Adjustments and Manipulation
Origins: Spinal manipulation was used medicinally as early as 2700 B.C. in ancient Chinese medicine. Hippocrates and Galen used manipulative techniques, and the word “chiropractic” is derived from Greek chiropraktikos , meaning “effective treatment by hand.”
Manipulation is known by several other names. Chiropractors often refer to manipulation of a spinal joint as an ‘adjustment’. Following the classification system developed by Maitland, manipulation is synonymous with Grade V mobilization. Because of its distinct biomechanics, the term high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) thrust is often used interchangeably with manipulation.
A chiropractic adjustment is a common method for chiropractors to treat back pain and neck pain and involves the chiropractor applying thrusts of varying speed and forces to spinal joints that are causing dysfunction and related pain.
Many studies have consistently reported beneficial responses to spinal manipulation, such as that performed by a doctor of chiropractic. Medical evidence supports the use of spinal manipulation and the reduction of symptoms of neck and low back pain as well a radicular pain due to disc herniation.
As the chiropractic profession engaged in the pursuit of improving health through adjustments to the nervous system, individual practitioners and institutions proposed and developed various proprietary techniques and methods. While many of these techniques did not endure, hundreds of different approaches remain in chiropractic practice today. Not all of them involve HVLA thrust manipulation. Most cite case studies, anecdotal evidence, and patient testimonials as evidence for effectiveness. These techniques include: Toggle drop, Lumbar side posture roll, Instrument adjustments, Cox Flexion Distraction Technique and Diversified Manipulation.