Archive for category Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique: General Articles


Non-specific adjusting procedures, whether employed with short or long levers, is used to increase mobility in a number of motion segments at the same time. In theory, the procedure involved passive movement of joints through their physiological range without exceeding their passive end range (e.g., no cavitation produced). Like most adjustive procedures, there is a lack of data to provide a basis for decision making, leaving room for opinion on the use of these procedures. This brief discussion will outline what I feel are important considerations in the practice of non-specific contact adjusting.


While non-specific adjusting has received an established rating at the Mercy Conference, non-specific procedures such as the anterior thoracic adjustment and lumbar roll, and the master cervical are often accompanied by multiple audible releases indicating caviation has occured. In these instances, the lines are blurred between manipulation and mobilization. A major question remains to be studied: Are specific lesions present which warrant specific procedures, or will general mobilization create movement that will effect all areas of putative hypomobility and are thereby justified? Who are suitable candidates for these procedures? Several additional questions are also of interest:

a. Are these procedures safe? Biomechanical modeling data suggest that forces generate during lumbar side posture rotary adjustments may exceed safe ranges in some individuals.

  1. In the cervical region vertebral artery syndrome is a concern; the risk of which may or may not be detectable by provocation tests.
  2. In the thoracic spine rib fractures are also a concern. We need to develop ways to carefully select the procedures are used.

b. What are the long term effects of repetitive treatment over time?

Reference: Arlan W. Fuhr,DC. Proceedings California Chiropractic Foundation’s 7th Annual Conference on Research & Education, Palm Springs CA, June 19-21, 1992, pp. 256-7.

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An overview of Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique (AMCT) theory and training is provided. The Kaminski model includes an outline for formal evaluation of current hypotheses and practices advocated and taught by Activator Methods, Inc. On this basis, we consider AMCT assessment procedures to show some promise of reproducibility within, and among, practitioners. Although AMCT procedures are among the most widely studied chiropractic procedures in the scientific literature, and although some quantitative outcome data concerning Activator instrument adjusting are available, few controlled trials have been conducted. Consequently, no strong claims for the clinical effectiveness of these (or other chiropractic) intervention strategies are currently justified. Theories and rationales for AMCT procedures are incomplete, and require further elaboration. Recommendations for further research, and for improvement in AMCT instruction are provided.

Chiropr Tech November 1990; 2(4)168-175.

Author information: Osterbauer P, Fuhr AW. Activator Methods, Inc. Phoenix, AZ.

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A model is proposed for the evaluation of the procedures and practices taught within a chiropractic curriculum. Questions concerning definitions, methods of observation, science consistency, and pertinent research are asked of a given procedure in the form of a decision-making flow chart. Based on this analysis, a status is assigned that establishes a procedure’s current understanding. Applications of the model are discussed.

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1987 Apr;10(2):61-4. [PMID:3585198]

Author information: Kaminski M, Boal R, Gillette RG, Peterson DH, Villnave TJ.

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