What Instruments Do Chiropractors Use

Ever wonder what instruments do chiropractors use? Chiropractic care has undergone a transformation with the rise of technology, instruments, and chiropractic tools.

Traditional methods of manipulating the spine via chiropractic adjustment are still used, though in many cases, adjustments now include computerized equipment and other types of technology to provide better pain relief and further-expedite healing.

Chiropractic Ultrasound

activator method chiropractic technique

Therapeutic ultrasound is a popular tool used by chiropractors. This chiropractic treatment involves the direction of sound waves into the tissues that surround the spine and can help heal soft tissues such as muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries.

Ultrasound therapy helps reduce inflammation, increase blood flow and promote healing. It feels like a deep massage when used, and can also be used to treat chronic pain.

But exactly how does ultrasound work in physical therapy? The consistent application of sound waves to an injured area produces heat. This rise in temperature helps increase blood flow to the area, which in turn promotes healing.

If you’re looking for a chiropractor who uses therapeutic ultrasound, check with your local community listing service or ask your primary care doctor for recommendations.

Electrical Stimulation (E-stim)

activator adjusting instrument

Also known as e-stim, electrical stimulation is a therapeutic technique that uses electrical impulses to help reduce pain and promote healing.

E-stim can be used to help relieve pain from conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, and fibromyalgia. It can also be used to help heal injuries such as Achilles tendonitis and sprained ligaments.

Interferential Current Therapy

transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation

Interferential current therapy is another popular tool used by chiropractors. This instrument uses electrical impulses to help relieve pain.

Interferential current therapy is said to be helpful in treating muscle spasms, chronic pain, and even post-operative pain.

Laser Therapy

chiropractic tool for muscle resistance and muscle tension

Laser therapy is a newer addition to the chiropractic field and is becoming increasingly popular. Laser therapy uses low levels of light to stimulate healing. This is accomplished via two different methods.

  • One method of laser therapy is called class 4 laser therapy, which uses higher levels of light to penetrate deeper into tissues and stimulate healing at a cellular level. This type of laser therapy is most commonly used for treating chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, and fibromyalgia.
  • Another method of laser therapy is called class 3A laser therapy. This type of laser therapy uses low levels of light to stimulate healing at a surface level, which is why it is most often used for treating injuries and skin conditions such as burns, cuts, and bruises.

Laser therapy is great for treating conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, back pain, and arthritis.

Intersegmental Traction (Chiropractic Table)

One of the most common tools that chiropractors use is a spinal decompression table. This specialized piece of equipment uses either manual or mechanical traction to apply force and relieve pressure on discs that have become herniated or misaligned.

Many patients find that chiropractic tables can provide significant relief from pain and discomfort, while also improving mobility and reducing inflammation.


With advances in therapeutic technology, there are now many tools and techniques used at the modern chiropractic office that can treat a wide range of conditions. Instrument-assisted adjustments boost traditional chiropractic services and go much further in pain reduction.

Whether you suffer from chronic pain or want to achieve optimal health and wellness, consulting with a chiropractor can help you find relief and get on the right track to achieving your goals.


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