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What is HVLA Spinal Manipulation?


One of the cornerstones of chiropractic care is the use of High Velocity Low Amplitude (HVLA) spinal manipulation. A significant proportion of research dedicated to the discipline of chiropractic care comes in the form of spinal manipulation evaluation, and HVLA is one of the most heralded techniques that has been studied thus far.

HVLA spinal manipulation has been linked to the quick and efficient curing of problems such as lower back pain, neck pain, migraines, and headaches that are related to the neurological and musculoskeletal interaction in the neck.

There are three different kinds of HVLA spinal manipulation that chiropractic professionals have the ability to choose from. The first is the Diversified Technique, which is the most conventional and most commonly used technique in treating patients with chiropractic interventions. The Diversified Technique focuses on range of motion and proper locomotion processes by applying hard, quick hitting adjustments to target joints. In these firm and brief pressure applications, the adjustments take place quickly and tend to remain in that positioning for quite some time.

The Gonstead Adjustment is related to the Diversified Technique in that the pressure applications during the adjustment are essentially the same intensity level and duration, but there is more of an emphasis placed on determining the actual source of the problem and isolating that source. Patients receiving the Gonstead Adjustment are required to sit on tables and chairs that are specially made for this process. There work tables provide chiropractors with maximum access to the desired part of the musculoskeletal system that they are trying to manipulate.

The third major type of HVLA spinal manipulation is called the Thompson Terminal Point technique. This treatment also involves specialized treatment tables. A short drop during the HVLA adjustment slows the joint to operate more freely and thus the range of motion to be mediated. Chiropractors can use this technique in patients whose problem areas have been thoroughly defined .

Often times we hear of the pop sound that is made when performing this type of spinal manipulation. While research has shown no significant difference between treatment cases with and without an audible pop, many chiropractors suggest that the pop is vital for the treatment to work.

HVLA manipulation is used in all care settings for chiropractic care and its use will be continued no matter how developed the chiropractic discipline eventually becomes. It is a process that each and every chiropractic professional needs to know to successfully treat patients and with adequate understanding of this process, chiropractic professionals are able to do just that in many cases.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Army Medicine

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