Louisville & La GrangePreble Chiropractic Offices

Helpful Information:
Low Back Pain
Neck Pain
Leg Pain from Sciatica
Manual or Mechanical Manipulation?
What to Expect

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Traditional Manual Adjustments or Instrumented Mechanical Adjustments?

Most chiropractic patients are familiar with the traditional manual adjustments (or manipulations) that may be offered in a chiropractic office. This is the treatment of choice for many of our chiropractic patients; however, there are other options.  For example, special padded wedges may be used to realign vertebrae or the pelvis in “Sacro Occipital Technique.”  Another popular method involves mechanical force delivered by controllable instruments, such as the hand-held “Activator Method,” or the computerized “Pro-Adjuster.”

We have been trained in a variety of techniques, including both the traditional diversified manual adjusting as well as instrumented adjusting such as the “Activator Method.”  A study published in the “Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics” compared the outcome of traditional manual adjustments versus instrumented mechanical force and found them to be equally effective.

Over the years, while offering both types of treatments, we have found that most patients actually prefer the traditional approach, and we have had lots of practice providing that kind of hands-on care.  When delivered with skill and finesse, a manual adjustment is painless and provides tremendous relief. Not everyone can do it well, however.  Because of that, some practitioners may prefer to stick to instrumented adjusting.

There are occasions when we prefer to use the low-force mechanical adjusting. For example, some of our patients have “brittle bones” due to an underlying condition such as Osteogenesis Imperfecta. In such cases, low-force or no-force adjusting techniques may be preferred, including adjustments with precisely controlled instruments. Also, babies, or very young children will readily accept this type of adjustment .

We are sensitive to the special needs of all of our patients and are happy to answer questions about treatment options.


If you need help fast, call any day of the week to set up an appointment (502) 222-7611