Knowledge Base

Chiropractic Care

What is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care is a "hands-on" therapy designed to adjust the relationship between the body's structure​ and its functioning. Chiropractic manipulation, usually spinal, can also include the adjustment and manipulation of the joints and ​soft tissues. Such care may also involve therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises.

How does it work?

The ​theory behind chiropractic care is that the spine and an individual’s overall health are very much connected; this connection is managed through the nervous system. 

The most common form of treatment is called spinal manipulation, or adjustment. This treatment includes a thrusting force which aims to increase the range of motion for a given joint. These thrusts help to manipulate and stimulate muscles along the spine.

What kinds are there?

  • Diversified technique: The most common technique, this approach uses high-velocity and low-amplitude thrusts to manipulate the spine.  
  • Activator technique: This technique uses a small, spring-loaded device which gives small pulses to the spine. Some studies suggest that the Activator technique is as effective as the Diversified technique, however, more evidence is required.
  • Gonstead: Avoiding rotational vectors, this technique uses very specific adjustments along the spine.  
  • Nimmo Receptor – Tonus Technique: Also known as neuromuscular therapy, this technique applies pressure to ‘trigger points’ which aims to manipulate the nervous system.  
  • Applied Kinesiology: This technique emphasized the ‘testing’ of muscles to help map out treatment. At this time, there is no evidence to support this approach.  

Related evidence

T Francio V. Chiropractic care for foot drop due to peroneal nerve neuropathy. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2014 Apr;18(2):200-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2013.08.004. Epub 2013 Sep 5.


Wikipedia [Internet]. Activator technique [updated 2014 Aug 26; cited 2014 Aug 26]. Available from:

Wikipedia [Internet]. Chiropractic [updated 2014 Oct 3; cited 2014 Aug 26]. Available from:

Wikipedia [Internet]. Diversified technique [updated 2012 Oct 24; cited 2014 Aug 26]. Available from: