Glossary of Chiropractic Terms:


Activator
Classified as a light force technique, which was designed by Dr. Arlan Fuhr. It employees a small hand held instrument which delivers a quick and precise adjustment to the spine to help reduce subluxations.

Acupressure
Acupressure is manual pressure applied to specific acupuncture points with the intention of stimulating neurological flow to various organs, glands or tissues, with the purpose of returning the body to a normal status.

Acupuncture
Acupuncture is the art and science of using needles, and electrical/or manual stimulation of reflex centers throughout the body to create change within organs, glands, and tissues with intent to return the body to normal function.

Adjustment
A specific directional thrust maneuver or application of forces applied to a subluxated vertebra that moves the vertebra to reduce and/or correct the vertebral misalignment, thus improving the neurological part of the vertebral problem along with helping affected tissues and body functions.


Cox Technique
Dr. Cox has developed a technique of "flexion/disc-traction" which pulls the bulging intervertebral discs and tissues away from the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. This technique incorporates a special table that breaks away and flexes downward while performing the tractioning maneuver.

Chiropractic Adjustment
This term refers to a wide variety of specific manual interventions that may be high or low velocity; short or long lever; high or low amplitude; with or without recoil. Chiropractic adjustments are directed at specific regions of the vertebral spine. The purpose of the Chiropractic adjustment is to correct vertebral subluxations, which can cause issues with the biomechanical and physiological structures of the spine.

Chiropractic Analysis
A chiropractic analysis is performed on a routine basis to determine the patient's need for spinal adjustments. A chiropractic analysis may include (but certainly is not limited to) two or more of the following procedures: instrumentation (skin temperature differential analysis), chiropractic x-ray analysis, spinal static and motion palpation, postural analysis, leg-length comparison tests, muscle strength measures, and other chiropractic analysis procedures.

Chiropractic Assessment
The process of combining the clinical analysis to determine the best mode to address and monitor the correction of vertebral subluxation and other malpositioned articulations and structures.

Chiropractic Care
This term refers to the behaviors, methods, procedures, etc., that chiropractic practitioners employ in the case-management of patients.

Chiropractic Diagnosis
Necessary in the professional judgment of the attending doctor of chiropractic to determine the need for care and, in particular, to detect the presence, location and nature of chiropractic lesions (subluxation and attendant biomechanical, biochemical, structural and neurophysiological problems, etc.) and prepare and administer an appropriate course of care within the realm of chiropractic.

Chiropractic Practice Objective
Reduce or correct vertebral subluxations and other body alignment issues in a safe and effective manner.

Chiropractor aka Doctor of Chiropractic aka D.C., aka DC
A practitioner of chiropractic.


Degeneration (click here for more information)
The body's response to injury is to form new bone. Calcium deposits eventually can build up around a vertebrae and become an ongoing case of subluxation degeneration.

Diathermy
Therapeutic measure used in medicine to generate heat in the body tissues. Electrodes and other instruments are used to transmit electric current to surface structures, thereby increasing the local blood circulation and facilitating and accelerating the process of absorption and repair. The heat works like fever to increase the blood flow to the areas that need more blood to bring in white blood cells and red blood cells and antibodies to reduce infection and cause increased healing in a much shorter period of time. It is used a lot for sinus infections, ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia.

Diversified
Taught at most major chiropractic colleges. It is primarily the use of the practitioner's hands to make the spinal correction. Many times an audible snap or pop will be heard as the correction is made.

Drugless Profession
Chiropractic is a drugless health care profession. Doctors of Chiropractic do not prescribe or issue drugs to their patients.


Electrotherapy
Electrotherapy pertains to the use of electrical stimulation of the body. It may be used to control pain, increase blood and lymphatic circulation, reduce muscle spasm, relax or stimulate the nervous system or aid in the healing process.


Geriatrics
Doctors of chiropractic are licensed and extensively trained to diagnose and treat people of all ages. Seniors may be treated with a light, medium or firm adjustment depending on their age, degree of degeneration etc. There are doctors of chriopractic specializing in the treatment of elderly patients.

