The Activator Method of chiropractic adjustment uses a small, handheld device called the Activator Adjusting Instrument to apply localized pressure to a specific treatment area. It can be used in conjunction with or as an alternative to the high-velocity low amplitude (HVLA) thrust to treat various kinds of back and neck pain, as well as headaches.
Dr. Arlan Fuhr developed this method in 1967, and the first Activator Adjusting Instrument was patented in 1978. The FDA approved it for “chiropractic adjustment of the spine and extremities” in 1997.
How Does the Activator Method Work?
Once your chiropractor has physically evaluated your spine and extremities, they will determine the best course of treatment for you, which may include the Activator Method. This examination may also include a comparison of your leg lengths to help identify where you have vertebral misalignments.
The Activator Adjusting Instrument is a spring-loaded, handheld mechanical device that delivers swift, low-force impact at specific points. It is believed that the reason it is so effective is that its delivery is so quick, the body doesn’t have time to tense up. When you tense your muscles in anticipation of your adjustment, it limits the amount of manipulation that reaches your joints. By targeting a specific area and quickly applying pressure, this muscle reflex can be avoided. Another reason it is effective in treating localized pain is that it delivers the thrust to a particular spot, thus reducing the torque necessary to correct the misalignment.
Activator Method Provider Training
To become a qualified provider of the Activator Method, additional post-graduate training is needed. Anywhere from 12-24 hours of training, as well as written and practical exams, must be passed. During this hands-on training, chiropractors learn how to safely and effectively utilize the Activator Adjusting Instrument, as well as when it is most indicated for use.
What to Expect During Activator Method Treatment
During your appointment, you will lay face down on the adjustment table and can expect the Activator Adjustment Instrument to feel similar to having your reflexes checked. There is no twisting or turning, as is common for many other chiropractic methods and techniques. Afterward, your chiropractor will re-evaluate you for indications that it was effective.
Like most chiropractic treatments, it may take some time for you to reap the benefits fully. Our bodies are complex and often stubborn – resisting change even when it’s for the better. As such, your chiropractor will most likely recommend multiple treatment sessions over several weeks. This ensures your body has time to adjust to the treatment and respond appropriately.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment, please contact our 3D Integrated Medical office today!