Whether you’ve visited a chiropractor before or you’re thinking about scheduling your first chiropractic appointment, chances are you’re familiar with manual chiropractic adjustments. And while manual adjustments are the most ubiquitous chiropractic treatment technique, they’re certainly not the only tool in a chiropractor’s treatment arsenal.
Most chiropractors specialize in a variety of treatment techniques designed to complement manual adjustments or provide an alternative to them. Because each patient is unique and their physical condition is too, a one-size-fits-all treatment approach is never suitable.
At Bomberg Chiropractic in Plymouth, Minnesota, we specialize in several treatment techniques in addition to chiropractic adjustments. In this blog, we’re walking you through a few of those techniques and how they work to help minimize discomfort and help your body thrive.
1. Manual Manipulation of the Spine and Extremities
If you’re not familiar with manual chiropractic adjustments, one of the first things you should know is that this treatment technique can be applied to areas outside of the spine.
Your chiropractor will undoubtedly focus on improving the alignment of your spinal vertebrae to maximize physical functioning, especially if you suffer from any degree of back or neck pain. But vertebrae aren’t the only joints that can move out of their normal alignment.
Depending on the results of your initial evaluation and your ongoing physical condition, other joints that your chiropractor may also manipulate include:
By aligning the joints in your extremities, your chiropractor helps reduce stress on your spinal vertebrae and surrounding tissues. Ultimately, both manual extremity manipulation and spinal manipulation promote greater mobility, improved nerve functionality, and a healthier, more efficient internal system overall.
2. Activator Technique
Aside from manual chiropractic adjustments, activator technique is one of the most common therapeutic tools that chiropractors employ. This technique involves a small, handheld instrument called an activator. The activator delivers a highly controlled, low-force yet high-speed impact at specific treatment points.
Due to the speed and gentle nature of the impulse delivered by an activator, muscles are less likely to tense in response to the adjustment. Minimizing muscle reactivity and resistance can help improve the efficacy of the treatment.
Furthermore, because this type of adjustment is highly localized it doesn’t put joints in potentially compromising positions like twisting or bending. Many patients who require gentler adjustments — such as pregnant women and those with arthritis or osteoporosis — can benefit from activator treatments.
3. Movement-Based Massage
Also referred to as Active Release Technique (ART), movement-based massage is designed to improve mobility and address soft tissue tension and pain. The treatment functions to release ligaments, tendons, muscles, and fascia that have stopped functioning properly due to injuries, overuse, and scar tissue.
During this form of manual therapy, your chiropractor applies precise pressure to areas suffering from excessive tension or painful adhesions. This pressure is combined with specific patient movements that shorten and elongate the tissues in the treatment site. Together, the pressure and specific movements facilitate soft tissue release.
Depending on your needs, ART can be highly effective in the treatment of:
● Strains and sprains
● Tennis or golf elbow
● Carpal tunnel
● Neck and back pain (including sciatica)
● Shoulder pain
● Foot pain
● Joint pain
4. TENS Therapy
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS therapy, is widely used in both chiropractic care and physical therapy to help alleviate pain associated with a number of conditions. The treatment uses a small electronic device that features one or more attached electrodes that emit low-voltage electrical impulses.
During treatment, your chiropractor places the electrodes at specific points on the surface of your skin, either at trigger points or near the nerves in the treatment area. As the device emits electrical impulses, those impulses stimulate the nerves to block the transmission of pain signals to the brain. TENS may also alter your perception of pain by increasing the production of endorphins, your body’s natural pain relievers.
If you suffer from any of the following conditions, TENS can be an excellent complementary therapy to help alleviate your pain:
● Low back pain
● Chronic muscle pain
5. Graston Technique
Graston Technique is an instrument-assisted, soft-tissue mobilization therapy designed to break apart fascia restrictions and scar tissue that compromise normal functioning. The treatment uses specialized metal tools and manual techniques to induce a degree of microtrauma to the tissue in the treatment area.
That microtrauma triggers temporary inflammation that stimulates your immune system’s natural healing response. An influx of blood flow to the treatment area initiates the healing and release of the restricted tissues over time.
Ultimately, regular Graston Therapy can dramatically improve mobility, range of motion, and overall functionality of tissues suffering from past injuries, scar tissue, or overuse. If you’re suffering from any of the following conditions, your chiropractor may recommend giving this therapy a try:
● Plantar fasciitis
● Achilles tendinosis
● Strains or sprains causing low back pain
● Neck pain caused by a cervical strain or sprain
● Rotator cuff issues
● Tennis or golfer’s elbow
● Shin splints
It’s important to note, though, that treatment with this technique can be quite uncomfortable. While it’s highly effective, it may not be the best choice for your needs if you’re looking for gentle therapy. There are also a few contraindications to treatment, which your chiropractor will discuss with you during your initial consultation.
HydroMassage isn’t necessarily a chiropractic technique but rather an instrument-assisted therapy that chiropractors often use to help relax tense muscles and soft tissues throughout the body.
As its name suggests, this type of therapy uses water to perform the massage, which is distributed through pressurized jets. Traditionally, the therapy required patients to wear a bathing suit and sit or lie down in a tub of warm water where they’d receive a targeted massage focused on their unique pain points and soft tissue issues.
Today, however, many chiropractic offices use a dry hydromassage table, which delivers a similar massage as the traditional therapy but doesn’t require the patient to get wet.
Instead, patients lie fully clothed on a water-filled mattress featuring interior jets that distribute warm water in controlled, pressurized streams. A thermostat control allows patients to adjust the water temperature to their liking, so they can enjoy a relaxing massage either before or after their treatment session (depending on how the office structures its care protocols).
7. Thompson Drop Technique
This technique is an adjusting technique that uses something called a drop table coupled with manual force from the chiropractor to provide high-velocity, low-amplitude full-spine adjustments.
When the doctor uses a drop table, they can use less manual force to apply the adjustment, which not only makes the treatment easier on their body but also on the patient’s musculoskeletal system.
8. Webster Technique
This gentle, prenatal chiropractic treatment technique is designed to help reduce stress on a pregnant woman’s body while keeping her pelvis properly balanced.
To perform this technique, a chiropractor first assesses the alignment of the sacrum within the pelvis to determine where imbalances have occurred. Then, using gentle manual manipulation, the doctor carefully guides the sacrum into proper alignment, which helps alleviate pressure and tension on the low back and hips.
With routine treatments, this technique can help women stay more comfortable throughout their pregnancy and can also make the birthing process easier and more efficient. A 2020 study conducted on the Webster Technique even showed an 82% success rate for resolving breech presentation in the eighth month of pregnancy.
Schedule Chiropractic Care in Plymouth, MN Today
Whether you’re looking to get out of pain, improve your mobility, or simply maintain a high-functioning, healthy body, our team at Bomberg Chiropractic in Plymouth is here to help! We specialize in highly individualized chiropractic treatment plans for back pain, neck pain, headaches, extremity pain and dysfunction, and much more. Whether you’re new to chiropractic treatment or have seen other providers in the past, we’d love to welcome you into our care!
To learn more about our services or schedule a visit, feel free to give us a call today at 763-450-1755 or request an appointment online. You can also message us with any questions or concerns, and we’ll be in touch!