Activator Technique for Gentle Adjustments
Many patients prefer Activator Technique because it is the gentlest procedure for adjusting a stuck joint. The treatment is safe, effective, and can be performed on severely arthritic or painful joints. People with severe rheumatoid, degenerative, or osteoarthritis find Activator adjustments can help decrease their pain without aggravating their arthritis pain. Millions of people benefit from the treatment each year without any adverse incidents or increased pain.
We tell patients the most important and best way to adjust a painful and stuck joint is based on the patient’s comfort level. When patients are uneasy or uncomfortable with “cracking” or manual adjustment techniques, they tend to tense up and contract their neck and back muscles. Their contracted muscles make it more difficult to adjust a joint. Tightening or stiffening right before a manual adjustment can lead to an “unsuccessful adjustment” and they might be sore afterwards. A mild increase in tightness or soreness after an adjustment is commonly due to this muscle tightening or guarding during the adjustment procedure.
Even though patients know chiropractic manual manipulation will not hurt them, they still have this tendency to tighten their muscles. Some patients are also uneasy with hearing the popping or clicking, or have difficulty relaxing, further their benefit from Activator Adjustments.
The Activator Technique utilizes a specially-designed instrument to tap or nudge the joints open.Patients describe a gentle tapping on the spine. During an Activator adjustment, a popping or clicking sound from the joint is not produced. You will hear the sound of the spring-loaded instrument nudging the joint, but not the cracking sound associated with manual manipulation. Patients are sometimes surprised by how quickly they feel the difference with Activator adjustment despite the procedure not being forceful. These patients find themselves relaxing better with Activator adjustments and receiving more benefit from this gentle procedure than more forceful manual manipulation techniques. Chiropractic patients very commonly asking for the “clicker” or “tapper” when they forget the name, but they know exactly what type of adjustment procedure works for them.
Activator Technique has performed an enormous amount of research on the Activator instrument and procedures. The research has focused on the effectiveness of chiropractic treatments with the Activator instrument. Over 30 years of studies and research have shown the Activator adjustment procedures to be exceptionally effective at increasing joint motion with a minimal amount of force. These studies have also shown the importance of increasing a joint’s motion to decrease spine pain.
Initially some patients have difficulty thinking the Activator treatment will help because it is so gentle, especially when they are used to manual manipulation and high velocity low amplitude adjustments. Some patients have grown up thinking more popping is better and required for joint movement. Activator Technique research has proved the important factor is “getting the joint unstuck” and the amount of force is not important. More force is not better. Activator establishes joint motion without a huge and overwhelming force.
Hesitant and doubtful patients are pleasantly surprised when their severe pain and soreness is decreased with the gentle Activator adjustment. Even as the severe pain disappears, many of these patients prefer to use the Activator in the future for the joint sprains and strains.
Because of the ease and comfort of the Activator instrument, it adjusts joints and restores normal motion faster. The gentle and quick motion of the Activator nudges the joint open with less force.
Many of us were brought up with the idea that if some is good, more is better; if some force is good then more must be that much better. Activator Technique has clearly shown that less is great, and can be even better. When patients change their way of thinking about force and joint movement, they find another very effective treatment for spinal joint sprains.