A review of the Activator Methods chiropractic technique (AMCT) and Activator adjusting instrument (AAI) is presented. History and development of the technique and its evidence basis and safety issues are discussed.
Activator history and associated body of research literature on both the technique and the instrument are critically reviewed. Included are basic science research in biomechanics, neurophysiology, and clinical research in AMCT analysis reliability, case studies, prospective cohorts, randomized group clinical outcomes, and comparisons to hands-only treatments.
AMCT and the AAI represent a system and mode of delivery based on rational and empirical evidence that continues to be informed by an active and growing body of clinical research. In comparison to other techniques, AMCT appears equivalent to various hands-on approaches, but with less physical demand on the doctor of chiropractic. As with all spinal manipulative and other therapies, risks of adverse effects exist, but appear to be minimized due to force and velocity characteristics of the AAI. Needs for future research directions are also discussed.
Top Clin Chiropr 2002; 9(3): 30–43.
Author information: Fuhr AW, Menke MM. Activator Methods International, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
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The diagnostic performance of a newly described variable was assessed in an in vivo model of disc degeneration using a split-pair experimental design.
To determine if vertebral displacement measures generated from ultrasonic indentation could distinguish between experimental and control groups of animals.
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:
Few procedures are available that noninvasively assess subcutaneous vertebral mechanics. Information from such a procedure would be of value in determining potential clinical relevance of spinal mechanics with respect to low back pain.
Eight adolescent pigs underwent endplate perforation surgery to initiate lumbar disc degeneration. After 4 months of recovery, these and eight age-matched controls were assessed by ultrasonic indentation, a noninvasive procedure that quantifies vertebral displacements in the plane of loading-indentation. Each animal then received a facetectomy and was reindented at the same location as confirmed by ultrasonic imaging. Discal materials were removed postmortem for analysis.
Degenerative discs exhibited morphologic changes consistent with early degenerative disc disease. Prefacetectomy comparison of vertebral displacement measures between control and experimental animals resulted in sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy values of 75.0%, 83.3%, and 77%, respectively. After facetectomy these values increased to 87.5%, 83.3%, and 85%, respectively. These measures of diagnostic performance were comparable or superior to those of existing clinical techniques (invasive or otherwise) used to assess degenerative conditions of the spine.
The results of this study suggest that noninvasive measures of vertebral displacement are clinically significant and possess the additional advantages of being objective and noninvasive.
Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2001 Jun 15;26(12):1348-55. [PMID:11426151]
Author information: Kawchuk GN, Kaigle AM, Holm SH, Rod Fauvel O, Ekström L, Hansson T. Department of Orthopaedics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.
The authors suggest Activator Methods care as a natural way to treat fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain.
The symptoms include chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain, accompanied by multiple tender or trigger points, painful or restricted movement, and persistent fatigue. For an estimated 26 million Americans, the underlying condition is fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) or myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) or both, in the form of FMS/MPS Complex.
Despite the widespread occurrence of .these conditions, the average FMS or MPS patient suffers for five years and spends thousands of dollars on medical bills before receiving an accurate diagnosis. And, even then, effective treatment may still prove elusive, as few doctors are trained to understand or respond to these conditions.
Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome offers the first comprehensive patient guide for managing these conditions. You’ll start by learning what FMS and MPS are, evaluating your own symptoms, and identifying the tender and/or trigger points that are crucial for treating them. The manual covers chronic pain, sleep problems, and other “Internal affairs,” shows you how you can use your mind to counteract physical symptoms and the numbing effects of “fibrofog,” and provides an extensive set of healing tools-including information on the latest medications, a nutritional program, and tips for using bodywork and other less commonly known treatments. Its comprehensive survival strategies include suggestions for coping with family and work situations, getting support, and dealing with the health care system.
Reference: Devin J. Starlanyl, M.D.; Mary Ellen Copeland, M.S., M.A.; Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome – A SURVIVAL MANUAL; New Harbinger Publications, Inc pages 144, 244-246
In a previous article, the author discussed current trends in utilization rates of chiropractic “Name Techniques” in Canada, and provided recommendations for their inclusion into the curriculum at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. In this article, a review of the literature on “Name Techniques” was conducted, with interpretation and synthesis by the author. One hundred and eleven articles were found. These were: technique discussions (N = 39), case studies (N = 25), case series (N = 5), experimental studies (N = 25) and clinical trials (N = 17). The literature suggested that prone leg length testing and some x-ray mensurations may have acceptable inter and intra-rater reliability. In addition, there are several case studies that reported significant clinical benefits by patients receiving Activator, Alexander, and Upper Cervical treatments. Patients also reported improvements in quality of life while under either Upper Cervical or Network Spinal Analysis care. This information may help develop professional practice guidelines, and it may have implications for chiropractic research and education.
J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2001 Jun; 45(2): 86–99. [PMCID: PMC2505043]
Author information: Brian J. Gleberzon. Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, 1900 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4G 3E6.
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