Micro Alignment Therapy


Micro Alignment Therapy is a whole-body chiropractic adjustment technique that can be used on the spine, peripheral joints (such as knees, elbows, ankles, jaw, etc.) and the cranium.

Dr. Barbara James has practiced this chiropractic technique exclusively for the past 22 years, having learned it firsthand from Dr. Robert Young, the renowned Canadian chiropractor who pioneered the technique more than 40 years ago.

Micro Alignment Therapy involves a hands-on analysis of the patient’s joint play and symmetry.  It uses small and precise manual adjustments to help correct the body’s alignment.

Micro Alignment therapy is suitable for all types of patients, including children and the elderly.  It can be used as part of a treatment program for many conditions, including:

  • Postural stress (this includes neck, shoulder and arm tension, and pain and numbness due to sitting for prolonged periods)
  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain (knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, TMJ)
  • Athletic injuries

What does Micro Alignment Therapy feel like to patients?

Micro Alignment Therapy emphasizes the use of small, slow and specific movements used to correct individual joints. This is a localized therapy in which individual joints are addressed and the body remains stationary. Patients may feel some movement or hear a “click” – much like the sound of a light switch – when joints are realigned. Patients report they are more relaxed after a treatment.

What are the benefits for patients?

  • Ideal for people who did not respond well to deep pressure/force or impulse techniques of adjustment
  • Very relaxing and gentle, is well-received by patients
  • Results are experienced within 2 – 4 sessions and alignment holds well.
  • Soft tissue Micro Alignment will assist good joint alignment, so it works well in situations where different therapies are required, e.g. After a motor vehicle injury.
  • Micro Alignment corrections can be used throughout the whole body to assist optimum body performance (often areas of pain are not the only areas requiring alignment to help the body release pain signals). Works well for those patients who want to assist their healing with stretching and postural correction techniques.
  • The techniques can be modified to assist patients with special needs, for example if they cannot lie on their stomach they may be treated sitting, on their side or even standing.

How do patients respond to treatment?

Each person responds differently to Micro Alignment Therapy. Some patients experience some immediate relief of their symptoms, while others will not see improvement until they have had two or more adjustments. In general, the longer a patient’s joints have been misaligned, the more adjustments are required to provide relief. As with all manual therapies, occasional joint tenderness and inflammation may occur following treatment, but this may be treated simply with ice and rest.

What is the sound sometimes heard during the adjustment?

Not all Micro Adjustments make a sound, and often the lever movement can be repeated a few times in the same area without a sound. The sound is distinctly different from the “cavitation” of an impulse adjustment. I explain to patients that it sounds like the “click of a light switch turning on”. The sound can be heard by patients and by the doctor, but is not usually heard by anyone else in the room.

Without the benefit of studies to research what the sound is, it can only be explained as a sound made by the pisiform lever as it moves the contact surface. When the hook of the pisiform bone is understood to be a moving fulcrum or partial cam, the sound of the movement comes from the pisiform as it induces movement in the joint or tendon.