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chiropractic medicine definition


The chiropractic medicine definition is based on the link between the alignment of the spine and the function of the body. A core tenant of chiropractic medicine is the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself if given proper support. The word chiropractic comes from the Greek words cheir and praxis meaning hand and practice. The words refer to treatment done by the hands or hands-on therapy.

With use of manual manipulation of the spine, chiropractors believe they can improve a person’s health without surgery or medicine. Some chiropractors also prescribe exercises to do at home. Chiropractors may do lab testing, diagnostic imaging, and other testing. Some also practice nutrition and complementary medicine.  

Treatment may involve lying on your stomach on a special table, while the chiropractor uses his or her hands and elbows to realign the spine.

Chiropractic treatments have proven to be effective in treating certain lower back pain symptoms and muscle and other bone pains.

Chiropractic training is not equal to the training licensed medical doctors receive, but it is extensive. Doctors of Chiropractic Medicine have had at least 3 years of college with an emphasis on biology or basic sciences. This is followed by a minimum of 4 years of training at an accredited chiropractic college. 


Diversified technique is a non-proprietary and eclectic approach to spinal manipulation that is commonly used by chiropractors. The technique, as it is applied today, is largely attributed to the work of Joe Janse Diversified is the most common spine manipulation technique used as chiropractic medicine definition, with approximately 96% of chiropractors using it for approximately 70% of their patients. Diversified is also the technique most preferred for use during future practice by chiropractic students. Diversified is the only spine manipulation technique taught in Canadian chiropractic programs.

Atlas orthogonal technique

Atlas Orthogonal Technique is an upper cervical chiropractic treatment technique created by Frederick M. Vogel and Roy W. Sweat in 1979. It is a technique which uses a percussion instrument in attempts to adjust what is measured from specific X-rays and found to be a vertebral subluxation. It is based on the teachings of B. J. Palmer, who advocated the Hole-In-One version of spinal adjustment. It is primarily used by straight chiropractors.

Activator methods

The Activator Method Chiropractic Technique (AMCT) is another chiropractic medicine definition that is a chiropractic treatment method and device created by Arlan Fuhr as an alternative to manual manipulation of the spine or extremity joints. The device is categorized as a mechanical force manual assisted (MFMA) instrument which is generally regarded as a softer chiropractic treatment technique. The activator is a small handheld spring-loaded instrument which delivers a small impulse to the spine. It was found to give off no more than 0.3 J of kinetic energy in a 3-millisecond pulse. The aim is to produce enough force to move the vertebrae but not enough to cause injury.

The AMCT involves having the patient lie in a prone position and comparing the functional leg lengths. Often one leg will seem to be shorter than the other. The chiropractor then carries out a series of muscle tests such as having the patient move their arms in a certain position in order to activate the muscles attached to specific vertebrae. If the leg lengths are not the same, that is a chiropractic medicine definition taken as a sign that the problem is located at that vertebra. The chiropractor treats problems found in this way moving progressively along the spine in the direction from the feet towards the head.

Graston technique

Graston Technique (GT) is a trademarked therapeutic method for diagnosing and treating disorders of the skeletal muscles and related connective tissue. The method was started by David Graston and employs a collection of six stainless steel instruments of particular shape and size, which are used by practitioners to rub patients’ muscles in order to detect and resolve adhesions in the muscles and tendons. Practitioners must be licensed by the parent corporation (Graston Technique, LLC.) in order to use the Graston Technique trademark or the patented instruments.

Koren Specific Technique

Koren specific technique (KST) is a chiropractic medicine definition developed by Tedd Koren around 2004. While the technique is associated with chiropractic techniques, Koren has variously described it as an “analysis protocol” or “healthcare protocol”. KST may use their hands, or they may use an electric device known as an “ArthroStim” for assessment and adjustments. KST can use different postures. The insurers Aetna, NHS Leeds West CCG, North Dakota Department of Human Services, and The Ohio State University cover other chiropractic techniques but exclude KST from coverage because they consider it to be “experimental and investigational.

Gonstead technique

The Gonstead technique is a chiropractic method that was developed by Clarence Gonstead in 1923 and listed as a chiropractic medicine definition. The technique focuses on hands-on adjustment and is claimed to expand “standard diversified technique” by removing rotation from the adjusting thrust and implementing additional instrumentation including X-rays, Gonstead Radiographic Parallel, a measuring device to undertake specific biomechanical analysis of the X-ray, and the development of Nervo-Scope, a device said to detect the level of neurophysiologic activity due to the existence of vertebral subluxation based on changes in skin temperature.