Chiropractic Techniques: A Complete Guide


Crepitus is the medical term for back cracking. Sometimes, it comes with benefits such as pain relief and an increased range of mobility. When it’s accompanied by pain and other symptoms, though, one needs to visit a specialist.

Now, some people believe cracking backs is the extent of what chiropractors do. They might not realize that chiropractors use many chiropractic techniques.

Read on for the different treatments used by chiropractic specialists. Learning about them can help you know what to expect if you ever visit one.

Chiropractic Technique Guide: Manual vs. Instrument-Assisted

Simply put, manual means hands-on. If a chiropractic technique uses special equipment or tool, though, it’s instrument-assisted.

Spinal adjustments are manual therapies. These might be used with stretching exercises, physical therapy, and massage. Of course, the combination of treatment will depend on the patient’s condition.

Meanwhile, instrument-assisted chiropractic methods use accessories such as lasers and electrode therapy pads. If these sound scary to you, don’t worry. Reputable chiropractors only use FDA-approved instruments.

More on Chiropractic Techniques

So you know the difference between manual and instrument-assisted techniques. Let’s dive deeper into specific chiropractic therapies.


Flexion-distraction is a chiropractic technique used for lumbar-spine conditions. Here, the chiropractor manipulates a patient’s spine. The adjustments help relieve the pressure on the spinal nerves.

One advantage of this method is it’s gentle and safe. That’s because chiropractors stretch the patient without engaging any muscles or soft tissues. With this technique, the body avoids spasms and other active motions.

Gonstead Technique

A chiropractor who uses Gonstead may use an X-Ray to look for misalignments. They also use other tools to check for other spinal problems.

After identifying the problem, the practitioner will have patients lie on their side. They will then use a variety of hands-on therapies.

Extremity Manipulation

Chiropractic care isn’t only for the spine. You can visit a chiropractor if you have problems with your shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Chiropractic therapies can also help knee issues.

For carpal tunnel syndrome and posture-related problems, chiropractors may recommend extremity manipulation.

Activator Method

The Activator method requires a unique adjusting instrument.

Now, this instrument emits a short, low-force pulse to keep the body from being too tense.

Rapid Release Therapy

Another instrument-assisted method is RRT or Rapid Release Therapy. It uses a hand-held vibrating machine over problem areas.

RRT is ideal for tennis elbow, lockjaw, and so on.

Laser and Ultrasound

For soft-tissue problems, chiropractic specialists may use laser treatment. They could also utilize ultrasound for both diagnosis and treatment.

Do you have particular concerns about chiropractic therapies? It’s best to consult a specialist. You can also learn more about chiropractic therapy by checking out related websites.

Are You Planning to Visit a Chiropractor Soon?

If you have hesitations about chiropractic care, understanding various chiropractic techniques can help.

Don’t forget, though, that what you’ve learned here is just the basics. If you wish to know more about chiropractic technique benefits, it’s best to ask a specialist.

You can also browse our other articles to learn more about chiropractic care.