• Dr. Bonnie Verhunce

What is the Activator Technique?


Out of all the chiropractic treatments available, the Activator technique is the gentlest. Developed by Arthur Fuhr, the Activator technique offers an alternative to manual manipulation of the spine and/or extremity joints. Instead, chiropractors practicing this method use an activator device, allowing for gentler chiropractic treatment. The Activator is a small, handheld spring-loaded instrument used to deliver a small impulse to the spine. Its aim is to manipulate the vertebrae by applying just enough force, but not so much as to cause injury. The Activator tool is highly effective, since it’s designed to give patients a specific and gentle adjustment, through a series of controlled and fast thrusts, which are actually comfortable for the patient. One reason there is minimal discomfort in this technique is that the manipulations using the tool

are administered so quickly, the muscles are less likely to resist the impact. This makes the technique good for children who have difficulty lying still, and for older patients with arthritis or osteoporosis, since little discomfort is actually felt. The chiropractic patient receiving treatment via the Activator method first undergoes a series of analyses and examinations, in order to detect joint dysfunction, leg length inequality, and to test neurological reflexes. Once the chiropractor understands the patient’s specific needs, they can then begin the process of restoring spinal balance – gently and effectively. The examination of leg length equality involves the patient lying in a prone position while the chiropractor compares the functional leg lengths. It is not uncommon that one leg is shorter than the other. The chiropractor then conducts a series of muscle tests: the patient moves their arm in to a specific position. This activates the muscles that are attached to a specific vertebra. If there is a change in the leg length, this indicates that the problem lies in the vertebra. In this case, the chiropractor will progressively move along and treat the length of the spine towards the head from the feet. Using the Activator method is not only beneficial for helping back and neck pain, but also for numerous other problems associated with spinal imbalance and dysfunction. Issues connected to the nervous system, such as nerve-associated pain, can also be aided by the Activator method. If you suffer from neck and back pain, headaches, knee pain, sciatica, or carpal tunnel syndrome, consider chiropractic treatment and ask Dr Bonnie about the Activator method. It can help not only with physical symptoms, but it can also help to alleviate the anxiety associated with chiropractic treatment. References: [1] Fuhr, Arlan W.; J. Michael Menke (February 2005). "Status of Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique, Theory, and Practice". Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 28 (2): e1–e20. [2] http://www.activator.com/chiropractic-conditions/activator-explained/ accessed September 2011.

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