Chiropractors have a lot of options available to them when they adjust a patient’s spine. Some of the chiropractic techniques that are well-known include spinal manipulation (SMT), diversified technique (DT), Activator technique (AMCT), and the Gonstead Method. There are many other ways to provide chiropractic therapy as well. Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT™) is a “chiropractic Craniopathy that integrates art, science and philosophy of optimizing the human innate healing systems.” This can include soft tissue techniques, biomechanics, and nutrition.1 M.B. De Jarnette, D.C pioneered the Cranial Technique in 1968.2 John Upledger is credited with developing CranioSacral Therapy. According to Thomas Bianco, MSPT, “CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle approach that works to alleviate a range of sensory, motor or neurological disorders.” People have an internal, self-healing system, according to this philosophy. CST could enhance that healing system. A practitioner uses only about a nickel’s worth of pressure to evaluate the patient’s craniosacral system, which are the “membranes and fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord as well as the attached bones”; from the skull to the tailbone. Guided by the patient’s body, and using gentle techniques, the practitioner’s goal is to release “restrictions” in the body. Cranial work can be used for a variety of ailments, including “brain and spinal cord injuries, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue…chronic neck and back pain, scoliosis…stress and tension-related problems, and orthopedic problems”. Patients report feeling healthier and more energetic.3 Organs can cause subluxations (vertebrae misalignment) and subluxations can impact the organs. One of SOT™ Methods is a technique called Chiropractic Manipulative Reflex Technique (CMRT), which addresses the connection between the organs and bones.4
Dr. James M. Cox, DC, DACBR created the Cox Technique in the 1960s. The “Cox Technic” is usually called “flexion-distraction”.5 Patients lie on a Cox Table, which is a specialized chiropractic instrument. This allows the chiropractor to perform “decompression adjustment and manipulation”, as well as flexion-distraction. Patients can experience less “intradiscal pressure”, “widening the spinal canal foraminal area”, less pressure on spinal nerves, and increased motion to the joints. “Flexion distraction for low back pain conditions takes just 12 visits in 29 days average” with about 13 visits for neck pain and “the goal of flexion distraction care is at least 50% relief of pain in 30 days”.6 It works as follows: the patient lies on a table (face down), the chiropractor worked on one vertebral segment at a time, and “distraction manipulation is applied” to the areas in pain.7 In other words, while the spine is stretched on the table, the chiropractor “can gently move the disc away from an affected nerve”.8 Flexion distraction tables also benefit the chiropractors who have to work every day with their hands. The table “uses gravity to assist in controlling adjustments”. With gravity taking the brunt of the load during one type of adjustment, chiropractors will be able to continue working for longer and maintain their own health at the same time.9
“The Thompson Technique is one of several Activator Methods.”10 The Thompson Technique also looks at different leg lengths. Like the Cox method, it involves a table as well—a drop table—that is used for “gentle thrust” adjustments applied to the joints. Specific areas are targeted by the drop piece. Multiple thrusts adjust the legs.11 The performance of the thrust is followed by the drop because, while the thrust initiates the movement in the misaligned area, the fast drop is what carries the joint through the rest of its range-of-motion. Prior to the use of the technique, the chiropractor will observe the patient’s legs while they lie face down with their legs flexed to note any appearance of difference in length. The adjustments which follow should improve posture and performance, increase strength and flexibility, aid the patient’s ability to sleep and relax, increase tolerance to stress and injury resistance, and allow the body to heal itself better without the use of drugs or surgery. Patients could experience this relief after just one adjustment, or it could take a few appointments with the chiropractor before symptom relief is experienced.12 A chiropractor may order additional tests and X-rays to diagnose the misalignment, which can be cervical, pelvic, or spinal.13
The Graston technique is another form of manipulation that utilizes instruments to be performed. It is meant to treat conditions like neck pain, lower back pain, wrist pain, tennis elbow, shoulder pain, knee pain, scar tissue, and fibromyalgia. The Graston technique begins with warming the area that will be treated. Warming is done with ultrasound, heat packs, light manual therapy, or light exercise. The stainless-steel tool chosen for the treatment is used “to remove fibrous adhesion and scar tissue that occurs within and between different layers of muscles, tendons and ligaments”. Lotion is used to reduce friction between the instrument and the skin. The treatment can last up to twenty minutes depending on the size of the affected area and how much work needs to be done to break up the scar tissue. Following the use of the instrument, the area is put through a series of range-of-motion exercises with the possible advice to use an ice pack at home. It is common for the area of skin to appear more red following treatment with the Graston technique. This is normal and the skin will return to its normal color a little while after treatment.14
10, 13 http://drkylechiropractic.com/blog/index.php/2011/12/the-thompson-chiropractic-technique
See more information about chiro techniques.