Total Health

What are some gentle techniques Chiropractors use?

May 1st, 2021 by
Category: Chiropractic Care Dr. Kodie Smith

Chiropractor providing care using an activator device

Chiropractors are allied health professionals who are trained to use various care techniques (called adjustments) to assist people with their health and wellness. An adjustment is a specific force applied to an area of the body to improve movement in a joint that is not moving or functioning as well as it should naturally. Sometimes during an adjustment, we can hear ‘clicks’, ‘cracks’ and ‘pops’ and sometimes we don’t. Either outcome is completely normal and effective at restoring movement to dysfunctional areas of the body. If we do hear those sounds, it is only gas being released from those joints where we are applying our force… or as our Chiropractic children call it, a “joint fart”.  

Each individual patient receives tailored advice and care when they attend an appointment with their Chiropractor. In some circumstances, Chiropractors may need to use different variations of adjustment techniques to achieve desired health and wellness outcomes.

Gentle, low-velocity force techniques can be used in different circumstances, including patient preference or health contraindications that prevent the use of other techniques. It is important that patients are aware of the various techniques their Chiropractor can use during their appointments. 

Gentle Chiropractic techniques

Here are three commonly used low-force or ‘gentle’ methods of Chiropractic care.

Pelvic blocks

Pelvic blocks are two wedge shaped blocks that are used to adjust the pelvis region of your spine using the weight of the patient themselves along with the influence of gravity. The Chiropractor will place the blocks under your pelvis in a very specific direction to ensure it corrects the dysfunctions in that area. The blocks balance out the pelvis in a slow and gentle manner and allows the muscles/ligaments in that region to release and relax.


An activator is a small, hand-held adjusting instrument. The purpose of an activator is to deliver a specific, low-force impulse adjustment to a particular spinal joint. As the activator is used by the Chiropractor, the mechanism in the instrument will create a “click” sound as the controlled, low-force impulse is delivered to restore function and movement. The impulse received by the activator instrument is best related to the same feeling as gently but quickly pushing you thumb into the palm of your hand.

Drop piece

The drop piece technique involves the use of a Chiropractic table along with pressure that is applied to the body. As the technique is performed, the table piece will drop slightly under the applied pressure and will make a “clunking” sound. There are two versions of a Chiropractic drop piece: the smaller, portable drop piece that is utilised by most Chiropractors on extremity joints, including shoulders and knees. The larger drop piece is used to adjust bigger areas of the body or spinal areas, including the hips and upper back.

Additional care

In addition to the Chiropractic care you receive in practice; Chiropractors may also give you some extra advice or things for you to do at home that will assist in your health and wellness journey, which may include: 

Posture pole

Posture poles are one of the most popular tools recommended by Chiropractors and other health professionals for improving posture. It is a long foam roller cut in half that is used to hep correct posture and de-stress the body. To read more about posture poles, please go read Dr Romina’s (Chiropractor) blog: ‘What is a posture pole and how to use it to improve your posture!’

Rehabilitation exercises and/or stretches

To assist you and your body on its health journey, Chiropractors frequently recommend great rehabilitation exercises and stretches for patients to do at home between appointments. Exercises and stretches tailored specifically patients’ individual needs will not only help to improve muscle tension and joint movement, but will also improve balance, sleep, and mood/energy.

Work and lifestyle advice

What you do at work or at home can have a big influence on your posture, muscles, spine, and overall health. Chiropractors have a wide base of knowledge to advise patients on what they should do at home or work to achieve greater health and wellness results. To learn more about some of the work and lifestyle advice we may give patients, check out the following blog posts: 

It is important to note that in some circumstances, a number of Chiropractic techniques – both high and low force methods – can be used together to create greater results for health issues. If you have any questions/concerns, please contact your local Chiropractor, or give us a call today to see one of our Chiropractors.


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