Chiropractic Tools & Equipment: Adjustment Instruments | ChiroTouch
July 19, 2024 by ChiroTouch Article Business Management
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Table of Contents

  1. Activator Adjusting Tool
  2. SOT (Sacro-Occipital Technique) Blocks
  3. Massage Gun
  4. Heat/Ice Packs
  5. Impulse Adjusting Instrument
  6. ArthroStim Adjusting Tool
  7. Pulstar FRAS Adjusting Instrument
  8. Atlas Orthogonal Percussion Instrument
  9. Inclinometers
  10. Chiropractic Tables
  11. Digital X-ray Machine
  12. Computers/iPads
  13. Therapeutic Ultrasound
  14. Cold Laser Therapy Device
  15. TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) Unit
  16. Rehab/Exercise Equipment
  17. Cervical Traction Devices
  18. Diagnostic Thermal Imaging Device

Gone are the days when manual adjustments were the sole weapon in a chiropractor’s arsenal. Today’s chiropractors use an impressive array of chiropractic tools and equipment designed to enhance diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of a wide range of conditions.

Whether you’re just starting your practice or a longtime practitioner looking to stay current, this list of today’s most popular chiropractic equipment, including both longtime classics and cutting-edge innovations, is for you.

18 Most Popular Chiropractic Tools and Equipment

Chiropractic tools and equipment are the backbones of effective chiropractic care, enabling you to deliver impactful treatments. From traditional adjusting tables and activators to cutting-edge laser therapy and spinal decompression devices, these instruments are vital for diagnosing and treating neuromuscular disorders.

From time-tested classics to cutting-edge innovations, here are the 18 most popular chiropractic tools and equipment designed to enhance your ability to diagnose, treat, and prevent musculoskeletal issues with precision and efficiency.

Chiropractic Tools

Chiropractors use a variety of chiropractor tools to support patient care. These tools include care tools like chiropractic tables and activator adjustment tools as well as technology items like computers, iPads, and X-ray machines.

Here are some of the most popular chiropractic tools.

1. Activator Adjusting Tool

The Activator adjusting tool uses a spring-loaded thrust to gently push targeted vertebrae or extremity joints back into proper alignment. This method is less invasive than traditional spinal manipulation, offering a more comfortable experience with reduced muscle tension and fewer audible pops or cracks. It is an excellent option for patients seeking gentler adjustments.

2. SOT (Sacro-Occipital Technique) Blocks

Sacro-occipital technique (SOT) blocks are wedge-shaped cushions used in a low-force chiropractic tool to realign the head, spine, and pelvis. Placed under the patient’s hips, these blocks provide specific directional forces to the joints and soft tissues, helping reduce misalignment, relieve tension, restore joint motion, and decrease lumbar pain.

The goal is to improve balance and the position of the pelvic bones, restore movement in the spinal joints and optimize the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to the central nervous system.

using a chiropractic tool massage gun

3. Massage Gun

A massage gun is a handheld chiropractic instrument that uses percussive therapy to apply rapid, concentrated pressure pulses deep into muscle tissue. Massage guns speed muscle recovery, alleviate soreness and improve blood flow before or after an adjustment.

The latest models offer features like adjustable heads, customizable speed settings, and quieter motors.

4. Heat/Ice Packs

Few tools are as effective as therapeutic heat and ice packs at managing pain and inflammation. Ice packs reduce swelling and numb acute pain by constricting blood vessels, making them ideal for acute injuries. Heat packs help relax muscles and improve blood flow, which is beneficial for chronic pain and muscle tightness.

5. Impulse Adjusting Instrument

The Impulse adjusting instrument is a state-of-the-art device designed to augment chiropractic adjustments. Its fast, gentle thrusting motion uses pressure and vibration to improve patients’ adjustments.

This instrument realigns vertebrae and joints with minimal discomfort by carefully controlling the force and speed of each thrust, promoting better movement, improved range of motion, and pain reduction.

6. ArthroStim Adjusting Tool

The ArthroStim adjusting tool is a cutting-edge chiropractic instrument that offers customizable adjustments. With its variable amplitude feature, practitioners can adjust the thrust amplitude to best match the needs of each patient’s condition. The spring-cushioned stylus is pressure-sensitive, allowing chiropractors to instantly tailor the input for individual patients.

The cushioned handle and trigger provide comfort and protection for the practitioner’s hand, ensuring ease of use during treatments.

7. Pulstar FRAS Adjusting Instrument

For patients with joint subluxation, restricted joint mobility, myofascial spasm, and ligamentous strain, the Pulstar FRAS (Functional Rating and Analysis System) adjusting instrument can be a highly effective diagnostic and treatment tool.

It uses a handheld two-pronged impulse head equipped with sensors, connected to a sophisticated computer program. Each spinal joint is analyzed for proper function, and the results are displayed as an easy-to-read graph. The graph provides the doctor and the patient with critical information about joint function.

This data, combined with patient history and manual examination results, helps chiropractors determine the most effective treatment plan. After adjustments, a post-analysis compares with the pretreatment analysis, showing real-time results and improvements.

8. Atlas Orthogonal Percussion Instrument

The Atlas Orthogonal technique is a specialized chiropractic method focused on correcting misalignments of the atlas vertebra (C1), the topmost bone in the spine. This technique is based on the principle that proper alignment of the atlas is vital for overall spinal health and optimal nervous system function.

The Atlas Orthogonal Percussion Instrument realigns the atlas without twisting or cracking. The process involves detailed X-ray analysis to identify the exact misalignment. Once identified, a mild percussive force is applied using the table-mounted Atlas Orthogonal percussion instrument, which helps reposition the atlas vertebra.

Chiropractic Equipment

Modern chiropractic care relies on a diverse array of specialized equipment to diagnose, treat, and prevent musculoskeletal issues with precision and efficiency. From tools that measure joint mobility to advanced tables designed for specific therapeutic techniques, these instruments enhance the quality of care chiropractors can provide.

Here’s an overview of the most popular chiropractic equipment.

9. Inclinometers

Inclinometers measure the range of motion and angles of the spine and other joints. They help chiropractors accurately assess a patient’s flexibility and identify any restrictions or misalignments.

The chiropractor places the inclinometer on the area being assessed, such as on the vertebrae of the spine or around a joint like the knee or shoulder.

As the patient moves through a range of motion, the inclinometer detects and accurately records the angles of movement using gravity-based sensors. This data provides real-time feedback, allowing chiropractors to analyze the patient’s mobility, identify any restrictions or misalignments, and develop treatment plans to improve function and reduce pain.

10. Chiropractic Tables

Chiropractic tables are fundamental in any chiropractic practice, designed to improve patient comfort and facilitate a wide range of therapeutic techniques. There are many types of chiropractic tables, each serving specific purposes to accommodate a range of treatment needs.

  • Stationary tables. These are standard tables used in many practices, providing a stable and reliable surface for various manual adjustments and treatments.
  • Portable tables. Lightweight and easily transportable, portable tables are ideal for chiropractors who offer mobile services or need a flexible option for outreach events and home visits.
  • Elevation tables. These tables can be adjusted vertically, allowing the chiropractor to raise or lower them to the optimal working height. This reduces strain on the practitioner and improves patient accessibility.
  • High-low tables. Like elevation tables, high-low tables offer the additional functionality of transitioning from a flat to a seated or semi-reclined position, which benefits patients with limited mobility or specific therapeutic needs.
  • Flexion-distraction tables. These tables are specifically designed for spinal decompression and flexion-distraction techniques, which involve gentle stretching and manipulation of the spine to relieve pressure on discs and nerves.
  • Traction tables. Traction tables apply sustained or intermittent traction to the spine, helping alleviate pain and improve spinal alignment by reducing pressure on vertebral discs and nerves.
  • Decompression tables. These specialized tables provide non-surgical spinal decompression therapy, using motorized traction to gently stretch the spine and promote the healing of bulging or herniated discs.
  • Smart chiropractic tables. Smart chiropractic tables are equipped with sensors and software that monitor and adjust to the patient’s needs in real-time. These advanced tables can provide personalized treatments by automatically adjusting settings based on the patient’s body and treatment requirements. This technology improves the precision and effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments, enhancing overall patient outcomes.

