractic treatments available to suit different needs. 

types of Chiropractic adjustment
Diversified Technique

One of the most widely used chiropractic methods, the diversified technique is used for three main purposes: restore spine alignment, repair joint dysfunction, and ensure proper mobility and movement. With precise manual thrusts, chiropractors use this method to restore spinal alignment that may be compromised by misaligned bones or joints. 

Spinal Manipulation 

Also known as spinal mobilization or manual therapy, this technique aims at reducing inflammation, enhancing nerve function, and relieving pressure on joints. Spinal manipulation is similar to the diversified technique in that it is a manual procedure, although it involves more stretching and gentle thrusts. 

Thompson Drop-Table Technique

This type of chiropractic treatment requires a specially designed table constructed with padded platforms and drop mechanisms. While the drop mechanisms allow the patient to be “dropped” during the chiropractic adjustment, the padded platforms keep the patient comfortable during the procedure. The drop motion is gentle and designed to resemble a light vibration when the chiropractor applies thrusts.  

Gonstead Adjustment

This method is used to restore normal disc alignment for maximum mobility. This chiropractic adjustment can be administered with the patient either laying on their side or sitting up. Unlike other types of chiropractic treatments, the Gonstead Method addresses all of the possible directions in which a spinal bone can misalign and cause nerve irritation. 

Flexion-Distraction

The flexion-distraction method uses a special table that moves as the chiropractor manipulates the patient’s spine. The movements of the table are designed to emphasize the spinal manipulations and help stress and decompress the spine. This position helps realign the spine and relieve multiple sources of pain.

Activator Method

The activator method uses a hand-held, spring-loaded instrument known as the Activator adjusting instrument. This method offers two main advantages: high speed and controlled force. As opposed to other techniques, the activator method enables chiropractors to use low-impact and quick thrusts at specific points. 

Do Chiropractic Adjustments Work?

Chiropractic adjustments can be effective in treating lower back pain as well as other ailments. A 2018 study is among some of the more recent studies reflecting the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments. Researchers enrolled 750 active-duty military personnel who complained of back pain; while half were given chiropractic treatment, the others were given conventional care, such as medications. 

By the end of the six-week study, the military personnel who received chiropractic adjustments

  • Reported less pain 
  • Experienced more mobility 
  • Reported higher satisfaction with their care treatment
  • Required fewer pain medications

According to the MayoClinic, other studies also suggest that chiropractic adjustments may also prove to be an effective treatment for headaches and other spine-related conditions, such as neck pain. As more studies are conducted to prove the benefits of this holistic therapy, it’s no doubt that chiropractic care will continue to expand and become even more popular for those seeking a safe alternative for pain relief.  

What Are the Benefits of Chiropractic Care?

There are numerous advantages to chiropractic care for people looking to alleviate pain and other symptoms. Some of the most common benefits include: 

Chiropractic adjustments can help back and neck pain.

Alleviates Pains

Of the millions of people who seek chiropractic care, about 35% are seeking relief from back pain alone. Regardless of the cause, such as accidents and sports injuries, back pain can be alleviated from spinal manipulation. Chiropractic adjustments can also help improve neck, arm, and leg pain, as well as headaches and muscle strains. 

Enhances Athletic Performance 

Chiropractic adjustment can reduce inflammation in the body, helping to improve mobility and limb function. This is especially important for athletes, who must reduce tension and pain in their bodies for top performance. By making athletes more mobile, chiropractic care can help prevent sports injuries. In fact, many sports teams and athletic programs hire chiropractors to ensure the health and safety of athletes. 

Improves Symptoms of Neurological Conditions

Chiropractic care may provide relief for some neurological condition symptoms. Since chiropractic treatments help increase blood flow to the brain, it may also increase the flow of cerebral spinal fluid - therefore benefiting people who suffer from neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Currently, chiropractic applications for neurological conditions are still being researched but chiropractic neurology is expanding. 

Provides a Safe Opioid-Alternative 

The increasing popularity of chiropractic treatments is partly due to their ability to alleviate pain without side -effects. As the opioid crisis grows, more people are choosing holistic therapies over conventional treatments for pain with opioid pain medications, which can lead to addiction. Chiropractic is a safe, non-addictive treatment for people looking for opioid alternatives

Common Ailments Chiropractors Can Treat

Chiropractic adjustments are known to treat a variety of different ailments, but here are some of the most common ones. 

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is one of the most popular reasons people turn to chiropractic adjustments for relief. Also known as a bulged, slipped, or ruptured disc, this condition of the spinal bones can irritate nerves and result in numbness, pain, and weakness in the leg or arm. Chiropractic care, such as spinal manipulation, manual therapy, and therapeutic exercises can alleviate this condition.  

Headaches

Chiropractors commonly see patients come in complaining of migraine headaches. Studies have shown that spinal manipulation may be an effective option for treating tension headaches and headaches that have their origin in the neck. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

A chronic inflammatory disease, rheumatoid arthritis causes joint pain throughout the body. Inflammation can cause swelling, stiffness, and pain that can eventually lead to loss of joint function. Chiropractic care can help ease the tight muscles along the spine and treat the inflammation throughout the body from this condition. Since chiropractors try to improve the relationship between the nervous system and spine by realigning vertebrae, Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms may be improved. 

Sciatica

This condition refers to pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, which can range from your lower back through your hips and down each leg. Sciatica typically occurs on only one side of the body. Chiropractic care treats the true cause of sciatica, which is nerve compression caused by vertebral subluxations. By making spinal adjustments, the nerve is decompressed and the sciatica pain is alleviated. 

Whiplash

Often the result of a car accident, whiplash is neck pain that can also cause stiffness and mobility issues. With chiropractic adjustments and stretching, many people have found their whiplash swelling and pain reduced. 

Tinnitus 

Ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus, can surprisingly be affected by chiropractic adjustments. Tinnitus is a result of injuries in the upper spinal area. Chiropractors will address the original cervical injury, which is generally a subluxation that can be easily manipulated by adjustments. By alleviating the nerve pressure, tinnitus can be cured by spinal manipulation. 

Focus on Providing Better Chiropractic Care While We Focus on Insurance Billing!

With further advancements in chiropractic care, the more this holistic therapy is expected to expand. However, your holistic practice will only expand by ensuring your chiropractic billing is as accurate as possible to prevent any chance of claim denials and delays. That’s where outsourcing your chiropractic insurance billing can help!

As an experienced billing provider for holistic practices, Holistic Billing Services can handle all your insurance billing details to minimize errors while you can focus on delivering the best care to your patients.  Want to learn more? Talk to one of our billing and coding experts today.

April 23, 2021
 - by Antonio Arias, MBA, CHBME
Chiropractor using one of the types of chiropractic adjustment to help a patient
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