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Chiropractic adjustments use manipulation of the musculoskeletal system – primarily the spine – to improve function and reduce pain and inflammation.

For some patients, chiropractors make adjustments manually, using only the hands. In other cases, however, the doctor may utilize specially designed tools or equipment to achieve the desired results.

Patients often ask whether a manual adjustment or instrument-assisted chiropractic treatment is preferable. The answer is that no single treatment approach is right for every patient. In fact, chiropractors may alternate their approach depending on the situation or, in some cases, use both types of adjustments during a single session.

What Are Manual Chiropractic Adjustments?

The foundation of chiropractic care – in fact, the foundation of the word chiropractic itself – is the practice of using the hands to deliver treatment. Thus, when performing a manual adjustment, the chiropractor uses his or her hands to manipulate the spine to achieve the desired results.

A doctor’s hands provide a wealth of feedback and information, facilitating the evaluation and diagnosis of musculoskeletal challenges. Those same hands have the ability to deliver the precise treatment a patient needs – through the manual adjustment of the spine and other components of the musculoskeletal system.

What Are Instrument-Assisted Chiropractic Adjustments?

When performing an instrument-assisted adjustment, the doctor calls on specially designed tools to achieve the desired results.

Although a number of instruments and tools can be used, one of the most common tools used to perform instrument-assisted adjustments is called an Activator Adjusting Instrument, or AAI. You may know this tool as simply an activator or, more commonly, a “clicker,” thanks to the clicking sound the instrument makes.

The activator is essentially a hand-held, spring-loaded device that applies a gentle impulse to a specific location of the body.

This approach is generally chosen when the doctor needs to achieve a more detailed level of adjustment. It is also appropriate when a lighter touch or more controlled amount of pressure is needed.

Which Type of Chiropractic Adjustment Is Right for You?

Generally, the right type of chiropractic treatment for you depends on the nature of your problems and current condition of your spine and the surrounding soft tissues. However, only a qualified chiropractor can answer this question as it applies to you.

At Foundation Chiropractic, Dr. Brown and Dr. Harris tailor their treatment recommendations to the specific needs of each patient. We understand that no one-size-fits-all approach can truly address your needs or resolve the problems you’re facing. Contact our Orem, Utah office today to request your chiropractic exam and consultation.