11. Digital X-ray Machine

A digital X-ray machine is an essential diagnostic tool in chiropractic care, transforming how chiropractors assess and treat spinal conditions. Unlike traditional X-rays, digital X-ray machines provide high-resolution images almost instantaneously, allowing for a more accurate and detailed spine evaluation.

This advanced chiropractic technology enables chiropractors to diagnose and assess spinal alignment with greater precision, identifying misalignments, subluxations, and other abnormalities that may be causing pain or dysfunction.

Digital X-rays can reveal underlying pathologies such as fractures, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, and other conditions that may not be apparent through a physical examination alone. The enhanced image quality and quick results facilitate timely and effective treatment planning, ensuring patients receive the most appropriate care for their needs.

The recent integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in digital x-rays further enhances diagnostic accuracy and speeds up the analysis process, providing chiropractors with real-time insights and recommendations based on the X-ray images.

Digital x-ray machines reduce radiation exposure compared to conventional X-rays, making them safer for patients and practitioners.

12. Computers/iPads

Computers and iPads have become indispensable chiropractic office equipment, improving the efficiency and quality of care. These devices are primarily used for maintaining electronic health records (EHR), which allow chiropractors to store, access, and update patient information seamlessly and securely.

The transition to digital records reduces the risk of errors, ensures easy retrieval of patient history, and facilitates better care coordination. Chiropractic practice management software helps streamline appointment scheduling, enabling practices to manage patient flow effectively, send reminders, and reduce no-shows.

Digital tools also make charting patient progress and treatment plans more efficient. They allow for detailed, real-time documentation and the use of visual aids to track improvements over time. Billing processes are simplified and more accurate, with electronic systems automating insurance claims, invoicing, and payment tracking.

13. Therapeutic Ultrasound

Therapeutic ultrasound is a highly effective treatment modality used in chiropractic care that applies deep heat therapy through sound waves. This technique involves transmitting high-frequency sound waves into the body’s tissues, which generate gentle, deep heat in the targeted area. The heat produced by therapeutic ultrasound helps reduce pain and stiffness by increasing blood flow, relaxing tight muscles, and decreasing inflammation.

The thermal effect promotes healing by speeding up cellular repair and regeneration. It benefits conditions such as muscle strains, joint pain, tendonitis, and other soft tissue injuries. Therapeutic ultrasound’s non-invasive nature and ability to penetrate deep into tissues make it valuable for improving mobility in patients with chronic pain or acute injuries.

14. Cold Laser Therapy Device

Cold laser therapy devices, or low-level laser therapy (LLLT) devices, are used in chiropractic care to promote healing and reduce pain in injured areas.

These devices emit low levels of light that penetrate deep into tissues without generating heat, making the treatment safe and painless. The light energy stimulates cellular function and promotes the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is essential for cellular repair and regeneration, accelerating the healing process.

Cold laser therapy reduces pain by decreasing inflammation and swelling, targets various conditions such as back and neck pain, joint pain, and soft tissue injuries, and improves tissue repair, improving the quality of recovery.

Because it’s non-invasive and safe, with minimal side effects, cold laser therapy is suitable for a wide range of patients, providing quick and convenient treatment sessions that contribute to faster recovery and lasting symptom relief.

chiropractor tools tens unit

15. TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) Unit

The TENS unit is a widely used tool in chiropractic care, designed to alleviate pain through electrical currents. This portable device delivers mild electrical impulses through electrodes placed on the skin near the area of pain or discomfort.

