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What Chiropractic Techniques Do We Use?

Most chiropractors offer a range of techniques in order to meet the health needs and preferences of their patients.

In this article, we highlight three common chiropractic techniques for making spinal adjustments. Although they provide similar outcomes, each of these three chiropractic techniques offers unique benefits.

The Diversified Technique is both widely used and well-regarded. It takes a comprehensive approach to spinal adjustment, with a focus on restoring proper movement and alignment (to joints and the spine).

The Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique is known for its gentleness and precision. It uses a small handheld instrument called the Activator Adjusting Instrument to deliver a gentle force, with the goal of restoring motion to the targeted spinal vertebra or joint.

The Thompson Technique uses a specialised adjustment table with segments
(“drop pieces”) that can be raised a few millimetres. When a thrust is delivered, the table drops a fraction, boosting the force of the adjustment (without the chiropractor having to add increased force).

The Diversified Chiropractic Technique

What is the Diversified Technique?

The Diversified Technique is a classic method of spinal manipulation. It relies upon quick, precise manual thrusts to restore the normal range of motion to the joints. These high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) thrusts often cause an audible release of gas from the spinal joints as they are adjusted (the “pop”).

The Diversified Chiropractic Technique can be used to reduce pain, improve mobility, and restore function. It is particularly effective in treating misalignments of the spine and joint dysfunction.

How is it Performed?

Before starting, we first perform a thorough analysis of the patient’s spine using both x-ray imaging and manual palpation. Each adjustment is then customised to the specific needs of the patient. For the adjustments, we use precise hand placements and a quick directional thrust.

Benefits of the Diversified Technique

Enhanced Physical Function

Overall physical performance can be meaningfully enhanced through spinal manipulation.

Improved Mobility

Joint mobility can be significantly improved by restoring joint movement and overall alignment.

Pain Reduction

Back pain and Joint pain can be reduced through small adjustments that relieve pressure on the nervous system.

The Activator Method Chiropractic Technique

What is the Activator Technique?

The Activator Method technique is one of the most gentlest and effective chiropractic treatments. This low-force chiropractic method is considered an alternative to the more traditional manual forms of spinal manipulation, and it is particularly suitable for patients who may be sensitive to manual adjustments.

How is the Activator Method technique Performed?

The Activator Method technique uses a small, hand-held device to deliver a gentle impulse to the spine. Because the force of this impulse is gentle, the body’s muscles do not tense in response. This makes the adjustment more effective.

Benefits of the Activator Method Technique

Precise Adjustment

The Activator provides precise adjustments using highly controlled, quick impulses targeted to specific vertebrae.

Patient Comfort

The Activator Method technique is gentle and well-suited to patients who are nervous about manual adjustments.


This versatile technique can be used on a wide range of patients, including the elderly, and those with arthritis.

The Thompson Chiropractic Technique

What is the Thompson Technique?

The Thompson Technique combines traditional chiropractic adjustments with a segmented table that uses “drop pieces” to enhance the motion of the adjustment.

The Thompson Technique is well known for its precision and effectiveness in adjusting the spine. It also optimises patient comfort.

How is it Performed?

Before starting, we palpate the spine and use diagnostic tests to determine the areas requiring adjustment. With the patient lying face down on the drop table, we make the adjustments with quick, precise thrusts. The motion of these adjustments is enhanced by the table’s drop mechanism.

Benefits of the Thompson Technique

Enhanced Comfort

Patient comfort is enhanced because the drop table allows for lighter adjustments (with no loss of effectiveness).

Increased Safety

The risk of complications is minimised because adjustments are made with less force.

Improved Precision

The drop mechanism helps target specific areas of the spine, making adjustments more precise.


Chiropractic care is completely customisable to meet the individual needs of the patient.

Patients seeking an adjustment can choose to be treated manually using the Diversified Technique, with an instrument using the Activator Method technique, or on a specialised segmented table using the Thompson technique.

Importantly, each of these three different chiropractic techniques offers unique benefits.

James Barber

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