Instrument adjusting offers discernable benefits to both patients and practitioners. As DCs become more comfortable using
instruments, some are finding more instances where they are useful.
There are, however, particular conditions and adjustments in which instruments are used most often, including those to treat
the upper cervical vertebrae and those that are related to the fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain, as well as adjustments to ease pain related to trigger points in the upper trapezius.
When it comes to patients and necks, things can be a little scary. After all, a manual cervical adjustment may mean the patient literally puts their head into your hands. A highvelocity manual adjustment accompanied by a swift movement and
loud popping sounds? Yes, that could be a terrifying scenario for some patients.
A less frightening, and arguably more effective, treatment delivered with an instrument involves no twisting or popping. Most practitioners agree that a less afraid, more relaxed patient results in a more effective adjustment. If using an instrument can bring about a more effective treatment, it may be worth consideration.
Patients with fibromyalgia are often in pain. The idea of a chiropractic adjustment that could any additional pain is likely abhorrent to a person dealing with that condition.
However, an adjustment that is fast and involves no grabbing or twisting may be more ideal — and lead to less pain.
Triggerpoint therapy and adjustments that increase range of motion may help fibromyalgia patients enjoy a better quality of life. Thanks to technology, patients spend hours in front of computer screens and hunched over phones, which can lead to pain in the upper trapezius. Instrument adjusting can help alleviate that pain, too.
Adequate exercise and regular stretching can help ease the pain associated with trapezius trigger points and fibromyalgia, and some cervical conditions such as postsurgical neck pain or cervical disc protrusions may make exercise ill advised or even impossible. In such cases, instrument adjusting could represent the most effective and gentle form of treatment.