Techniques

At Cathedral Chiropractic we have five chiropractors and we find that no two chiropractors are the same! What we can assure you is that each of us has our patient’s best interest at heart, that we keep up to date with the literature and keep our therapies evidence led and patient centred. This means that you will always receive a course of care that is bespoke to you. Techniques we use vary according to the chiropractor but, most importantly, they vary according to the needs of the patient as no two people are alike.

Here is a list of some of the techniques that chiropractors employ.

Manipulation

Working on all the joints of the body, concentrating particularly on the spine, chiropractors use their hands to make gentle, specific adjustments (the chiropractic word for manipulation) to improve mobility of the joints.

Trigger point therapy

The primary purpose of trigger point therapy is to reduce the pain that results from hypersensitive muscles. Trigger points are identified by gently pressing on the surface of the skin, sensing the texture and tone of the underlying muscle.

A trigger point is like a knot the size of a pea, buried deep in the muscle tissue. It is made up of lactic acid, a normal by-product of muscular activity, which sometimes gets trapped in the muscle as a result of physical, chemical or emotional stress.

Activator Technique

The activator is a handheld spring-loaded instrument which delivers a small impulse to the spine. It gives no more than 0.3 J of kinetic energy in a 3-millisecond pulse and the aim is to produce enough force to co-activate mechano-receptors in the vertebrae, but not enough to cause harm.[1] It is extremely gentle and safe to use even in the elderly, where osteoporosis may be present.

[1] Fuhr, Arlan W.; J. Michael Menke (February 2005). “Status of Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique, Theory, and Practice”. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 28 (2): e1–e20. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2005.01.001. PMID 15800504. http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0161475405000023. Retrieved 2008-08-18.

Drop table

This technique makes use of specialised drop piece mechanisms in the table to assist the adjustment. Individual cushions or “drop pieces” located along the table support each area of the spine until the thrust is given. Each drop piece then gently gives way, reducing the pressure needed to mobilise a specific spinal segment.

Western medical acupuncture

Western medical acupuncture is a therapeutic modality involving the insertion of fine needles; it is an adaptation of Chinese acupuncture using current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology, and the principles of evidence based medicine. While Western medical acupuncture has evolved from Chinese acupuncture, its practitioners no longer adhere to concepts such as Yin/Yang and circulation of qi, and regard acupuncture as part of conventional medicine rather than a complete “alternative medical system”. It acts mainly by stimulating the nervous system, and its known modes of action include local antidromic axon reflexes, segmental and extrasegmental neuromodulation, and other central nervous system effects. It is mainly used to treat musculoskeletal pain, including myofascial trigger point pain.

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