Gonstead
Dr. Clarence Gonstead developed Gonstead technique. It adopts the use of the doctor's hands to make corrections of the spine. The doctor may use the side posture position (lumbar roll) to adjust the lumbar spine, knee chest table to correct thoracic (mid shoulder) problems and the cervical chair to correct cervical (neck) problems while the patient remains seated. This technique is also taught in most chiropractic colleges.


Holistic
Holistic health care is the art and science of regaining health by treating man as a functioning whole. Health is attained by creating a natural balance of environment, diet, water, rest, exercise, emotional well-being and proper neurological balance.


ICE/IME
Independent Chiropractic or Medical Examination is an examination which is usually conducted at the request of an insurance company that wants an independent examination by a doctor other than the treating doctor for the determination of maximum medical improvement or degree of impairment.

Interferential Electro-Therapy
It is a therapeutic treatment to aid in the relief of pain and the promotion of soft tissue healing. It works by tiny amounts of electrical impulses are induced into the tissues in the vicinity of the injury. Where these waves intersect below the surface of the skin, a low-frequency stimulation is created. This prompts the body to secrete endorphins and other natural painkillers to help relieve pain.

Intersegmental Traction
It is a way of inducing passive motion into the spine for the purpose of stretching spinal joints, increasing mobility. It works by the patient lying face up on a bench table, which has roller-type cams beneath its surface. These rollers can slowly travel the length of the spine, stretching spinal joints.


Kinesiology
The art and science of testing the strength of certain muscles to determine areas of vertebral subluxations, neurological deficits, and certain types of nutritional deficiencies. Also known as Applied Kinesiology.


Manipulation
A non-specific manual procedure that involves a directed thrust to move a joint past its physiological range of motion.

Massage
Many doctors of chiropractic incorporate a massage therapist within their office. Massage is used to increase circulation of blood and lymphatics, help with pain reduction, and provided increased motion.


Network
The integration of chiropractic techniques, which utilized light touch or taps to relieve spinal tension to clear the body of nervous interference. Major differences in approach is the sequence or timing of adjustments which are determined by objective changes in body parameters, such as leg length, etc. Network Chiropractic releases spinal imprints or facilitation caused by physical, emotional or chemical stress, and promotes overall wellness.

Nimmo
Developed by Dr. Nimmo, uses thumb, elbow or a "Nimmo Tee" to apply pressure to trigger points to reduce pain and edema associated with the subluxation complex.

Non Force
Non Force refers to a light chiropractic adjusting force which is administered to correct a spinal subluxation. Example: Activator, toftness, SOT, Trigger Point Therapy, Logan Basic etc.

Nucca/Grostic
This upper cervical technique which involves a specific system of x-ray analysis to determine the subluxation complex. The spinal adjustment is delivered manually but at a very specific angle.

Nutrition
Nutrition is the art and science of correcting dietary deficiencies, which can result in abnormal tissue function and certain disease processes. Some doctors prescribe specific vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes, herbs, etc., for various health problems with emphasis placed on changing overall dietary habits.


Orthopedics
Orthopedics pertains to the correction and prevention of skeletal and joint disjunction. There are chiropractors that take additional post-graduate classes in orthopedics and specialize in more in-depth injuries sustained to the spine or extremity joints.

Orthotics
Orthopedic devices designed to treat or adjust various biomechanical foot disorders. Orthotic is placed in the patient's shoe and helps keep the foot in proper alignment. Almost anyone can achieve some benefit from an orthotic. Your feet should not hurt. Pain is the body's way of warning you something is wrong. If you ignore your pain, the condition causing it could become worse.


Palmer
Palmer College was the first college of chiropractic in the world. The Palmer Method places a strong emphasis on correcting the spinal subluxation and establishing a normal neurological balance to all tissues of the body. All additional therapies such as physical therapy, nutrition, etc., would be considered secondary after the correction of spinal subluxation.

Pediatrics
Pediatrics pertains to the use of chiropractic care for young children.  Doctors of chiropractic are licensed and extensively trained to diagnose and treat people of all ages, using a gentler type of threatment for children. There are doctors of chriopractic who specialize in pediatrics.

