Spinal Manipulation Techniques
Until recently, in modern medicine, the idea of repairing problems with the spine was either to let it get better on its own or to accelerate recovery by building up the muscles of the body around the injured soft tissues to protect it. So the treatments under this philosophy include options such as anti-inflammatory medications, icing, ultrasound therapy, and physical therapy. If none of these techniques work, than more invasive treatments such as back surgery may be considered. Back specialists such as osteopaths (D.O.) and chiropractors (DC) have another idea about treating problems of the spine. When your car is out of alignment, it may affect all four tires of the car, leading them to quickly wear out and eventually blow out on you. Hopefully this does not happen to you when you're flying down a crowded highway. When the suspension of your car is then fixed, it will be balanced so that all tired and all of its parts will last as long as possible.
The same goes with the human body. When it is not balanced, it may lead to the accelerated wearing out of the spinal joints such as the facet joints and intervertebral discs. Chiropractors are trained to use their hands to find these sources of misalignments, which they call vertebral subluxations, and to correct them. These subluxations may be corrected by giving the patient exercises to do at home, stretching in the office, and through various spinal manipulation techniques.
Spinal manipulation techniques involve the manipulation of the human body, through the use of machines pr the hands of the clinical practitioner, to resolve joint dysfunction that was causing the patient's pain.
There are over 100 different types of adjustment techniques. The techniques that the chiropractor uses may depend on his/her educational skill set, the type of equipment that is available, as well as clinical experience in learning what has worked and what hasn't in the past. These techniques are designed to increase the mobility of the joints and to eliminate inflammation associated with joint hyper-mobility or hypo-mobility.
Some spinal manipulation techniques are more gentle (spinal mobilization) while others involve short, forceful thrusts (spinal manipulation).
Spinal Manipulation: Spinal manipulation involves the use of force. This means that these movements are done with quick, powerful thrusts. These are the manipulations of the chiropractor that involve audible "cracks" or "pops". Though these manipulations may be frightening to see on a loved one or to experience yourself, they are usually quite painless and the sound you hear come from the release of gasses (oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen) as the joint dislocation is corrected.
The original chiropractic adjustment technique is known as the high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust. The HVLA is also known as spinal manipulation or the diversified technique. The diversified technique is known as high velocity because of the rapid forceful thrust that is applied to the movement. The technique is known as low amplitude because the movement is very short, as the part of the spine is moved a very short distance during the rapid movement. Other types of spinal manipulation techniques involve slight variations and modifications that have been developed by different doctors of chiropractic. These variant techniques are usually named after the chiropractor who created them.
Spinal Mobilization: The spinal manipulation techniques often involve extreme twisting of the person's body followed by forceful movements where the chiropractor used the weight of his or her body to push you in a determined direction. Movements are aggressive and forceful, which may not work with people who are brittle with age and medical conditions such as osteoporosis. These patients may need a more gentle approach to manipulate their delicate joints and bones. The movements used in spinal mobilization are known as Low-Force or Gentle Chiropractic Techniques.