The Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique, a technique used by many Chiropractors utilised a small device known as the “Activator Adjusting Instrument” to rehabilitate and improve function to focused joints/vertebra within the spine.
The Activator Adjusting Instrument is a hand-held spring-loaded device that is activated by compressing a handle on the shank of the instrument. It delivers a force to a rubber tip which is attached to the end of a stylus. A force is applied to the C5 facet joints using the device by placing it on the skin at the level of the C5 of the spine, in line with the column of the articular processes that contain the superior and inferior articular facets (on the side of pain). The Activator at this site delivers a force in a posterior to anterior direction.
The revolutionary chiropractic technique was developed to improve safety and comfort for chiropractic patients, and since then the technique has grown to be the most widely-used “low force” chiropractic technique in the world. The Activator Technique incorporates the latest advances in orthopedic, neurological, and chiropractic examinations, along with a unique system of administering spinal adjustments.
The Activator has several theoretical advantages over the other methods of which are:
(i) the small size of its tip enables specificity and lower force characteristics compared to traction mobilisation and manual manipulation;
(ii) the force applied by the Activator can be more reproducible compared to manual manipulation;
(iii) rotation of the spine in unnecessary;
(iv) it does not involve twisting of the body;
(v) there are no audible sounds (cavitations/cracking) from joints compared to manipulation;
(vi) the force is delivered faster than manual manipulation: 0.1 to 5 milliseconds for the Activator compared to 30 to 150 milliseconds for manual manipulation; and (vii) less force is delivered by the device 5 Newtons as outlined later, compared to manual manipulation which can reach up to 300 Newtons for forces applied to the cervical spine.
There are, however, as outlined in the above literature review no studies to show whether an Activator is of any value or not to patients with neck pain and referred shoulder pain.
Dr George M. Hardas has received extensive training in the Activator Technique. This method is also one of the most scientifically researched techniques in chiropractic. Patients all over the world are benefiting from the ease and precision of this unique method of chiropractic care.