Chiropractor Chandler AZ

Activator Chiropractic Adjustment

Injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, or joint surfaces causes the muscles around the injured area to spasm. These spasms commonly compress the injured tissue, jamming it tighter together causing more pain signals to be sent to the brain. To help relieve this compression, chiropractic adjustments are often the recommended course of treatment. Chiropractic adjustments help push the injured joint complex open in order to restore proper motions and movements. The adjustment also helps to block the pain signals being sent to the brain, which in turn allows the muscles around the joint and injury to relax and no longer spasm.

stuck joint
A Stuck Joint

Many people will often get that feeling of something in their back being "stuck" after sitting in one position for a prolonged period of time. You may feel this stuck sensation after riding in a car or after sitting through a movie. When you sit in a single position for an hour, or more, you start to feel restless and stiff in the knees or low back. Eventually, you will become uncomfortable in that position and make to shift into a different position. Changing positions allows the joints to slightly move and change the stress loads being beared by that joint. This subtle movement also changes the pain signals sent to the brain. Instead of just sending constant pain signals, the moved joint will send movement signals to the brain. These movement signals will decrease your level of uncomfortableness. Your joints were designed to move and if they don't, you will feel stiffness and soreness. Think about being stuck on an airplane for a long time. Everyone experiences that increasing discomfort feeling the longer we are in those seats. We feel a lot better once we are able to get off the plane to move and walk around.

The Activator Technique

The Activator technique is the safest and gentlest way to adjust a painful and stuck joint and restore normal motion and movement. The Activator chiropractic technique uses a small, handheld instrument, called the Activator Adjusting Instrument. This instrument delivers gentle impulse forces to the injured area, with the goal of restoring motion to the stuck joint. This spring-loaded device will adjust the amount of force applied because less force is required when dealing with joints in the neck as compared to joints in the low back. The highly controlled and consistently replicated force is applied to each injured joint region. The Activator provides a low velocity force into the joint complex to nudge it open. Patients tend to describe a tapping sensation when the Activator impulse is delivered to the joints. However, patients are surprised by how little force is felt with Activator adjustment.

Typical Activator Adjustment Session

When you come into the office for an Activator technique adjustment, it will be performed while you lay face down on the adjustment table. The treatment will begin with the low back and progresses toward your head, all the while targeting each vertebral segment individually. During the treatment, you will stay still with no twisting or turning like there often is in a traditional spinal manipulation adjustment. The chiropractor will evaluate you for any signs and symptoms that may lead to the discovery of what is causing your pain and decide if the Activator adjustment technique is the right course of treatment for relieving your pain.

chiropractic manipulation treatments
Traditional vs Activator

The traditional form of manual spinal manipulation that was normally used to adjust a stuck joint is called high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) thrust. The Activator technique has become an alternative spine manipulation treatment. Many patients who are used to the high velocity manual manipulation treatment often question whether or not the new Activator technique will work. For those who are unsure, we refer them to the Activator Technique website which has an abundant amount of information on the Activator instrument, adjusting, and its effectiveness. Research has shown how well the Activator performs in increasing joint motion in the neck and back. It is highly effective for all injured joints, especially those with arthritic changes.

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis damages the bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons surrounding a joint. This damage alters a joint's normal movement and makes it more difficult to adjust with manual manipulation. Some people with arthritis may experience discomfort with traditional manual manipulation procedures. However Activator Technique provides a lesser and more controlled force, which establishes the motion inside the joint without torquing or twisting the arthritic joint complex. These patients experience the relief of chiropractic adjustments without the strain applied to their joints.

If you have arthritis or a stuck joint and want to try relieving your pain with the Activator technique and you live in the Gilbert or Tempe area, give our office a call to set up an appointment. Our Chandler Chiropractic & Physical Therapy clinic treats patients with a variety of muscle, tendon, joint, and ligament injuries. The clinic provides gentle chiropractic treatments for all ages and ability. Chiropractic treatments are combined with Physical Therapy and Massage Therapy to improve neck and back pain for all people in Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Sun Lakes, and Chandler AZ.