Going to the chiropractor, especially for the first time, can be a little intimidating. You are trusting this professional to manipulate your body and give you relief. Knowing what to expect can make the process a little more approachable and less worry-inducing. To that end, here are four techniques your chiropractor might use.
The Activator Technique
More and more chiropractors are using this technique these days because it is very gentle. It is safe for older adults and children, too. Your chiropractor will use a tool called an activator, which they place over your spine so that the contact points are on either side of the spine. This activator will deliver a sort of thump to your spine, helping move the vertebrae back into place. You won't feel any pain during the process; just a sensation similar to if someone tapped you firmly with a pencil tip. Your chiropractor may use the activator all up and down your spine and even on your neck.
The Flexion/Distraction Technique
This technique is performed with you lying down on a table. Your chiropractor will move your body in a certain way to stretch out the space between two of your vertebrae. They may then move or manipulate your body in a sudden way, helping to adjust a certain joint. This technique is commonly used for treating slipped discs. It is a bit more aggressive and a better choice for young, active patients.
The Gonstead Technique
This technique is one your chiropractor may use to adjust your lower back and pelvis. You will lie on your side on the table and your chiropractor may move your legs in certain directions before manipulating your spine. The Gonstead technique is a very common one, and it is performed on almost every patient since it allows for general relaxation of the hips and pelvis.
The Drop-Table Technique
This type of technique is performed on a special table that has some give to it. You generally lie face-down on the table. Your chiropractor uses swift, sudden motions to adjust your back. The table gives a bit as your chiropractor adjusts you, which keeps the adjustment comfortable. This technique is often used for patients who are less mobile due to an injury. Some chiropractors prefer it to the activator technique for general spinal adjustment.
If you have any questions about these techniques or which ones your chiropractor might use, contact them and feel free to ask.