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Wellness Glossary

Sometimes, wellness and chiropractic language can be complex. That’s why we’ve compiled a wellness glossary where you can find the definition of common wellness and chiropractic terms.

dictionary page showing the word translation
Activator Method

A quick, gentle, low-force chiropractic technique. With this method, doctors use the Activator Adjusting Instrument to restore spinal balance quickly, safely, and comfortably. People all ages (even children) can benefit from an Activator adjustment, especially those who find it difficult to tolerate other types of spinal adjustments.

Active Release Technique (ART) 

A soft-tissue technique that treats problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and nerves. ART is useful in treating headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, tennis elbow, and many other conditions resulting from overused muscles.


A complementary medicine technique that treats symptoms by applying pressure with the fingers, hand, elbow, or other devices to specific pressure points on the body.

Alternative medicine

A variety of therapies that work to increase wellness, prevent illness, and address existing symptoms and conditions without the use of drugs.


A method of treatment that manipulates body structures (especially the spine) to relieve lower back pain and other conditions of the joints, muscles and nerves. Chiropractic comes from a Greek phrase that means “done by hand”.  Therefore, chiropractic care is simply treatment that is manually performed by hand.

Chiropractic adjustment

Gentle, controlled, directed pressure that restores the spine’s ability to function.


A healthcare practitioner who specializes in chiropractic.

Complementary medicine 

Therapies used in addition to conventional treatment to manage or prevent pain, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote healing. Also called holistic or natural medicine.

Cox flexion-distraction

A chiropractic technique that uses a special table to apply pressure to different areas of the back in order to realign the spine. Cox flexion-distraction is a form of spinal decompression that is often used on patients who are suffering from back pain, neck and shoulder pain, or hip pain, or patients who are rehabilitating from surgery. It is ideal for people who want relief from back pain without invasive surgery.

Decompression traction system

A form of spinal decompression that uses a decompression table to relieve pain associated with herniated or bulging discs in the neck or lower back. It works by reducing the pressure on spinal discs and joints.

Dietary supplement

A product that is ingested to provide nutrients that are missing from or lacking in a person’s diet.

Diversified technique

A manual, hands-on adjustment of the spine or joints that is used to restore proper movement and alignment. This is the most commonly used chiropractic adjustment technique.


Painful menstruation.

Electric stimulation

A therapy that uses electrical currents to relax muscles, decrease pain, or improve muscle tone in the body.

Graston technique

A technique that uses specialized stainless-steel instruments to break down scar tissue that forms after damage to the soft tissue (such as a strained muscle or pulled ligament) and to stretch the connective tissue and muscle fibers. The Graston technique is used to treat conditions such as tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, and post-surgical scars. This technique is often used on athletes.

Laser Therapy

Across the medical community, laser therapy is used to treat chronic and acute musculoskeletal conditions as well as post-activity recovery.  As a non-drug, non-surgical solution, laser treatments have been proven to reduce pain without the side effects of medication.


The rubbing and kneading of muscles and joints of the body with the hands, especially to relieve tension or pain..


A severe, disabling headache, usually affecting only one side of the head, that is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and visual disturbances.

Musculoskeletal system

The system of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, and associated tissues that give the body the ability to move.


A physical fitness system that that elongates and strengthens the muscles, developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates in Germany.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is a non-surgical treatment for soft tissue injuries and pain that uses low-energy shockwaves to stimulate the healing process. It can help regenerate new tissue, break down calcified deposits, and reduce pain by overstimulating nerve endings.


A condition resulting from pressure on the sciatic nerve that causes pain to radiate from the back of the thigh.


A healthy balance of the mind, body, and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being.


An ancient Hindu discipline that develops and integrates the body, mind, and spirit. Yoga systematically strengthens, stretches, and energizes the whole body.

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