Chiropractic Instrument Adjusting
Chiropractic Instruments provide control in adjusting
Instruments can provide a level of control to each adjustment that you perform. This lets you better ensure patient outcomes because they are receiving a measured adjustment.
Donald A. Capoferri, DC, owner of Precision Pain Relief Center, has been using chiropractic instruments in his practice for more than 25 years.
“It is extremely important to have as much control over the treatment modality as possible,” he says. “Instruments give me the exact impact force, speed of impact, number of impacts, and an immediate post-check to see if I accomplished the desired outcome.”
By giving precise adjustments each time, evaluating the progress of each patient becomes easier and supports better patient outcomes.
“On subsequent visits I can check the history and compare the patient’s progress and reevaluation,” he says. “This allows for predictable treatment plans and helps with patient education.”
Better patient outcomes mean happier patients and happier patients are more likely to refer you to others, allowing you to build a thriving practice.
Chiropractic Instrument Adjusting Articles & News
Patient retention lies in instruments
One of the great advantages to using a computer-assisted adjusting instrument is that it can provide immediate feedback about the force of the adjustment and store this data over time. This not only lets you, but your patients, see instantaneous results and be able to map the effects of treatment over time.
Because many patients are initially skeptical about the benefits of chiropractic, having a concrete visual aid to show them the effects of adjustments almost immediately can be just the proof they need to convince them to keep coming back. Before you know it, that skeptical patient who initially came to you as a doctor of last resort now views you as a regular part of their healthcare treatment team.
Instruments can help patients with headaches
A 2011 review of twenty-one different studies published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics concluded that chiropractic in general “improves migraine and cervicogenic headaches.” However, there have been additional studies done which outline the benefits of mechanical or instrument-aided adjustments specifically.
Another piece of research involved individuals with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a condition described by The Ehlers-Danlos Society as “a collection of heritable connective tissue disorders.” This study was published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in September 2003, and consisted of two people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome who complained of various pains all over their bodies, one of which was headaches.
Both were treated with instruments (and manually) in addition to being provided information about how to improve their posture. After engaging in instrument-aided chiropractic, researchers reported that the participants experienced “significant improvement in self-reported pain and disability” as well as improvements in spinal alignment.
This caused them to conclude that “low-force chiropractic adjusting techniques may be a preferred technique of choice in patients with tissue fragility, offering clinicians a viable alternative to traditional chiropractic care in attempting to minimize risks and side effects associated with spinal manipulation.”
In short, the use of instruments can help your patients ease if not entirely resolve the headaches that plague them. This is perhaps especially true when it comes to certain segments of the population.
Chiropractic instruments for soft tissue work
When it comes to extremity-related issues, “the instrument is best used to treat adhesion and tendinosis,” says Brian A. Zelasko, DC, CSCS, Buffalo Bills team chiropractor and owner of Zelasko Soft Tissue & Spine. “I use instruments to treat adhesion in the forearms, hands, knees, anterior legs, ankles, and plantar aspect of the foot, along with the nuchal ligament and supraspinous ligament in the spine.”
William D Charschan, DC, CCSP, uses instruments to treat injuries or problems in these types of areas too, adding that these particular tools “excel with very fibrous tissue such as the IT band and muscular insertions.” Research agrees as instrument-aided treatment protocols applied to extremities have shown positive results with a variety of conditions.
For instance, one study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine found that use of chiropractic instruments on the origins of a 10-year-old football player’s plantar fascia and triceps surae resolved the patient’s bilateral plantar fasciitis after just six treatment sessions.
Another study, this one a case study, published in The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association i, concluded that instrument-aided soft tissue techniques helped relieve a patient’s pain and disability associated with trigger thumb.
Safety using chiropractic instruments
There is no question that properly sanitizing your adjusting instruments is your primary method of keeping your patients safe from any transmission of infectious agents.
This should be done between each patient, even if you only use the instrument one time. Look for sanitizing products that will not leave a residue behind on the adjusting instrument. You should also wash your hands with antibacterial soap and sanitizer between each patient, to further minimize the possibility of infection.1
In terms of delivering the proper amount of force for an instrument assisted adjustment, be sure to properly calibrate your adjusting instrument if it is on a computer-based system. This will give you information on precisely how much force to use, as well as where the trigger points may be.
You should do this for each visit, as you will be able to track the effectiveness of your treatments over time. Obviously, proper calibration will boost not only treatment effectiveness, but also safety, as it will prevent you from potentially performing an adjustment with too much thrust.