Joint immobility and pain are something that’s truly invasive to one’s everyday life. It can be uncomfortable to the point that one can’t relax develop other ailments on the body. A gentle form of chiropractic adjustment may be utilized rather than the more traditional techniques. Some of these methods include a slower (low-velocity) technique performed within the passive range of joint motion.
Common Gentle Chiropractic Techniques
These gentle chiropractic techniques include (but not limited to):
Cervical mobilization: When the patient’s neck is stiff, they can greatly benefit from a left-to-right and vice versa adjustment to their vertebra. A figure 8 motion from side to side and front to back is similar to a message. The continuous, gentle motion will restore the mobility back to the tendons and muscles around the neck, which will get rid of the patient’s stiffness around the area.
Cervical manual traction: In this technique, the patient will be placed lying down or sitting upright while the chiropractor gently pulls their neck forward and backward. A methodical assessment of where the stiffness is will be performed as the adjustment is taking place to target the right spot. This technique can be switched around with the cervical mobilization to ensure the best result.
Cervical "drop" techniques: The patient will be laid down on their stomach or the side while the chiropractor inserts a small amount of force in a sharp thrusting motion on the spinal cord. As the pressure increases, the patient’s head will slightly drop down, hence the name. This technique is designed to reduce the fixation or restricted motion of the cervical vertebra assisted by the special table. There is usually no rotation or twisting of the head/neck often utilized in the traditional chiropractic adjustment and the typical "crack" (joint cavitation) may or may not occur with this method.
Unlike the traditional perception of chiropractic, gentle techniques don’t involve quick, jolting movements. Instead, it utilizes the slow stretching of the muscle and tendons to make the adjustment to the spine and restore muscle and joint mobility. There are several reasons a chiropractor may recommend gentle chiropractic techniques over a traditional high-velocity, low-amplitude adjustment, such as:
Patient preference: Some patients do not feel comfortable with the traditional high-velocity thrust manipulation and prefer an approach that does not involve twisting their neck or joint "popping."
Provider experience: It’s a less intrusive adjustment method, which has a smaller margin for error. This is why it doesn’t require as much experience as the traditional thrust manipulations.
Contraindications: Negative experiences in the past might be the reason why some patients are hesitant to ask for a traditional adjustment.
In some cases where prior injury has resulted in certain types of spinal instability or, in cases of severe osteoporosis, cervical manipulation may not be appropriate. Other conditions include:
- In some cases of recent or acute trauma
- During the acute inflammatory phase of certain conditions, such as arthropathy, spondyloarthropathy
- When spinal instability is suspect, as is sometimes found in cases of Down's Syndrome
- Over tumour or metastasis (cancer)
- Cauda equina-like syndrome (cervical cord compression)
- Spinal infections (such as osteomyelitis)
- Acute myelopathy
- Acute, unstable fractures
These gentle methods combined with other techniques of adjustments such as heat/cold therapies can be beneficial to the relief of a patient’s stiff neck or cervical spine pain. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort around your neck, you can consult with a chiropractor in Perth like the Melville Wellness Centre to see if chiropractic is a way out for you.