You almost certainly know of the benefits that can come from incorporating instrument adjusting into your existing practice.
Not only can instrument adjustment be more effective than a manual one, but it can also save you time, exertion and money, while allowing you to expand the scope of your practice.1-4 Furthermore, your patients will feel better more quickly and hopefully provide their friends and family members with referrals for your services.
However, before you rush out to buy that new adjusting instrument, keep in mind that you will need to invest in more than just the cost of the instrument itself. Just as you were not ready to start performing manual adjustments on patients at the end of your first class on the subject in chiropractic college, so too will you not be ready to take that instrument out of the box and use it right away. This is where proper training becomes integral to providing the best possible service with an adjusting instrument.
Just like driving a car
Obviously, you can’t be expected to know how to use an adjusting instrument right away. Think back to the first time you drove a car. Were you able to immediately get on and off the freeway or parallel park? Or did you start out practicing in an empty parking lot at very slow speeds? The same rule applies with adjusting instruments. You will need to start out slow by getting training before you will be ready to get into the high-speed lane of working on patients.
How much training is enough?
Your next question may be how much training will you need on using adjusting instruments. Obviously, your continuing education requirements will vary from state to state, and you should check with your state’s board of chiropractic examiners. As just one example, the state of California requires that DCs take 12 hours of continuing education if their license expired before June 8, 2013, and 24 hours of continuing education for those with licenses that are set to expire on or after June 8, 2013.5 A quick perusal of the seminar offerings for 2016 will reveal several courses on instrument adjusting that can count toward your continuing education credits.5
However, you may wish to go beyond just these courses and sign up for training offered by the manufacturer on the specific instrument you have purchased. This is generally a good idea, as it will familiarize you with that specific tool, as well as show you its various features that a standard CE course may not offer. Such training may even include tips on troubleshooting any issues that may arise with your specific type of adjusting instrument. You may even wish to consider taking some refresher courses, as the technology involved in adjusting instruments is rapidly changing, so you will want to stay abreast of new developments.
Purchasing an adjusting instrument can do wonders for your practice in terms of patient satisfaction, increased bottom line, and reduced stress and strain on you, as compared to manual adjustments. However, you will need to purchase more than just the adjusting instrument. Training and seminars will show you how to use it safely and effectively, which should be your two biggest concerns when it comes to treating patients.
- Beychok T. Instrument adjusting versus manual adjusting, Part 1: Physics.com. January 2014. Accessed 5/17/2016.
- Beychok T. Instrument adjusting versus manual adjusting, Part 2: Bottom-line benefits.com. January 2014. Accessed 5/17/2016.
- Beychok T. Instrument adjusting versus manual adjusting, Part 3: Patient benefits.com. January 2014. Accessed 5/17/2016.
- Huggins T, Luburic Boras A, Gleberzon BJ, et al. Clinical effectiveness of the activator adjusting instrument in the management of musculoskeletal disorders: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. 2012:56(1);49-57.
- Continuing education requirements. California Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Accessed 5/17/2016.