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Chiropractic Terms

Wednesday 24th, July


Activator – An instrument developed by Arlan Fuhr to adjust the spine. The activator provides a very fast impulse to the bone to mobilize it. It alters the Newton’s physics equation F=M x A. The speed of the activator is faster than what a human can produce so it needs less force to mobilise the bone (mass). 


Adjustment (spinal adjustment) - Treatment administered by a Chiropractor. This is the careful correction of spinal misalignment done by hands or specifically designed instruments for Chiropractors.


B.J. Palmer – the son of the founder of Chiropractic (D.D. Palmer). He developed Chiropractic into a respected profession by starting the first Chiropractic College (Palmer) in 1897. He wrote numerous books on Chiropractic and performed a tremendous amount of research validating Chiropractic 


Cervical – bones in the neck that total 7 in number.


Chiropractic - A health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal adjustment and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation. The word Chiropractic was coined by Reverend Samuel Weed from the Greek words Cher – done and Praktos – by hand. So it literally means “done by hand”


D.D. Palmer – The founder of Chiropractic. The first adjustment ever performed was by DD Palmer. The adjustment was given to Harvey Lillard in 1895. Mr. Lillards hearing was restored after being deaf for 17 years. This sparked a worldwide interest in a new profession.


Diversified – A universally utilised method of adjusting the spine.


Drop – Clarence Thompson developed the Thompson Drop technique. This uses momentum to correct subluxations throughout the spine and pelvis.


Gonstead – A popular style of adjusting the spine developed by Clarence Gonstead. The style suited his fingers as he had rheumatoid arthritis.


Health – a state of optimal physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. “Dorland’s Medical Dictionary”


Hole in One – HIO This was a technique developed by BJ Palmer that concentrated on the top 2 vertebra of the spine. The anatomy of this area is very delicate and if the vertebra are not functioning properly it may have far reaching detrimental effects. The hole was the top vertebra (atlas) and the item going through it was a part (dens) of the second vertebra (axis).


Innate (Intelligence) - The inborn intelligence in our brain that organises our bodily functions. This is derived from the intelligence of the Universe. Universal Intelligence created and maintains everything in the universe. Innate Intelligence is released from the brain to the rest of the body via the nerves of the spine and cranial nerves. Interfere with the nerves, you interfere with innate intelligence. This will affect the part of your body where the nerve sends energy creating dis-ease (ill health).


Kyphosis – a pronounced arc of the normal backward curve of the midback.


Lumbar – the region of the spine referring to the lower back. There are 5 lumbar vertebra.


MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging – a scan performed that shows the bone and soft tissues of the body (x-rays only show bone). Patients need to be able to lie down on their back for up to 45 minutes in a tunnel more than the length of your body. Claustophobic patients should speak to their doctor prior to attending the exam.


Re-tracing – The steps a body goes through when getting well after being sick. An individual with a long term condition will experience different symptoms (that come and go) over the months/years; those symptoms may return in reverse order as the patient recovers.


Sacroiliac Joint – The series of ligaments that join the Sacrum and Iliac bones of the pelvis together.


Scoliosis – lateral curvature of the spine as seen from behind a patient. All children from age 7 should be checked for scoliosis yearly. Females develop scoliosis 9 times greater than males. Speak to your chiropractor.


Sciatica - The main nerve going down the back of the leg is the Sciatic Nerve. When the sciatic nerve is injured or damaged and creating pain, tingling cramping we call it sciatica. Sciatica develops for many different reasons. Chiropractors are well versed at detecting and treating the cause of sciatica.  


Spinal Adjustment – this is the term used for the correction of a subluxation. Chiropractors are unique when it comes to mobilizing the spine in that we isolate individual bones that need to be mobilized. Furthermore, we are specific with the direction of correction. That is why I do not use the term “manipulation”. There are numerous methods of a spinal adjustment that a chiropractor can utilize. They all involve using the pressure of our hands or an instrument to move the bone.


SOT – "Sacro Occipital Technique" is a style of adjusting the spine that uses gravity and a light touch to organise mainly the sacroiliac joints (of the pelvis) and the top of the neck at the junction of the skull (occiput bone).


Subluxation – misalignment of a vertebra with the vertebra above or below; which will aggravate the adjoining nerve. For a full definition see “Vertebral Subluxation Complex


Thoracic – Twelve vertebra that make up the midback.


Vertebra – individual bone in the spine, there are 26 in total. Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar.


Viscera – organ of the body e.g. stomach




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Dr Tony Accardi,


Clongriffin Practice Hours:

Monday , Wednesday & Friday
11:00 – 13:00
AND 16:00 – 18:00
CALL : 01 828 5000

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Monday 19:30 – 20:30
Tuesday 11:30 – 13:00
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AND 17:00 – 19:00
Saturday 10:15 – 12:00
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