At Kinexis, we specialize in helping patients achieve optimal spinal health using a variety of chiropractic techniques, tools, and equipment. Oftentimes, specific terms are used to describe the types of chiropractic care and physical therapy we are performing, so we want to make sure our patients have access to comprehensive explanations of these techniques.
Understanding the terminology used helps build confidence in our patients and empowers them to ask educated questions to come to an informed decision about their care.
The Palmer Package is a variety of techniques taught at the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, the birthplace of chiropractic in 1895. This technique is both a system of chiropractic analysis and a way to minimize the amount of energy needed to adjust the spine using a special table with drop-away sections. The Palmer Package is a set of adjusting tools that equip chiropractors with what they need to help just about any spinal problem.
After a complete analysis, the Gonstead chiropractor is ready to deliver any necessary adjustments. The focus of the Gonstead adjustment is to be as specific, precise, and accurate as possible, addressing only the problem areas (areas of subluxation). Great care is taken to ensure a bio-mechanically correct position and precise thrust to provide the most accurate and painless adjustment possible. Your Gonstead doctor’s goal is to restore and maintain optimal health by locating and correcting any interference to the nervous system caused by vertebral subluxation. Gonstead procedures result from extensive clinical research by Clarence S.Gonstead, founder of the world-famous Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, and his associates.
Thompson Drop Tech
It’s a type of chiropractic method that emphasizes high-velocity, low amplitude, low force adjustments. This technique is also known as the drop-table technique because it uses a unique precision adjusting table that helps keep the patient comfortable during the procedure.
Flexion-distraction therapy is performed on a segmented table that moves as your chiropractor slowly manipulates your spine, relieving your back, leg, neck, and arm pain. As your chiropractor performs gentle manipulations, a section of the treatment table drops or moves, changing the positioning of your body. When your body drops slightly, gravity enhances treatment effects and realigns your spine.
It’s a type of motorized traction that may help relieve back pain. Spinal decompression works by gently stretching the spine. That changes the force and position of the spine. This change takes the pressure off the spinal disks, which are gel-like cushions between the bones in your spine, by creating negative pressure in the disc. As a result, bulging or herniated disks may retract, taking pressure off nerves and other structures in your spine. This, in turn, helps promote the movement of water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich fluids into the disks so they can heal.
It’s a realignment and proper rehabilitation of extremity joints. Extremity joints are joints outside the spine, including hips, knees, ribs, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, ankles, feet, and even fingers and toes. Virtually every articulation of your skeletal system is susceptible to misalignment that can impair function and range of motion. An extremity adjustment is a realignment and proper rehabilitation of extremity joints, including hips, knees, ribs, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, ankles, feet, and even fingers and toes.
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD), more commonly known as TMJ, is a blanket term for acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint (which connects your mandible to your skull). TMJ is a commonly used term that refers to a wide variety of conditions that affect TM joints, jaw muscles, and facial nerves. Your jaw joint, also known as the TM joint, exists to connect the lower jaw bone (that’s your mandible) to the skull’s temporal bones on each side of the head. The muscles controlling the joints are attached to the mandible and allow the jaw to move. The TM joint works in 2 different ways. Its first function is to exist as a hinge to open and close your mouth. The second function is a sliding motion called translation, where your lower jaw moves down and forward. This motion helps the TM joint move backward and forward and from side to side to help make tasks like chewing, singing, and yawning possible.
One of the most widely researched chiropractic techniques and the only instrument adjusting technique with clinical trials to support its efficacy. Activator Methods International has provided chiropractic care, resources, and training since 1967. Arlan Fuhr created treatment methods using device applications 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.
Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT) was originally formulated by Major Bertrand DeJarnette (The Major), who was a Doctor (chiropractor and osteopath) and Engineer in the 1920’s. The Major was inspired to go beyond simple spinal adjusting and developed methods of correcting the cranium, pelvis, extremities and organs. This study brought about a system of adjusting patterns in the body, not just single body parts. The most significant pattern was the relationship between the sacrum and occiput (which became the name of the technique). An important distinction of SOT is the use of indicators. Each adjustment has a sign or signal that we use to know when and where to adjust. For example, muscle tension at the knee may indicate the pelvis needs correction, and connective tissue fibers at the base of the skull (called occipital fibers) indicate different vertebrae in the back or spine may be in need of an adjustment.
Physical Therapy Techniques
Soft Tissue Mobilization
Uses stretching and deep pressure to break up rigid muscle tissue, relax muscle tension, and move fluids trapped in the tissues that cause pain and inflammation. STM is used to treat soft tissue injuries, including muscle strains and sprains. It is a type of manual therapy.
