FROM: The Job Analysis of Chiropractic
This list contains the 15 techniques most frequently used by doctors of chiropractic (DCs), followed by a brief explanation of each one of these manipulative/adjustive procedures.
The Chiropractic Technique Bookshelf
Please browse our Chiropractic Technique book shelf. Any books
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The About Chiropractic Adjusting Page
Review a variety of articles about chiropractic adjusting (aka spinal manipulation).
Instrument Adjusting, a.k.a. Mechanically-assisted Adjustments
This page gathers articles discussing the use of mechanically-assisted instrument adjusting.
The Pierce Technique
The Pierce Results System was developed by Vernon (Verne) Pierce, D.C., Sr. It is a biomechanical analysis of spine kinematics (or motion), utilizing “stress views” of the spine (flexion, extension, rotation, and/or lateral bending views where required) or videofluoroscopy (VF, or “moving x-ray” studies) to determine the loss of spinal function, which is at the core of the “vertebral subluxation complex”.
The Art of Pioneer Chiropractic Technic
By Richard C. Schafer, D.C., FICC and the ACAPress
This paper strives to define certain general principles that underlie almost all efficient chiropractic articular adjustive technics. A review is offered regarding depth of drive, the articular snap, segmental distraction, timing, the advantages of placing the patient's spine in an oval posture, correct table height, and patient positioning objectives. The factor of time in the clinical approach and its underlying biomechanical principles of tissue viscoelasticity, fatigue, creep, and relaxation are considered. Also reviewed are the need to visualize the loading effects on articular cartilage, joint lubrication, action of the intra-articular synovial tabs, the articular planes, the classic types of contact, contact points and their options, securing the contact hand, and the direction of drive. Then is offered a rationale on adjustive velocity, types of adjustive thrusts, objective-oriented approaches, and some closing comments.
Adjusting the Pediatric Spine
Topics in Clinical Chiropractic 1997; 4 (4): 59–69 ~ FULL TEXT
The subject of chiropractic care of children must by necessity include a discussion of the various techniques chiropractors use to address a subluxation. [1–2] The act of introducing a force into a spinal joint in an effort to restore mobility or alignment is termed an adjustment. This article discusses the technical aspects of adjusting the pediatric spine (ie, occiput to pelvis).
The Art of the Chiropractic Adjustment
By Richard C. Schafer, D.C., FICC and the ACAPress
The Efficiency of Multiple Impulse Therapy for Musculoskeletal Complaints
J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2006 (Feb); 29 (2): 162 ~ FULL TEXT
Response of patients in the study sample to multiple impulse therapy for symptoms of low back and neck pain appeared to be considerably faster than that obtained in 3 recent studies. There are more articles like this at the
Instrument Adjusting Page
Pilot Study of Patient Response to Multiple Impulse Therapy
for Musculoskeletal Complaints
J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2006 (Jan); 29 (1): 51 ~ FULL TEXT
Patients expressed improvement in symptoms after the first visit (average improvement in subjective pain rating scale of 41%). Patient symptoms improved between the first and second visits for 70% of patients (average improvement in subjective pain scale for all patients was 58%). The majority of patients achieved complete resolution of symptoms between the third and fourth visits. Maximum benefit for patients across all symptoms required an average of 4.2 visits. The half-life for response to multiple impulse therapy for all symptoms was 17 to 26 days. The half-life for response to multiple impulse therapy using the PulStarFRAS for low back pain was 9 to 16 days.
A Randomized Clinical Trial of Manual Versus Mechanical Force
Manipulation in the Treatment of Sacroiliac Joint Syndrome
J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005 (Sep); 28 (7): 493–501
Sixty patients with sacroiliac syndrome were randomized into two groups of 30 subjects. Each subject received 4 chiropractic adjustments over a 2-week period and was evaluated at 1-week follow-up. One group received side-posture, high-velocity, low-amplitude chiropractic adjustments; the other group received mechanical-force, manually-assisted chiropractic adjustments using an Adjusting Instrument. There was equal improvement in both groups.
