Dr. Craig Brue
During the past few years I have been using chiropractic adjusting instruments; the Activator and the Impulse, where patients feel a light tapping sensation on their spine. The Activator is a spring-loaded instrument. The Impulse is an electronic device. I am often asked, “How does that work…or how can that help?”
After being in practice for more than 40 years, I can assure you that there is no single adjusting method that helps every spinal condition. Every patient has a condition that is unique, and treatment must be dedicated to that person’s tolerance, strength and functional capacity. I have told many patients that it’s not about how hard you adjust the spine; it’s about how right you adjust the spine.
A chiropractor does not have to snap, crack, or pop your spine to help you. As a matter of fact, the more aggressive spinal adjusting techniques are not always the best or safest adjusting procedures. Aggressive manipulation may be contraindicated with severe disc degeneration, osteoporosis, and advanced osteoarthritis.
So how does a doctor of chiropractic know which technique is best? The answer is knowledge and experience. A thorough chiropractic examination will include imaging studies. X-rays will give a chiropractor a road map to assess the best method to correct spinal misalignment. My patients are told, “To see is to know and not to see is to guess.” Your spine is too important for guess work. My advice: Don’t let anyone perform a spinal adjustment on you unless they know the cause of your condition.
Chiropractic care is both a science and an art. There are some chiropractors that are very aggressive with their adjusting techniques. Aggressive spinal adjustments can actually aggravate back and neck pain. As a patient gets older, I usually find that the less aggressive adjusting techniques are typically safer and more effective.
To help you understand how an adjustment given by an instrument works, I will tell you the story about a mosquito bite. When a mosquito bites you, you really don’t know it at the time. However, your body knows that something has happened because your body will soon have a healing response to that little bite…an itchy bump. Similarly, your body will have a healing response to a very light spinal adjustment because the adjustment happens so quickly. Just like the mosquito bite, the healing response from an instrument adjustment happens after the procedure is performed.
My advice: Find a chiropractor that has significant training in many adjusting procedures, including instrument adjustments. It is very unlikely that you will ever experience pain or discomfort after a light, non-force instrument adjustment. If you would like more information about painless spinal adjustments, please go to these websites; goimpulse.com and activator.com.
If you have any questions about spinal adjusting instruments, you are welcome to call our office for information. I will personally return your call.
Dr. Craig Brue is an author, lecturer and chiropractic provider in SaddleBrooke, AZ.