Chiropractic Technique Research

Tedd Koren DC shares his views in the following blog. Tedd Koren DC is founder of Koren Publications andKoren Specific technique

A doctor wrote to me with this request: “Could you do an article comparing high and low velocity adjustment techniques, Please?” Richard.

(For those of you who don’t know, this is a fancy way of saying whether a lot or a little force is used in the adjustment.  An example of a high force/velocity technique is “diversified” (cracking), while an example of a low force/velocity technique is Koren Specific Technique (KST).)

My response:

Dear Richard,

That is a valid question and a void in our profession. I don’t think the profession has done any inter-technique studies.  How do you compare one technique to another? How do we know if one technique is better than another?

That is very important because schools teach a “core” technique curriculum. And there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to which techniques are approved and which rejected. No one is testing new techniques, new discoveries – it’s just a “what the hell, this seems to work” attitude pervading the schools.

I know this because I entered the world of teaching chiropractors how to adjust when I started teaching KST (Koren Specific Technique).

Getting KST approved for different states and schools is an exercise in insanity. Approval process? There is no process.

One school said that they would only approve KST if it were different than other techniques.

Another school said that they would only approve KST if it was similar to other techniques.

What’s a teacher to do? There are similarities and there are differences – you just try to answer their forms in such a way so that the jaded bureaucrats don’t raise an eyebrow.

KST is low force and doctors who used to do “diversified” (cracking) tell me that KST is far superior and that for every one patient who enjoys “a good crack”, tenty patient are staying out of your office because of it. However, I don’t know of any studies that were set up to test one technique against the other.  If there were I’m sure KST would win hands down.



Dr. Tedd Koren

Dr. Koren, originally from Brooklyn, NY, lives in Montgomery County, PA. A graduate of the U of Miami and Sherman College of Chiropractic, he writes, lectures and teaches in the US, Europe and Australia as well as takes care of patients and fights for healthcare freedom. Dr. Koren and his wife Beth have two children.


  1. Avatar Terry Murphy on August 18, 2009 at 2:16 am

    I would also rate the McTimoney technique with KST in that low force, high velocity arena. It is also very successful and as such is frequently attacked by other Chiropractors….. as is KST. I practice both. I also think that it would be good to see comparative studies of all techniques if only to allow better informed choices by patients or is that a heresy?


  2. Avatar Dr Scott White on August 18, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Unfortunately we all get tied up in this technique debate and have so for the 30 years I have been a chiropractor. Technique does not define chiropractic, it is our philosophy and intent that reman most important in the defining of our profession. AO, KST, CBP, ABC, Best, SOT are all techniques that have anecdotally shown to be effective and all have their “miracles.” It has been and remains my contention that it is not the tool but fool that determines either the success or lack of success with any given technique. Master yourself and harness your potential you then will see the connection between patient and practitioner occur and lo and behold the result.

    I personally use KST and NIS in my practice. I find both to not only complement one another but I understand their potential far beyond what the books say.

  3. Avatar Chris Haack on August 18, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Why must techniques be compared?

    I use KST beside other low force techniques, because I work with little babies and very old people. KST is a low force technique with a high impact on the healing process…

    So, if the technique works, means you get good results and the patient feels better or even good, it´s the best case study for your own. Or just ask the OD, which force the patient need to be adjusted…

    I have the best results with KST, so this will be my first approach to every patient. OD will tell me, what to do next.


  4. Avatar Dr. Joe, FL on August 18, 2009 at 11:59 am

    A big part of a technique’s effectiveness it the intent of the doctor using it. I have seen some amazing results with techniques I think are inferior, and amazing results with great techniques. Some of the differences were the doctors who delivered it. I personally use KST, SOT, AK, as well as some diversified/drop techniques. I pour my heart and soul into my patients, and the results speak for themselves.

    Having a great technique instills confidence in the practitioner, hence increasing their confidence, their intent, and thus their results!

    It is the patient that ends up healing themselves… chiropractors just get the ball rolling!

    I am happy and proud to be a chiropractor!

  5. Avatar Seth Allen MA, DC, DACBN on August 18, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I would like to recommend a textbook: The Chiropractic Theories: A Synopsis of Scientific Research. It is written by Robert Leach a chiropractic researcher and distinguished doctor of chiropractic. Intra-examiner and intra-technique studies have been done and are written about in the book.

    If we want to survive in the 21st century we will need to focus on bringing the empirical tradition of chiropractic in line with outcome-based studies touted in all chiropractic colleges. One thing’s for sure; the physical therapists who are claiming ownership of chiropractic in their PhD programs -and getting paid for it – base their “therapeutic procedures” on that which is evidence based. I think KST would stand up perfectly.

  6. Avatar Harry Broyles D.C. on August 18, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks for all of the time and effort that you have put into bettering our profession. I personally believe that all chiropractic techniques work if the Doctor has the intent to adjust and let the body heal itself. KST is so powerful because it can be used with most any adjustment technique. Thanks again!

  7. Avatar Leigh Charley on August 18, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    In my opinion, all techniques “work”, but what do we mean by “work” or “get results”? I’ve just started using a MyoVision & will be doing repeat scans every 12 visits. I will be excited to see changes that the scans show which will be based on neurology…that will be one indication of “works”, but to me it is equally if not more important that my patients/practice members’ quality of life improves.

    Having practiced KST since its inception in May 2005, I & my “people” have been extremly pleased with the subjective results (not just pain relief & improved flexiblity) but also things like better sleep, more energy, better relationships (you get the picture).

    Do other techniques get tese results too? Of course. Some techniques work better for some patients & some work better for some chiropractors.

    I agree that the intent of the doc. is very important as is the expectation of the patient (this speaks to education).

    For me & for my patients KST is the “best thing since sliced bread.”. Can’t wait to do the rescans to see the objective data.

    “The body has a language all its own. There’s no need to shout at it, it responds to a whisper.” (Seen in another D.C.’s office.)

    In respect & awe of KST, Dr. Tedd Koren & Innate Intelligence…Leigh Charley, D.C.

  8. Avatar Terry Murphy on August 19, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I would like to add my agreement to all those comments which lay emphasis on the intent of the practitioner. To me it is and always will be the most important part of any adjustment using any technique. With the right intent you can move the world!


  9. Avatar Seth Allen MA, DC, DACBN on August 19, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    I actually had a productive dialogue with one of chiropractic’s most bitter opponents. If I mentioned his name it would be instantly recognizeable. He had written an article that attempted to correlate all chiropractic cervical adjustments with VBA. I pointed out to him that the article only referenced HVLA – high velocity low amplitude adjustments (rotary breaks) – and atempted to paint ALL chiropractic techniques with the same broad brush. His article did not mention the plethora of other techniques that do NOT and never will use this mechanism. If you do a search – any search – on chiropractic neck manipuulation or even chiropractic manipulation in general you will see an unending amount of blogs on the subject. Most of them spreading the same amount of sensationalism and ignorance about chiropractic.

    It is patently unfair for the authors of these pieces to omit the mention of chiropractic techniques that do not employ HVLA – like KST.

    So, for every patient who is “freaked out” by the thought of having their neck “cracked” (and as Dr. Koren says that’s most people)education about techniques such as KST is the answer.

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