Chiropractic is from Greek words which mean “done by hand.” It is grounded in the principle that the body can heal itself when the skeletal system is correctly aligned and the nervous system is functioning properly. To achieve this, the doctor of chiropractic uses his or her hands as an adjusting tool to perform specific manipulations of the vertebrae.1

The simple theory of chiropractic is to remove interference caused by a misalignment of the vertebra, otherwise referred to as a “subluxation.” Spinal manipulation performed by chiropractors is safe. The popping noise that is produced when an adjustment is given is simply trapped gas that is released from the joints. The treatment usually improves range of motion and often provides immediate pain relief.

When considering chiropractic, which is one of the most popular alternative therapies currently available, one should take into account the variety of styles and methods that are used by different practitioners. Each method and/or technique is effective in its own right. You simply need to find the technique with which you are most comfortable.

The “gentle adjustment” is usually administered with a hand-held instrument in lieu of manual adjustments. The world’s most popular instrument-adjusting technique is known as the Activator Method. Developed by Dr. Arlan Fuhr, the Activator is a small handheld spring-loaded instrument which delivers a small impulse to the spine. It was found to give off no more than 0.3 joules of kinetic energy in a 3-millisecond pulse. The aim is to produce enough force to move the vertebrae but not enough to cause injury or pain.2 The Activator and the associated Activator Adjusting Instrument represent the only instrument-adjusting technique with clinical trials to support their efficacy.3 They are generally regarded as a “softer” chiropractic technique.

The initial chiropractic appointment consists of a consultation to establish one’s medical history and an examination to determine the possible cause of current symptoms. It is customary to have x-rays taken if deemed necessary. The atmosphere should be relaxed and non-invasive, and the goal is to determine what type of treatment is best for the patient considering condition and comfort level. The length of actual treatment varies from case to case. Generally, longer-term care is required for those who have had a chronic back-related condition or have other concurrent health problems.

If you are seeking an alternative form of health care to surgery or pain medication, then chiropractic may be a suitable route to consider. It has been well documented that many back pain patients greatly benefit from the care and expertise of a Doctor of Chiropractic. The key is to find the doctor and chiropractic technique that is best-suited for you.

Dr. Le Roy is a licensed doctor of chiropractic with over twenty-seven years of experience. He offers a variety of chiropractic techniques include the Activator Method and spinal decompression. Dr. Le Roy is located in La Quinta and can be reached at 760.771.4800.

References: 1) The Free Dictionary by Farlex; 2) Fuhr, Arlan W.; J. Michael Menke (February 2005). “Status of Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique, Theory, and Practice”. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 28 (2): e1–e20. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2005.01.001. PMID 15800504. 3)

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