Chiropractic Treatment Techniques

Many chiropractic treatment techniques are available for use by chiropractors. They primarily specialize in manual and manipulative therapies with an emphasis on spinal manipulation. The medicinal use of spinal manipulation can be traced back over 3000 years to ancient Chinese writings. Hippocrates, the "father of medicine" used manipulative techniques, as did the ancient Egyptians and many other cultures. A modern re-emphasis on manipulative therapy occurred in the late 19th century in North America with the emergence of the osteopathic medicine and chiropractic medicine. Spinal manipulation therapy gained mainstream recognition during the 1980s. Spinal manipulation/adjustment describes techniques where the hands are used to manipulate, massage, mobilize, adjust, stimulate, apply traction to, or otherwise influence the spine and related tissues. It is the most common and primary intervention used in chiropractic care. In North America, chiropractors perform over 90% of all manipulative treatments with the balance provided by osteopathic medicine, physical therapy and naturopathic medicine. Manipulation under anesthesia or MUA is a specialized manipulative procedure that typically occurs in hospitals administered under general anesthesia. Typically, it is performed on patients who have failed to respond to other forms of treatment. Chiropractors may also use other conservative therapies such as exercise, electrical modalities, health, nutrition and wellness counseling and ergonomic advice in a holistic paradigm espoused by in traditional/complementary and alternative medicine.

Dr. Godbout utilizes the following techniques:

  • Diversified
  • Palmer package
  • Graston Technique
  • Cox Flexion Distraction Technique
  • Activator
  • Gonstead
  • Thompson Drop Technique
  • Specialization in Sports Related Injuries

Diversified technique (DT) is the most commonly used adjustment technique by chiropractors. Like many chiropractic and osteopathic manipulative techniques, Diversified is characterized by a high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust. Diversified is considered the most generic chiropractic manipulative technique and is differentiated from other techniques in that its objective is to restore proper movement and alignment of spine and joint dysfunction. The diversified technique remains the principal system taught at Palmer College of Chiropractic, National University of Health Sciences, New York Chiropractic College, Texas Chiropractic College, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Northwestern College of Chiropractic and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.

This theory was brought to Palmer's attention by Al Wernsing, another chiropractor. Soon thereafter, Palmer abandoned his ties to traditional full-spine spinal adjustments and allowed only adjustments of the upper cervical vertebrae, a technique which he termed "Hole in one" (HIO). The technique was the only one to be taught during the remainder of his life at Palmer School of Chiropractic. Afterwards the school adopted the work of chiropractors Clay Thompson and Clarence Gonstead, but eventually labeled its technique curriculum the Palmer Package.

The techniques are characterized by:

  1. Main influence on the upper cervical articulations of the occiput, and the atlas and axis vertebrae
  2. Focus on vector calculation based upon the theory that kinematic joint dysfunction is related to a positional disturbance.
  3. Attempted radiographic analysis of positional disturbance of the atlanto-occipital joint
  4. Documentation of post-adjustment results with objective measures
  5. Use of a specific vectored force

Graston Technique (GT)

Graston Technique (GT) is a trademarked therapeutic method for diagnosing and treating disorders of the skeletal muscles and related connective tissue. The method employs a collection of six stainless steel tools of particular shape and size, which are used by practitioners to palpate patients' bodies in order to detect and resolve adhesions in the muscles and tendons. Practitioners must be licensed by the parent corporation in order to use the Graston Technique trademark or the patented instruments.

Cox Flexion Distracion Technique:

Disc Related Pain Conditions

For patients with a "slipped/bulging/ruptured/herniated" disc (without cauda equina syndrome or progressive neurological deficit), Cox® Technic sets the following goals:


  1. increases the intervertebral disc height (B) to remove anular tension on the anular fibers and nerve (D) by making more room and improving circulation;
  2. allows the nucleus pulposus (A) -- the center of the disc -- to assume its central position within the anular fibers (E) and relieves irritation of the spinal nerve (D);
  3. restores vertebral joints (C) to their physiological relationships of motion;
  4. improves posture and locomotion while relieving pain, improving body functions, and creating a state of well-being.

The Activator Method Chiropractic Technique

The Activator Method Chiropractic Technique is a chiropractic treatment method and device created by Arlan Fuhr 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.

Thompson Terminal Point Technique

Thompson Terminal Point Technique (Thompson Drop-Table Technique) - uses a precision adjusting table with a weighing mechanism which adds only enough tension to hold the patient in the "up" position before the thrust is given.