There is a considerable body of research showing a distinct advantage for instrument over manual adjustment for the spine.
Most of this literature is focused on clinical outcomes, which means current research generally focuses on the outcomes of patients who improved with an instrument adjustment as opposed to a manual adjustment.
While it is important to keep abreast of current clinical findings regarding chiropractic, it is also important for chiropractors to successfully build and manage their practices. Aside from providing better clinical outcomes for patients, instrument adjusting can also help chiropractors improve their practices’ bottom lines.
Expanding your scope of practice
There are two ways in which instrument adjusting can expand your scope of practice. On the one hand, it will broaden the range of patients that you can see. For example, the low-force setting on the adjusting instrument is highly recommended for treating pediatric or geriatric patients.
Being able to attract these types of patients will almost certainly improve your bottom line. Additionally, expanding into pediatric or geriatric care may mean other relatives will also come to see you once they notice how chiropractic has benefited both young and old members of their families.
Related: Instrument adjusting vs. manual adjusting, part 1: The physics
Adding instrument adjusting to your practice will also expand the services you will be able to offer. Instrument adjusting can be used almost anywhere on the body. If you have previously focused just on the spine, you can now treat other areas, such as the knees, feet, and shoulders. Treating conditions such as plantar fasciitis or a frozen shoulder, in addition to lower back pain, will almost certainly generate more income for your practice. You may even be able to specialize in areas such as sports medicine or pain management.
Keeping costs down
One thing to consider when deciding between manual and instrument adjusting is the amount of time spent with each patient. With manual adjusting you may only be able to see one patient during that hour. By contrast, with instrument adjusting, you might be able to treat anywhere from two to four patients in an hour. Increasing the number of patients you’re able to effectively treat per hour can also add to your bottom line.
When you consider the big picture, incorporating instrument adjusting is really a win-win situation. Not only can you treat more patients for more conditions, but you may be able to see more patients in the same amount of time as with manual adjusting, as well.