The traditional method of spinal manipulation requires chiropractors to use their hands to apply a controlled, forceful thrust to a misaligned joint. Sometimes a patient’s condition requires a gentler approach that’s typically identified as spinal mobilization rather manipulation. Chiropractors use specially designed instruments to apply gentler techniques such as the Activator Method Chiropractic Technique®.
With the Activator Method Chiropractic Technique your doctor uses a small, hand-held device called the Activator Adjusting Instrument to deliver gentle, measured force to the affected joint to restore spinal alignment and enhance function. Depending on your condition, your chiropractor may recommend a combination of standard manipulation and low-force mobilization.
The hand-held instrument delivers its gentle force quickly, which gives your muscles less time to tense in anticipation. This typically increases the effectiveness of the treatment since it’s not working against muscle resistance. The applied force is also more localized than that which occurs with traditional spinal manipulation and decreases unnecessary torquing of the joint.
The Activator Adjusting Instrument was FDA-approved for chiropractic care in 1997. It’s been widely used in chiropractic offices since then and is a safe and effective alternative to traditional spinal manipulation, especially when used by experts like those at First Team Medical Clinics.
Some conditions, such as osteoporosis, require the gentler approach due to bone damage. Some patients simply prefer the low-force technique of the Activator Method over traditional chiropractic manipulation. Your doctor may also recommend this alternative method for patients who have:
As you lay face down on the treatment table, your doctor applies the Activator device to the area at or near the affected joint. You’ll feel an initial slight pressure as the device touches your skin, followed by a quick thrust. Most patients describe the sensation as similar to the tapping a doctor does to test reflexes in your knee.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!