Chiropractic treatment feels like magic. One moment you’re in pain, the next moment you’re not.
Chiropractors use a variety of methods to help treat your major and minor joint and bone pains. But what tools do chiropractors use on you? We’ll answer this common question and cover the types of tools you may spot during your next visit.
What Tools Do Chiropractors Use?
Chiropractors use a wide variety of tools to help remedy bone, tissue, and joint issues for their patients. These are the most common tools you might see in a chiropractor’s office.
Activator Adjusting Tool
An activator adjusting tool is a popping tool that helps chiropractors realign specific parts of your spine. With a small amount of spring-loaded force, vertebrae snap back into place, helping relieve pain and inflammation.
Impulse Adjusting Tool
Similarly to the activator adjusting tool, an impulse adjusting tool helps realign vertebrae. However, this tool uses electronic impulses instead of spring-loaded force. This tool is better because the amount of force can be electronically manipulated.
The pro-adjuster tool is an impulse adjusting tool that includes software insights. The software allows the chiropractor to test the area before committing to an adjustment.
A cold laser is a low-intensity cold laser beam aimed at an irritated area on the patient’s body. It encourages healing and alleviates pain with light.
Cold lasers help reduce pain better than regular lasers because the heat exacerbates pain. Lasers are more therapeutic and improve the happiness and comfort of patients experiencing a high level of pain.
A TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) device is a small tool used for pain relief therapy. It sends electrical currents via electrodes and stimulates nerve pathways, giving a pleasant tingling sensation to the area. Like the cold laser, this tool is a pain medicine replacement.
Inclinometers test the range of motion in joints. Chiropractors use the measurements to evaluate treatment progress and joint health.
Relex hammers elicit a response when gently tapped on a tendon. The response, usually an involuntary jerk in motion, measures joint and tendon health.
Cushions, Blocks, and Wedges
Depending on your chiropractor’s preference, you may notice several types of cushions, blocks, or wedges. Each of these items helps elevate specific portions of the patient’s body and keeps the patient comfortable in the process.
Pelvic blocks, for example, elevate the pelvis for easy inspection. These tools are usually made of foam to keep patients as comfortable as possible.
Foam rollers are physical therapy tools that help roll out the soreness in muscles. The roller goes underneath the irritated area while the patient rolls back and forth. This action is also considered exercise and helps stimulate muscle toning in the area.
What Equipment Is in a Chiropractor Office?
Chiropractors use more than just small tools during your appointments. There are several large pieces of equipment you may notice during your next visit.
Ultrasounds aren’t reserved for pregnancy checkups. These machines use sound waves to create images of the inside of your body.
This is a vital tool for chiropractors because it helps them understand why patients feel bone and joint paint. With the help of this machine, chiropractors can pinpoint your issues and help remedy them quicker.
The tool you’re probably familiar with the most is the chiropractor table. However, you may be unaware that chiropractors usually have several tables on hand for different techniques.
Elevation tables, for example, help lift patients without physical effort from the physician. These tables often have a manual foot pump or a motor to move the patient.
Traction tables help stretch the patient. This is the main component in spinal decompression therapy (SDT).
Stationary tables are the most popular. These tables have mechanisms that lift portions of a patient’s body without effort from the patient or the chiropractor. This is especially helpful for patients experiencing a high level of pain from their bone and joint issues.
Cryochambers are less common but very helpful for all types of patients. These chambers place a patient’s body in freezing temperatures.
While this doesn’t sound ideal, it actually helps stimulate the central nervous system. This stimulation releases endorphins which reduce inflammation and promote blood circulation.
For major issues that aren’t measured by any other device, chiropractors may resort to using an x-ray machine.
X-rays use electromagnetic radiation to produce a digital image of the patient’s bones. This machine identifies significant bone, joint, and tissue issues. For issues that require surgery, the chiropractor can refer the patient to a surgeon.
Electromyography (EMG) devices measure muscle and nerve activity. Like an EKG’s measurement of heart activity, muscle activity measurement helps chiropractors understand tension levels in their patients in a non-invasive way.
Electrodermal Screening (EDS) Device
An electrodermal screening (EDS) device helps chiropractors understand the specific needs of their patients. These devices detect energy imbalances on acupuncture points of the body. The electrical energy measurement helps target inflammation and other imbalances.
Full-Body Vibration Plate
The full-body vibration plate is a piece of vibrating equipment patients stand on. The vibration plate sends vibrations throughout the patient’s entire body. These vibrations help stimulate the nervous and circulatory system, helping the patient handle pain and inflammation during treatment.
To fully understand the state of a patient’s spine alignment, chiropractors have a spine analyzer in their office, which analyzes alignment.
This device is large but portable. It analyzes factors such as posture and alignment to determine spinal treatment. This also helps determine whether a patient has scoliosis.
Tools of the Trade
Have you ever found yourself wondering, “what tools do chiropractors use?” If so, we hope this guide helped you understand the big and small tools you may find in a typical chiropractor’s office.
If you’ve experienced an injury or want to plan a routine checkup, we can help. Book an appointment with the Momentum Medical today for your next visit.