  • Pain relief. The primary function of a TENS unit is to relieve pain. The electrical impulses interfere with the pain signals sent to the brain, effectively reducing pain perception. This makes it a valuable tool for managing acute and chronic pain conditions.
  • Muscle stimulation. In addition to pain relief, TENS units also stimulate the muscles. This can help reduce muscle spasms, improve muscle strength, and promote better blood circulation in the affected area.
  • Versatility. TENS units are versatile and can treat various conditions, including back pain, arthritis, sciatica, and sports injuries. They also benefit patients experiencing post-surgical pain or those undergoing rehabilitation for muscle injuries.
  • Non-invasive and drug-free. One significant advantage of using a TENS unit is that it provides a non-invasive and drug-free method of pain management. This makes it an attractive option for patients looking to avoid medications and their potential side effects.
  • Ease of use. TENS units are generally easy to use, with adjustable settings to control the intensity and frequency of the electrical impulses. Patients can use them at home under the supervision of a chiropractor, making them a convenient addition to a comprehensive pain management plan.

16. Rehab/Exercise Equipment

Rehabilitation and exercise equipment are integral to a comprehensive chiropractic treatment plan. These chiropractic supplies help patients recover from injuries, improve their physical function, and maintain overall health and wellness.

This category includes a variety of tools designed to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and overall fitness, such as:

  • Exercise balls. These versatile tools are used for various exercises that target core strength, stability, and balance. They help strengthen the abdominal muscles, back, and hips, which are vital for supporting the spine and improving posture.
  • Resistance bands. Lightweight and portable, resistance bands are ideal for strength training and rehabilitation exercises. They offer varying levels of resistance to accommodate different fitness levels and can be used to target specific muscle groups, aiding in the recovery of injuries and improving muscle tone.
  • Wobble chairs. These chairs are designed to improve balance and coordination. By creating an unstable seating surface, wobble chairs engage the core muscles and improve spinal mobility. They are helpful for patients with lower back pain or those who need to improve their proprioception and stability.
  • Treadmills. In chiropractic rehabilitation, treadmills are used to improve cardiovascular fitness, gait, and lower extremity strength. They provide a controlled environment for patients to walk or run, which can benefit those recovering from injuries or surgery. Treadmills with adjustable inclines and speeds can cater to various rehabilitation needs and fitness levels.

17. Cervical Traction Devices

Cervical traction devices are designed specifically to alleviate neck pain and headaches. These devices work by gently stretching the cervical spine, which helps reduce pressure on the spinal discs and nerves. This stretching action can improve alignment, increase blood flow, and promote the healing of injured or inflamed areas.

Cervical traction is beneficial for patients suffering from conditions such as herniated discs, cervical spondylosis, and tension headaches.

18. Diagnostic Thermal Imaging Device

This high-tech tool scans the nervous system, helping chiropractors with diagnosis and prognosis. The device identifies inflammation or nerve dysfunction areas by measuring the temperature variations along either side of the spine.

These thermal scans provide critical insights into the patient’s condition, allowing for more precise treatment planning and monitoring progress. The non-invasive nature of this technology makes it a valuable asset in providing comprehensive and accurate chiropractic care.

Don’t Overlook Your Chiropractic Practice Management Software

Today’s chiropractors have various chiropractic tools and equipment at their fingertips to provide patient care, from heat and cold packs to digital x-ray equipment. However, an efficient, modern EHR and practice management system is the most vital tool for chiropractors looking for a more efficient way to run their practice, improve patient care, and boost their bottom line.

A modern chiropractic EHR solution helps manage patient information, streamline workflows, and ensure compliance with healthcare regulations. With an integrated EHR, chiropractors can quickly access patient histories, document treatments, track progress, and coordinate care with other providers. This organization and accessibility improve patient outcomes, save time, reduce errors, and enhance the quality of care.

ChiroTouch Elevates Your Practice With Modern Tools and Technology

ChiroTouch is the fully integrated, cloud-based EHR system trusted by over 36,000 providers. ChiroTouch provides a streamlined solution that integrates everything you need to run a more efficient practice. With streamlined workflows, detailed reporting capabilities, and comprehensive user support, ChiroTouch helps chiropractors focus more on patient care and less on administrative tasks.

Book a demo to find out how ChiroTouch can streamline your practice’s workflow so you can spend more time caring for your patients.

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