There has been increasing research showing the advantages of instrument-assisted chiropractic adjustments.
Instrument adjusting has been seen as more precise, effective, and efficient than manual adjusting. While this may seem to be self-evident to chiropractors, the advantages of instrument adjusting can actually be explained through very simple laws of physics.
Newton’s Laws of Motion
By definition, spinal chiropractic adjustments involve applying forces and pressures at specific locations to move the vertebrae, which then releases tension. Sir Isaac Newton, among others, worked out the rules of mechanical forces and pressures in the Three Laws of Motion.
According to mechanics, stress is defined as force divided by the area to which it is applied (? = F/a). The ability to relieve stress depends upon applying forces and pressures to a given area. The effectiveness of an adjustment depends on the amount of force and pressure than can be applied to the vertebrae. Pressure is simply the force divided by the area to which it is applied.
Instrument adjusting can be more effective than manual adjusting because it can apply greater forces over smaller areas. For manual adjusting to apply the same pressure as an instrument, it would have to apply either a greater force over a given area or the same force over a smaller area.
There are two practical upshots from this physics concept. First, it results in the ability to deliver an adjustment of sufficient force over a smaller area in order to properly move the bones to promote healing. This means less physical discomfort for the patient. Second, instrument adjusting requires much less effort on the part of the chiropractor than does manual adjusting. Therefore, there is also less physical strain for chiropractors, which may mean that they will be able to be more effective with less effort. This may also mean that they can see more patients on a given day, with much less wear and tear on their hands, arms, and shoulders.
Chiropractic uses an understanding of physics and mechanics in order to promote healing and wellness, and opting for instrument adjusting puts physics and mechanics to even better use to help patients.