The Tools of Chiropractic

If you’re thinking about going to visit the Chiropractor for the first time, you may feel a bit intimidated. It’s always a bit unnerving to show up for your first time anywhere, be it a new job, school, or doctor’s office. If you’ve never been to a Chiropractor’s office before, you probably don’t really know what’s going to happen, and it can be a bit daunting. For that reason, I’ve put together a quick overview on what tools you may see in your doctor’s office, and how your Chiropractic team uses them.


By far, the most important tool that a Chiropractor has is their hands. There is no substitute for being able to touch and feel the placement of vertebrae or other joints. Your Chiropractor’s hands are healing tools that are more capable of feeling out and correcting problems than any other machine known to man.

Drop Table

If you’ve ever seen a picture of someone undergoing a Chiropractic adjustment, more than likely they were lying on a drop table. The drop table is a crucial part of Chiropractic care, and is segmented so that the Chiropractor can utilize your body’s own weight to help accomplish the adjustment.


An activator is a small, handheld device that delivers a quick thrust in a precise location. Your Chiropractor’s activator looks like a cross between an old-fashioned hypodermic syringe and a pogo stick. It’s sometimes referred to as a “clicker,” because of the clicking noise it makes, which is reminiscent of the dog training tool.  An actuator can be used to make precise adjustments or it can be used when the patient is in acute pain, such as following a car accident.

Impulsive Adjusting Instrument

This instrument is similar to an activator, with the exception that it is low force and uses a repetitive thrust to make the adjustment. It has many different settings that your Chiropractor can choose from and it can be set to deliver progressively stronger thrusts to accomplish the adjustment.

Traction Table

This table has a roller in the center that is used to gently roll up and down the spine to decompress the vertebrae. Your Chiropractor may mobilize your feet or upper body to facilitate the effectiveness of this treatment. While it looks a little strange at first, it can provide extreme relaxation. In fact, many patients report that this is their favorite part of an adjustment.

This gives you a basic overview of things that you may see in your Chiropractor’s office. Depending on what is necessary for your treatment, your Chiropractor may utilize any of these techniques to help relieve your pain and get you on the road to recovery. Whatever tools are utilized, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.

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This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.