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Techniques Chiropractors use in Adjustments

The techniques Chiropractors use with patients suffering chronic pain, limited joint function and restricted mobility are many. In fact, there are 7 techniques Chiropractors use in adjustments that are effective in reducing pain, restoring joint function, and increasing the range of mobility.  These techniques include: Spinal Mobilization, Spinal Decompression, The Activator Method, Thompson Drop-Table Technique, Flexion Distraction, The Diversified Technique and The Gonstead Adjustment.


  1. Spinal Mobilization (or Manual Therapy)

Spinal mobilization, otherwise referred to as spinal manipulation or manual therapy, is a chiropractic and physical therapy technique that uses stretching and gentle passive movements to joints, applied at varying rates and amplitudes, with both high velocity/small amplitude therapeutic movement.

  1. Spinal Decompression

Spinal decompression is often a preferred chiropractic adjustment for  the treatment of lower back pain caused by herniated, degenerated, bulging, or slipped discs. The spinal decompression method Spinal decompression applies careful stretching of the spine on a specialized table to implement a normal flow of oxygen, water, and other essential nutrients into the discs and spine.

  1. The Activator Method

An Activator is a small, handheld device that chiropractors often use to treat an array of pain from head and neck aches to lower back. The Activator instrument operates to adjust the tone of the nervous system by sending gentile impulses to the extremities of vertebral segments of the spine.


chiropractor showing spine to retired man.
Chiropractor showing spinal cord bones to aged man for orthopedic diagnosis and physical recovery. Chiropractic assistant with human skeleton explaining spine injury to retired patient
  1. Thompson Drop-Table Technique

Using a comfortable table made of padded platforms and drop mechanisms, The Thompson Drop-Table technique allows for a gentle “drop” of the patient merely a fraction of an inch while the practitioner can apply a quick push to make the adjustment. This dropping motion is not uncomfortable for patients, and resembles a light vibration feel.

  1. Flexion Distraction

Similar to the above technique, The Flexion Distraction adjustment also utilizes a special table to shift and flex the spine in a soft, rhythmic motion. The Flexion Distraction is a painless, comfortable technique that provides benefits to patients with symptomatic disc injuries alleviating leg and back pain, making it an ideal option for those with recent injuries or extra sensitivity.

  1. The Diversified Technique

The Diversified Technique is one of the most popular holistic approaches to repairing joint disfunction, restoring spinal alignment and ensuring a deeper range of motion and mobility.  Chiropractors use precise, hands-on motions to align the spine and restore misaligned joints. Over 95% of chiropractors use the Diversified Technique on nearly 70% of patients

  1. The Gonstead Adjustment

The Gonstead Adjustment is a simple hand technique used by chiropractors to restore mobility and normal disc alignment in the patient. The chiropractor can easily and quickly manipulate the lower back or pelvis while having the patient naturally sit upright or lay on their side.


Chiropractic adjustments are unique to each patient. There are many different methods of holistic, natural chiropractic adjustments that Dr. Aaron Davison can advise on and implement for pain management. If you would like more information on the best chiropractic adjustment for you, call our team at 503-941-5351 or contact Tualatin Optimal Wellness. 

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