The diversified technique is the most widely used chiropractic method and is the form of treatment that most people associate with chiropractic. This is actually a collection of methods that are used to treat all regions of the spine, plus the posterior joints of the pelvis. It is arguably the most researched chiropractic method and has helped more patients than any other method.
The technique has a long history, being first used in 1895 by DD Palmer, the discoverer of chiropractic. Over the years, it has been extensively researched and refined. A number of chiropractors contributed to the advancement of this technique system, much of which was done by the late Dr. Otto Reinert. Despite the development of the technique it remained unnamed until 1947 when Dr. Joe Janse described the technique system in his book Chiropractic Principals and Technic.
The diversified chiropractic technique is used to correct subluxations, or misalignments, of the spine and sacroiliac joints. Following a detailed consultation, the subluxations are identified through a thorough exam and possible x-ray analysis. The method is often described as a high velocity low amplitude adjustment. In plain English, this means that a quick, but very shallow push is made to the vertebra, or bone of the spine, to improve its alignment. Each treatment makes only a small correction to the alignment. A series of adjustments will be made over time, with each treatment building upon the last, much like small adjustments made to the alignment of your teeth when using corrective braces.
Very often the spine will make a popping or crunching sound when the adjustment is made. This is often understandably mistaken by the patient to be the sound of the bone shifting into alignment. In reality, the audible cavitation, or pop, is the formation of a small gas bubble. You see, nearly all the joints of the body have fluid in them, known as synovial fluid. When the diversified adjustment is made, the joint pressure is rapidly deceased. When this happens, gases that were dissolved in the joint fluid become less soluble and form a gas bubble. Think of opening a bottle of soft drink: you open the bottle, decease the pressure within the bottle, and the gas bubbles form. The same principle applies to the diversified adjustment. The gas is often reported to be nitrogen, but in reality it is a mixture of all the bases found in the body: nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen.
Immediately following their first diversified adjustment, patients often report that they feel lighter, or that the joint feels warmer. Later that day, there may be a mild discomfort comparable to how you feel after the first bit of exercise in a long time. Your chiropractor may prescribe stretching or ice to keep the joints moving and reduce any irritation.