The Activator Method Chiropractic Technique is a method of treatment in chiropractic. It is a device created by Dr. Arlan Fuhr as a substitute to manual manipulation of the joints in the extremities or spine. This device is classified as a mechanical force manual assisted (MFMA) instrument which is usually considered as a softer chiropractic treatment technique. Activator Method Technique is a low-force and gentle program used in the chiropractor practice. For almost 40 years, it has been used safely and has provided benefit to people having a wide range of health problems without the aid of medicines or surgery. The Activator Technique combines the latest advances in orthopedic, neurological, and chiropractic examinations along with a distinctive system of administering spinal adjustments. This technique uses specific procedures in identifying dysfunction in the spinal joint, analyzing leg length inequality, detecting problems in the body mechanics and testing neurological reflexes. All these unique analytical tools help in restoring the overall balance of the spine.
Features of the Activator Device
The activator is shaped like a small handheld, spring-loaded instrument. It releases a small stimulus to the spine, not more than 0.3 J of kinetic energy in a 3-millisecond pulse. The goal of this device is to generate sufficient force to move the vertebrae, but not so much that it causes injury to the spine.
Activator Chiropractic Technique
In the activator method chiropractic technique (AMCT), the patient is made to lie in a prone position and the functional leg lengths are compared. Usually, one leg will appear to be slightly shorter than the other one. After this, a series of muscle tests are carried out by the chiropractor such as making the patient move their arms in a specific position so the muscles attached to the particular vertebrae are activated. If there is a change in the leg lengths, then it is taken as an indication that that particular vertebra is the source of the problem. The chiropractor continues to treat the problem found in this manner while progressively moving along the spine from the feet and up towards the head.
Reliability of the Leg Length Test
Even though the prone "functional leg length" is an extensively used chiropractic tool, it is not an acknowledged anthropometric technique, as leg lengths are often unequal and the measurements taken in the prone position are not completely reasonable assessments of differences in a standing X-ray. Measurements taken in the standing position are much more reliable. Another confusing element is that by moving the two legs held together and tilting them slightly to one side or the other gives different results. According to Dr. Fuhr, properly trained chiropractors have good inter-examiner reliability.