Victory Chiropractic is proud to be the Chiropractor of choice for Mission Viejo and the Southern California area. At Victory Chiropractic, we always want our patients to well-informed. This glossary is intended to help people become familiar with the terms they are likely to see in any Chiropractic office, wellness center, or talked about with your doctor. For more information, or to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Darius Veleas, please contact us directly. We have two offices, serving Mission Viejo and Huntington Beach. Call us today at 949-328-7842.


Common Chiropractic Terms and Definitions

Activator: a handheld instrument used by chiropractors which offers a low-force method of manipulating the joint.

Acute pain: pain that comes on suddenly and is most often severe. Episodes lasting longer than three months are not considered acute.

Atlas: the uppermost vertebra in the neck. Also referred to as C1 (1st cervical vertebra).

Axis: the 2nd cervical vertebra (C2), located underneath the atlas.

C.A.: abbreviation for “Chiropractic Assistant.”

Cavitation: the popping sound that occurs when a chiropractic adjustment is given. This sound is actually caused by air being released from the joint (like a suction).

Cervical spine: the vertebrae of the neck. There are 7 vertebrae (C1-C7) of the cervical spine.

Chronic pain: pain episode that lasts more than three months.

Coccyx: the bone at the very tip of your spine. It is commonly referred to as “the tailbone”.

Cox flexion-distraction technique: a treatment technique that uses a special chiropractic table that moves in a way to gently stretch the lumbar and pelvic area (low back) and to ffer traction to the lumbar vertebrae. This method is very effective to help patients with herniated disks in their lumbar spine.

Craniosacral Therapy: treatment of the cranium (skull) and sacrum to relieve dural tension in the spine and restore nervous system function.

D.C.: abbreviation for “Doctor of Chiropractic.”

D.D. Palmer: The founder of chiropractic. His first chiropractic adjustment was to correct tinnitus (ringing in the ears)!

Diversified Technique: the classic chiropractic technique which involves locating subluxations and correcting them through chiropractic manipulation to restore function to the nervous system.

Hole-in-One (H.I.O.): an upper cervical technique which involves adjusting the atlas (the topmost vertebra at the base of the skull).

Herniated disk: when the intervertebral disk protrudes out. This can press on the nerve root and cause radiating pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness.

Innate Intelligence: the ability of the body to heal itself.

Intervertebral disk: the ligament located between 2 vertebrae that acts as a shock absorber. It is this disk that can bulge or protrude and form a “herniation”.

Leg-length testing: a method of observation by the doctor to find different biomechanical imbalances in the body.

Low-force technique: an alternative form of treatment to a typical diversified chiropractic adjustment. There is usually no audible or “popping” sound.

Lumbar spine: the vertebrae of the lower back. There are 5 vertebrae (L1-L5) of the lumbar spine.

Maintenance care: when a patient receives periodic chiropractic adjustments to help prevent pain or injury.

Mobilization: Method of manipulation, movement, or stretching to increase range of motion in muscles and joints that does not involve a high-velocity thrust.

Motion palpation: useful method of locating subluxations and loss of mobility in the spine by feeling the motion of specific spinal segments.

Musculoskeletal: refers to structures involving tendons, muscles, ligaments, and joints.

Myofascial Release: this is a term used to describe deep tissue work which is done on the muscles. This is a form of massage treatment.

Nerve root: the base of the spinal nerve where it comes out from the spinal cord.

Nimmo method: a technique that uses digital pressure on trigger points to relax muscles which pull bones out of alignment.

Occiput: the bone that sits at the base of the skull. It attaches to the atlas (C1).

Post Isometric Relaxation (PIR): a stretching technique which uses muscle contraction to allow the muscle to relax. This creates increased range of motion in a joint.

Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT): a method of normalizing the relationship between the bottom of the spine (sacrum) and top of the spine (occiput).

Sacrum: the triangular bone that sits at the base of the spine.

Short-lever manipulation: a method of spinal manipulation in which contact is made on a vertebral process to move a single vertebra.

Spinal adjustment: this is the term used to describe the high velocity thrusting motion used to correct a subluxation. This increases motion in the joint which improves nervefunction, increases blood flow, decreases inflammation, increases lymphatic drainage, and relaxes tight muscles.

Subluxation: the literal translation isincomplete or partial dislocation”. A subluxation occurs due to lack of motion in a joint, and it can be corrected through a chiropractic adjustment.

Thompson technique: a chiropractic technique which uses drop pieces on a table to perform the adjustment.

Thoracic spine: the vertebrae of the mid back. There are 12 vertebrae (T1-T12) of the cervical spine.

Toggle recoil technique: chiropractic manipulation performed with a sudden shallow thrust (toggle) followed by quick withdrawal (recoil) of the chiropractor’s hands.

Vertebra: the bony segment of the spine that helps protect the spinal cord and nerves. The plural of vertebra is vertebrae.

Vertebral subluxation complex: a term used to describe subluxation of a vertebra and what happens when that vertebra becomes out of alignment.

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