Woman lying on a chiropractor's table having her back manually adjusted

Manual Adjustment or ArthroStim? What’s the Difference?

When many people think of chiropractic care, they imagine necks cracking at horror-movie angles and backs popping with deafening noise. Manual adjustments, where a chiropractor uses their hands, arms, and/or body to realign your spinal column, can seem scary at first. Additionally, it’s especially shocking to hear all that popping coming from our bodies.

But what if we told you that chiropractic adjustment today can be quite different? While all chiropractors are professionally trained to perform manual adjustments, a large number of them are opting for a more effective and less scary option: the Activator Method chiropractic technique & the ArthroStim®.

What is the Activator Method?

Medical practice is continually advancing with new knowledge and research, so why shouldn’t chiropractic care?  The Activator Method is a system used for the diagnosis and treatment of pain in the back, neck, extremities, and even headaches.  Using a small, spring-loaded, hand-held instrument, the chiropractor delivers quick low-force pulses directly to areas that need adjusting. This sometimes makes no more than a simple clicking sound.

Why? Well, it makes an adjustment incredibly quick, and therefore, patients don’t tense their muscles like they do with manual adjusting. With no tense muscles, an adjustment is more effective. Also, there is no awkward or painful twisting or positioning of the body as there is during a manual adjustment. This can sometimes cause soreness afterward. This benefits both the patient and chiropractor, who after years of chiropractic practice with manual therapy can experience pain and injury to their hands, wrists and lower back.

In fact, more than half of surveyed chiropractors use this method, compared to the one-third that use manual adjustment. Patients also find it to be a more effective and longer-lasting method. That’s not to say that manual adjustment is not a safe or effective treatment—studies have shown the effects to be on par with Activator Methods in terms of effectiveness.

What is the ArthroStim®? How is it different?

One of the latest chiropractic instruments, which many consider a level above the Activator Adjusting Instrument, is the ArthroStim®. It is simply an electric hand-held device (rather than the regular spring-loaded instrument of the Activator Method) that the chiropractor uses to make the high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust manipulations. The ArthroStim® can deliver up to 40 pounds of force within a single tap with little-to-no discomfort!

The ArthroStim® can be used to target more specific areas that have even the slightest misalignment. In turn, this gives the chiropractor more control over all variables of the adjustment. Manual manipulations can sometimes lead to excessive force or imprecise adjustments, and some places of the body make manual adjustment difficult (jaw, ribs knees, etc.).  Because adjustments with the ArthroStim® are much more precise, more than likely you will not hear any popping or cracking sounds. But that does not mean it’s not working!

Will I be adjusted manually or with the ArthroStim®?

It depends. Our chiropractors at Ozark Chiropractic Clinic are highly-trained in both diversified techniques (manual adjustment) and ArthroStim methods. Depending on your case, injuries, age, and preference, our chiropractors will decide which method of adjustment is right for you.

For elderly patients or patients with less mobility, the ArthroStim® is a great alternative to the more physically-demanding manual adjustments. Additionally, if you are anxious about receiving chiropractic care, you might ask your chiropractor to be adjusted using the ArthroStim®. Many people find it to be a much more relaxing way of getting adjusted. Some people may prefer manual adjustment and request it specifically. At Ozark Chiropractic Clinic, we will discuss your goals and help you reach whatever goals you set, whether it’s quick pain relief or long-term wellness plans.

Regardless of whether you receive adjustment through manual spinal manipulation or through the ArthroStim®, our Baton Rouge chiropractors, Dr. Mark Aucoin, Dr. Vanessa Aucoin, and Dr. Gregory Nelson, will use their years of experience and extensive training to provide effective chiropractic care personalized for your needs! Contact us to make an appointment today!

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