There are well over 100 types of adjustment techniques used by chiropractors throughout the world. Typically, chiropractors will focus on and utilize 8 to 10 different approaches in their practice.
The common goal of most chiropractic techniques is to restore or to enhance joint function with the general goals of resolving Joint inflammation and reducing pain. Some approaches use some force while others are more gentle.
The original chiropractic adjustment approach is generally referred to as spinal manipulation, and may also be called the diversified Technique or the high velocity, low amplitude thrust. The most frequently used chiropractic technique, spinal manipulation, is the traditional high velocity low amplitude dressed. The manipulation often results in an audible “pop”, as chiropractors use their hands to apply a controlled sudden force to a joint while the body is positioned in a specific way.
Some conditions such as osteoporosis, pathology, patient size, patient comfort, or patient preference, may require a gentler approach generally referred to as spinal mobilization. In addition, some patients and/or clinicians prefer mild spinal mobilization techniques that do not involve twisting of the body or a forceful thrust.
In addition to spinal manipulation, many chiropractors will employ adjunct therapy, such as ice or heat or physical therapy modalities such as electric muscle stimulation, ultrasound, traction, or other modalities to reduce inflammation or muscle spasm before manipulation.