Hand-held, spring-loaded instrument-based adjustment

Activator Technique

This is a hand-held, spring-loaded instrument-based manipulation/adjustment proticol.  Instead of the manipulating/adjusting forces being delivered by hand, force is generated with the small appliance that delivers a lighter, but quicker, thrust than can be delivered by hand. Activator can be used as a primary treatment protocol for all patients or a selective method for patients who may not desire manual manipulation/adjustment or where manual manipulation/adjustment may be contraindicated.

The Activator Method Chiropractic Technique is a diagnostic and treatment system used by Bridwell Wellness Center to treat many types of back pain, neck pain, and headaches (both chronic and migraine).


The Activator Method uses a small, hand-held instrument called the Activator Adjusting Instrument to deliver a gentle impulse force to the spine with the goal of restoring motion to the targeted spinal vertebra or join

Next to the Diversified technique, the Activator Adjusting Instrument is reported to be the most common therapeutic intervention used by Chiropractors.

  • According to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, more than half of full-time American chiropractors report using the Activator Method in their practices.
  • The Activator Method is also commonly used in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

How the Activator Technique Works

The Activator Method Chiropractic Technique is a type of manipulation is as follows:

A spring-loaded, hand-held mechanical instrument called the Activator Adjusting Instrument provides a quick, low-force impulse at specific points.

There are two advantages of an Activator instrument-assisted treatment. The first is based on the speed of the device. The instrument is so quick that the body’s muscles are less likely to tense in response, and resist the treatment. The lack of muscle resistance may facilitate the treatment effectiveness. The second is that the applied force is localized and does not add any additional torque or bending movement to the joint.