Magic Hands or Magic Instrument?

Chiropractic Adjusting Techniques: Manual or Instrument?

There are two main treatment methods that chiropractors use to treat patients: Their hands or designated chiropractic instruments. Every chiropractor has their own preference regarding whether it’s better to use instruments or to take a hands-on approach. There are certainly benefits to using either approach; we’ll lay them out for you and tell you what technique we prefer at Main Street Wellness & Chiropractic.

Benefits of Hands-on Spinal Manipulation

Hands-on is the traditional method for applying chiropractic adjustments and one that is still favored by many practitioners, including us here at Main Street Wellness & Chiropractic. Our staff prefers the intuitive method of using the hands to gauge the effectiveness of treatment and to make adjustments. We are careful to warm up the muscles first, so that the treatment is one of gentle stretching and pain relief, not just “cracking your back” to relieve back pain. As a result, the treatments are soothing and not rough.

Using an Instrument for Chiropractic Adjusting: Pros and Cons

Chiropractors who prefer to use instruments may feel that the tools are more effective, or allow them to go deeper than they can go with just their hands. Some feel that the tools allow them to warm up the muscle first, making adjustments easier and increasing blood flow to the area. This can make the overall process smoother for the patient. Or they may feel that they do not have the skills necessary to make soft adjustments and think the tool works better for them personally, because other patients have complained treatment was “too rough.”

Some chiropractors prefer to use a blend of muscular hands-on adjustment and specialized adjusting tools, like the activator. Both methods are beneficial. A recent study of chiropractic treatment of the sacroiliac joint found that both hands-on and instrument treatment made patients feel better.

Have you experienced one or both of these treatment methods when seeing a chiropractor for treatment of back pain or other injuries? If so, let us know in the comments which type of treatment you prefer.

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