It’s a skilled manual therapy technique aimed at improving joint range of motion and reducing pain. How does it work? The therapist manually applies targeted pressures or forces on a joint in specific directions to help improve the mobility of that joint. Joint mobilization is usually done at a slow speed, with or without oscillations or a stretch. This technique is usually graded and is varied based on two factors: pain tolerance of the patient and the acuity of the patient’s condition. In comparison, the manipulation technique is more aggressive using high-velocity thrusts.
The Graston Technique was born in 1994 when an amateur athlete became frustrated with his lack of progress following a knee injury. The athlete used his background in machinery to create special tools to help with his soft tissue injury and then built the company from an outpatient clinic in Indianapolis. Today, Graston physical therapy treatment is known for its unique instruments, astonishing results on acute and chronic injuries, and specialized training courses. These are only offered to currently licensed therapists, medical doctors, chiropractors, athletic trainers, and other healthcare community members.
Astym treatment is a physical therapy treatment that regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and eliminates or reduces unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions. It’s highly effective for restoring movement and reducing pain from soft tissue injury/dysfunction, and Astym even works when other approaches routinely fail. One of the main reasons for this is that Astym was designed to target the underlying cause of many soft tissue problems, rather than just trying to relieve symptoms.
PNF was initially developed by physiotherapists as a method of rehabilitating stroke victims and refers to any of the several post-isometric relaxation stretching techniques. These are when a muscle group is passively stretched and then contracted isometrically against resistance while in an extended position. According to the International PNF Association, PNF stretching was developed by Dr. Herman Kabat in the 1940s to treat neuromuscular conditions, including polio and multiple sclerosis. PNF techniques have since gained popularity with physical therapists and other fitness professionals.
Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a gentle hands-on treatment that may provide relief from a variety of symptoms, including headaches, neck pain, and side effects of cancer treatment, among many others. CST uses a light touch to examine membranes and the movement of fluids in and around the central nervous system. Relieving tension in the central nervous system promotes a feeling of well-being by eliminating pain and boosting health and immunity.
It’s a type of physical therapy often used to treat myofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder caused by sensitivity and tightness in your myofascial tissues. These tissues surround and support the muscles throughout your body. The pain usually originates from specific points within your myofascial tissues called “trigger points.” Myofascial release focuses on reducing pain by easing the tension and tightness in the trigger points. It’s not always easy to understand what trigger point is responsible for the pain. Localizing pain to a specific trigger point is very difficult. For that reason, myofascial release is often used over a broad area of muscle and tissue rather than at single points.
Strain / CounterStrain
Strain and Counterstrain, originally called “positional release technique” was developed in 1955 by an osteopathic physician named Lawrence Jones. Strain Counterstrain is a manual therapy technique, meaning clinicians use only their hands for treatment of muscle and joint pain. It uses passive body positioning of hypertonic (spasmed) muscles and dysfunctional joints toward positions of comfort or tissue ease that compress or shorten the offending muscle. The purpose of movement toward shortening is to relax aberrant reflexes that produce the muscle spasm forcing immediate reduction of muscle tone to normal levels.
Was developed in the 1960s by Robin McKenzie, a physical therapist in New Zealand. In his practice, he noted that extending the spine could provide significant pain relief to certain patients and allow them to return to their normal daily activities. With the McKenzie approach, physical therapy and exercise used to extend the spine can help “centralize” the patient’s pain by moving it away from the extremities (leg or arm) to the back. Back pain is usually better tolerated than leg pain or arm pain, and the theory of the approach is that centralizing the pain allows the source of the pain to be treated rather than the symptoms.
It’s designed to mimic the skin’s elasticity so you can use your full range of motion. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, certified athletic trainers, chiropractors, physicians, manual therapists, nurses, and physiotherapists around the world are using Kinesio Tape for many dysfunctions on a wide spectrum. Kinesio Tape is a latex-free hypoallergenic cotton fiber tape with an acrylic heat-activated backing that stretches only along its longitudinal axis. Kinesio Tape was created and developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase in 1973. It is a treatment that is felt to prolong the effects of physiologic work done.
Class IV Laser
Class 4 laser therapy may sound futuristic, but it has become a standard of care for many musculoskeletal injuries. Laser therapy uses specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to create therapeutic effects. The light that is transmitted via the laser helps stimulate certain processes within the body that help provide relief to symptoms, including pain, swelling, and limited range of motion. The wavelength of the laser used in Class 4 laser therapy penetrates deeper and more efficiently than the Class 3 laser allowing it to pass energy to the nerve, muscle, ligament, and tendon tissue in a short amount of time. In fact, most sessions range from 2-6 minutes which means we can treat injured tissue in multiple areas in a single session, thus improving your results.
Curious to know more about some of these treatment terms?
Contact us today and schedule a consultation with one of our qualified physicians.