A Review of the Literature Pertaining to the Efficacy, Safety,
Educational Requirements, Uses and Usage of Mechanical Adjusting Devices
Journal of Canadian Chiropractic Assoc 2004 (Mar); 48 (1–2): 74–88, 152–161
(Adobe Acrobat files)
Over the past decade, mechanical adjusting devices (MADs) were a major source of debate within the Chiropractor's Association of Saskatchewan (CAS). Since Saskatchewan was the only jurisdiction in North America to prohibit the use of MADs, the CAS established a committee in 2001 to review the literature on MADs. The committee evaluated the literature on the efficacy, safety, and uses of moving stylus instruments within chiropractic practice, and the educational requirements for chiropractic practice.
Upper-cervical Technique, Historically Considered
Journal of the American Chiropractic Association 2003 (March) ~ FULL TEXT
According to Dye  the upper-cervical concept was in the air at Palmer College in the late 1920s. B.J. Palmer introduced the concept of the primacy of the upper-cervical subluxation to his contemporaries in the early spring of 1930,  apparently emphasizing axis at first. By this time, he felt that this was the only place where interference with the neurological connection between the brain and the rest of the body was possible. Modern practitioners in the tradition of B.J. Palmer have included Kale [13-18] and Mears, as well as their adherents. Dr. Donald Mears, who passed away in 1991, developed his Mears Technique [19, 20] starting from the proposition that others of the HIO practitioners had inadequately identified primary occiput problems-that is, x-ray methods and adjustive approaches for thrusting upon the occiput, as compared with the atlas.
Differential Compliance Instrument in the Treatment of Infantile Colic:
A Report of Two Cases
J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2002 (Jan); 25 (1): 58–62
A PulStar Function Recording and Analysis System (PulStar FRAS, Sense Technology, Inc, Pittsburgh, Penn) device was used to administer light impulses (approximately 1.7 joules, which produced a 3 to 4 lb force) at each segmental level throughout the dorsal spine, with probe tips spaced 2 cm apart straddling the spinous processes. Crying was reduced by 50% after a single session of instrumental adjusting in a 6-week old girl and after 4 sessions in a 9-week old boy, according to colic diaries kept by the mothers. Average hours of uninterrupted daily sleep increased from 3.5 to 6.5 hours after a single session.
Bibliography of Chiropractic Techniques
Journal of Chiropractic Humanities 2001; (9) 1:
This LARGE Abobe PDF file compiles the citations for "primary source" materials for 97 chiropractic and orthopedic techniques. This material would otherwise be very difficult to locate in available chiropractic databases.
Name Techniques in Canada: Current Trends in Utilization Rates and
Recommendations For Their Inclusion at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College
J Can Chiropr Assoc 2000 (Sep); 44 (3): 157–168 ~ FULL TEXT
Since its establishment in 1945, the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) has predominately adhered to a Diversified model of chiropractic technique in the core curriculum; however, many students and graduates have voiced a desire for greater exposure to chiropractic techniques other than Diversified at CMCC. A course structure is presented that both exposes students to a plethora of different “Name techniques” and provides students with a forum to appraise them critically. The results of a student survey suggested that both of these learning objectives have been successfully met. In addition, an assignment was designed that enabled students to recommend which, if any, “Name techniques” should be included in the curriculum of the College.
Overview of the Blair Cervical Technique
Council on Chiropractic Practice, Chandler, Arizona: October 2-3, 1995 ~ FULL TEXT
Dr. William G. Blair began to develop his distinctive method for the analysis and correction of subluxations of the cervical spine soon after graduating from the Palmer School of Chiropractic and establishing his practice in Lubbock, Texas, in Late 1949. Trained in the classical Upper Cervical Specific (HIO) method, Dr. Blair soon became concerned with the potential effects of osseous asymmetry ("malformation," as he termed it) on the accuracy of the traditional spinographic analysis in producing a valid adjustive listing.