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Chiropractic Care Using the Activator Adjusting Instrument

Activator_adjustmentChiropractors use different techniques to perform the chiropractic adjustment.  Some chiropractors use their hands and others use instruments.  This post will cover the most widely used adjusting instrument, known as the Activator Adjusting Instrument.  The Activator Adjusting Instrument and the chiropractic technique associated with it was developed in 1967 and has become the most widely used low-force chiropractic technique in the world.  According to the 2005 National Board of Chiropractic Examiner’s Job Analysis, 51.2% of American chiropractors report using the Activator Adjusting Instrument for patient care.

The Activator Instrument is a spring-loaded, hand-held mechanical instrument that provides a quick, low-force impulse at specific points.  The instrument gives off 0.3 J of kinetic energy in a 3-millisecond pulse.  The instrument was specifically designed to deliver a controlled, light and fast thrust without undue strain to the patient.  As a result, this specific system of adjusting restores proper balance, and does so with improved safety and comfort.

There are two main advantages of an Activator Instrument treatment.  The first is based on the speed of the device.  The instrument is so fast that the body’s muscles are less likely to tense up in response and resist the treatment.  When any force, such as a chiropractic adjustment, intrudes on the body, muscles in the involved area are automatically contracted by a reflex mechanism in order to protect that area from the force.  The Activator instrument produces a thrust which is quicker than the body’s reflexes can respond.  In other words, the thrust delivered by the instrument is so quick that it accelerates ahead of the body’s tendency to tighten up and resist the thrust of an adjustment.  The lack of muscle resistance helps with the treatment’s effectiveness.

The second advantage is that the applied force is localized and does not add any additional torque or bending movement to the joint.  In other words, with the Activator Instrument, the chiropractor can pinpoint the dysfunctional joint and apply the specific force needed to restore movement to the joint without subjecting the body to any extra forces.  So when you combine the accuracy and the controlled light force, it makes Activator Methods treatments both effective and suitable for all types of patients including pregnant women, babies and children, athletes and seniors.

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