Joint Manipulation Techniques
There are various types of techniques for joint manipulation. Most doctors will manipulate any joint in the body ranging from the spine, feet, legs, hips, shoulders, arms, hands, etc. The individual doctor's school of thought and education typically dictate the approach he/she may take. Historically, manipulation has been what separates my profession from other forms of healthcare. This has been changing over the years, many physical therapists are now being trained in manipulation techniques while in school. Additionally, osteopaths are going back to their roots and implementing manipulation into their practice once again. Furthermore, chiropractors are trained in many additional forms of healthcare for a comprehensive approach.
The techniques are so diversified that a patient may have two entirely different experiences if treated by different doctors for the same problem. Each individual will respond more or less favorably to a technique based on health, age and body type. Most doctors will become proficient in more than one form of manipulation in order to provide options to their patients, and some techniques are more hands-on than others.
Manipulation is easily the most controversial portion of conservative healthcare. This is unfortunate because it is extremely safe and effective if administered properly. There is always an inherent risk with any form of healthcare, but chiropractic manipulation is one of the safest. Risk of bodily harm is greater from taking basic over the counter pain medication than from an adjustment. Unfortunately for my profession, any mishap will make the news. Manipulation can often provide that "miracle" cure for certain disorders, giving immediate relief. I do not manipulate any joint unless I have the patient's permission. In addition, all patient's receive a thorough examination to determine if they are a candidate. I have never had a bad experience in my office. Obviously millions of people have enjoyed the effects of an adjustment as chiropractors have remained busy for over 100 years treating entire families!
The average chiropractic patient lives a healthier life! Typically people who seek out chiropractic treatment eat better and exercise more. Most chiropractors live the life they preach and do everything they can to keep themselves and their patients off of medicine. I always consider medicine and surgery as a last resort. However, I have a number of doctors I work with regularly in the area to assist me when conservative care is not enough. Unfortunately, surgery and medicine are sometimes necessary.
Some technique terms you may find published are diversified, activator, graston, gonstead, AK, thompson drop, toggle, SOT, mobilization, pro-adjuster, and more. I primarily use a diversified, mobilization or thompson drop approach. I will occasionally use an activator tool or SOT blocks. A brief description is given below for the techniques I practice in my office.