Dr. Stephen G. Clausen
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Below you will find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions I receive.  If you are looking for payment and insurance coverage options, click here.

What is the Activator Technique?
The Activator Technique is a method of locating and adjusting spinal joints and/or joints of the body. It is a gentle, high-velocity, low-force method utilizing a hand-held instrument. A distinctive advantage of this technique is the doctor’s ability to adjust at a specific angle, direction, and force.  Activator has been used safely on patients of all ages since the late 1960s, bringing relief to people with a variety of health concerns. With a substantial amount of research on its efficacy, the Activator Method has become the world's most widely used instrument-based chiropractic technique.

Does the adjustment hurt?
No. Activator is a low-amplitude, low force technique. Most patients remark that they can only sense a certain “clicking” at the point of contact. And, patient position is face down on a very comfortable, flat, wide table.

I have been adjusted by a “clicker” device before with no favorable outcome. Why would it be different with Dr. Clausen?
It is impossible to predict whether any patient will respond favorably to any type of treatment.  And there are many well-intentioned chiropractors who use the activator but may not utilize the specific protocols associated with favorable outcomes. There is substantial amount of ongoing research regarding the efficacy of the Activator technique. To keep current on the latest research and retain advanced proficiency status, I undergo annual Activator recertification.

How many treatments will I need?
Most people will notice a change within 6 visits. However, every patient responds to treatment differently. Chronic conditions require more treatment than acute conditions. My treatment plans are customized for each patient, follow professional guidelines, and are consistent with recommendations of independent utilization boards. I caution patients not to use the absence of pain, alone, as an indicator for a complete healing process. While pain is often the last symptom to appear, it is commonly the first symptom to disappear in the process of healing.

I hear “once you start going to a Chiropractor, you have to keep going.” Is that true?
No. The decision is always up to you. And, just as it wise to see your dentist for check-ups when you are not having tooth pain, to monitor your blood pressure, to have regular man and woman exams, it is in your best interest to get spinal checkups even if you are not in pain.  Since I do not forcefully twist or torque the body to create a “popping” sound, there is no worry about “over-stretching” ligaments and “loosening” joints. I do not adjust patients if they do not need an adjustment.

Will I need x-rays?
I do not require x-rays for every patient. I follow standard medical guidelines and apply clinical reasoning in each case. I may request x-rays if a patient is not responding as expected to a course of treatment.

Is it okay to “self-adjust” my neck?
No. As a matter of fact, this can be very dangerous and counter-productive to any treatment. Vital nerves and blood vessels in the neck can be compromised or damaged by self-adjusting. Self-adjusting 'pops' already-mobile joints, while the 'locked' or 'stuck' joints remain.

What is the difference between manual and Activator adjustments?
Both types are manual adjustments. Activator is an instrument-assisted adjustment. Many types of manual adjusting involve positioning the patient in various ways and applying doctor force, which produces joint release. An Activator adjustment keeps the patient in a relaxed, prone position. It 'moves bones' as well, but there is no popping or cracking (release of joint gases) because patient positioning does not 'stress' the joint.

                                                     Clausen Chiropractic  •  3417 Evanston Avenue North Suite 214, Seattle, WA 98103  •  206-453-5857
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