Pettibon
This technique was orignated  by a Dr. Pettibon who used his background in engineering to develop a specific chiropractic technique to make corrections of the spinal subluxation. This technique uses a complex formula to ascertain various misalignment angles and uses specific manual and instrument adjustments to correct such misalignments.

Physician
An authorized practictioner of medicine, as one graduated from a college of medicine or osteopathy and is licensed by the appropate state board.

Primary Care Profession
Any health care provider which by law, expertise and professional ethics, may accept patients without referal, e.g., D.C., M.D., D.O., D.P.M., D.D.S., D.D.M.


Radiology
Radiology is the use of x-rays to determine pathology (cancer, tumors, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis etc.) fractures, short leg deficiencies and spinal subluxations (misalignment).


SOT
Dr. De Jarnette of Nebraska City, Nebraska, developed Sacral Occipital Technique. He divides low back conditions into three categories and incorporates wedge shaped blocks in conjunction with a pumping motion to make sacral corrections. He also uses a "stair walking" movement to make cervical corrections. His primary intent is to restore normal cerebral corrections. His primary intent is to restore normal cerebral spinal fluid flow as well as improve normal spinal integrity.

Spinal Analysis
The comprehensive process of evaluating the spinal column and its immediate articulations for vertebral subluxations and contraindications to any or all chiropractic procedures.

Sports
Many doctors of chiropractic that specialize in injuries that occur during sports activities: (concussion, sprain/strains of the ankle, knee, wrist etc.)

Subluxation
A displacement of the spine that causes interference to the nervous system. Since your spine affects the nerves in all parts of your body, problems in your spine may cause many types of health problems. Learn more about Subluxation

Symptom(s)
Subjective evidence of a patient's condition, such evidence as perceived by the patient.


Thermography
Thermograhpy is the use of instrumentation to measure the temperature of various areas of the body to determine if there are any abnormal changes in the body which would alter the flow of neurological, lymphatic, or blood to outer tissues (skin, muscle, tendons, ligaments, etc.) Most chiropractors will use thermography to determine if there is a neurological deficit (subluxation) within the spine that would cause vasodialation of the outer dermatones (skin) of the body. Monitoring of thermography could be used to determine how well the patient is responding to care, or the degree of permanent injury sustained.

Thompson
Dr. Thompson developed a mechanical drop mechanism for the adjusting table, which reduces spinal adjusting force and reduces patient sensitivity and pain during the spinal adjustment. He has developed a specific technique to be used in conjunction with his Thompson table. It may be considered a non-force technique by some doctors.

Toftness
Dr. Toftness has developed a technique which uses a unique tube shaped instrument with a series of lenses that help detect the area of subluxation and neurological disturbances. This instrument is said to detect minute radiation and electromagnetic disturbances that exist with spinal subluxations. He uses a very light non-force adjustment in conjunction with this instrument to make all corrections.

Trigger
Trigger points are acupuncture points which become inflamed with vertebral subluxations and can be treated mechanically by hand, needle, or electrically such as electrical muscle stimulation for the purpose of pain relief.


Ultrasound
Sonography, in medicine, technique that uses sound waves to study and treat hard-to-reach body areas. In scanning with ultrasound, high-frequency sound waves are transmitted to the area of interest and the returning echoes recorded.


Vertibra
Any of the thirty-three bones of the spinal column comprising the seven cervial, twelve thoracic, five lumbar, five sacral and three to five coccygeal vertebrae.


Webster Technique
A specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment used to correct subluxations in the pregnant mother's sacrum and pelvis. This balances the mother's pelvic muscles and ligaments, providing the physiological environment necessary for optimal baby positioning. This specialized technique was developed by Dr. Larry Webster, Founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.  

Weight Loss
Some chiropractors suggest various diets to help the patient lose and maintain a desirable weight to reduce spinal stress. Nutritional consultation is used in conjunction with weight loss to maintain a holistic healthcare program.