The benefits of instrument adjusting over manual adjusting for a variety of chronic and acute conditions are well known. The use of an instrument for chiropractic adjustments benefits both patients and DCs in terms of safety, efficacy, and efficiency. However, once a DC has decided to switch from manual to instrument adjusting, there may still be some questions as to which type of instrument is most effective.
Some adjusting instruments are manually operated, delivering only one thrust at a time. Others are powered instruments, capable of delivering several rapid, pulsing thrusts at once. The answer to which type of instrument adjusting tool is best in terms of single versus multiple thrusts very much depends on the DC’s practice scope and range of patients seen.
How are single and multiple-thrust instruments alike?
The biggest similarity between single and multiple-thrust adjusting instruments is their advantage over manual adjusting. Both types of adjusting instruments allow for a more precise adjustment in a way that delivers the same amount of thrust, but with far less force over a given area on the body. The practical upshot is an ability to provide more effective adjustments with far less wear and tear on both the patient and the DC. The use of instruments to adjust patients will also add to the DC’s bottom line by allowing him or her to see more patients in a given day, as well as expand the scope and range of the
Comparison of single and multiple-thrust adjusting instruments
The Dec. 25, 2009, issue of The American Chiropractor published a comparison of two single-thrust
and two multiple-thrust adjusting instruments by asking each manufacturer to state what made their product unique.4
The main advantage for the two single-thrust adjusting devices was their simplicity and similarity to manual adjusting. Because the DC does not have to worry about problems with electrical power or hardware or software glitches, they can focus on simply delivering the proper adjustment. Additionally, the DC has full control over the amount of pressure to place against the skin before delivering an adjustment, unlike with the multiple-thrust instruments, whose software program will determine the proper amount of pressure to apply. Many DCs like having full control over the amount of pressure to apply, as it is similar to a manual adjustment, which fully depends upon the DC’s judgment.
The main advantage for the two multiple-thrust adjusting devices was the ease of repeating multiple thrusts at exactly the same force, since each adjustment delivers a pulse of several thrusts in rapid succession. This allows for repeatable, measurable adjustment forces that provide more movement to the bones and joints with each individual adjustment.
Different DCs will have different needs for their practice when selecting a single-thrust versus a multiple-thrust adjusting device. Regardless of which device they choose, however, DCs will be able to provide their patients safer, more effective treatment than with manual adjustments.