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THE TORQUE SPECIFIC CERVICAL ADJUSTING INSTRUMENT
Cecil Laney D.C.
Laney seen here with Mrs Laney and instrument)
Dr. B. J. Palmer, after a lifetime
committed to chiropractic, concluded that a subluxation could only occur
in the cervical area of the spine. If this honored profession accepts
that concept, then it must search for the course of action that most efficiently
corrects the cervical misalignment. A most revolutionary instrument now
promises the upper cervical chiropractor a procedure whereby atlas subluxations
can be cleared – consistently and reliably.
Introduction to Atlas corrections
The procedure developed by Dr.
John F. Grostic has been proven to be the most effective method for cervical
corrections, and also in proving the performance with post x-rays. Dr.
Grostic’s procedure consisted of establishing a correction vector,
or path through space, for all conceivable misalignments. Calculating
certain anatomical and misalignment factors establish this vector.
If Palmer’s belief system is to
be accepted, and if Grostic’s method is indeed superior, a logical
question to ponder is why did the method and the focus on the cervical
spine not dominate the Chiropractic profession.
The cervical subluxation problem
The great difficulty is that only a
few doctors could master the necessary physical skills to send the correct
force down the desired vector. The force had to be measured, rectilinear,
and incorporate a strange element called torque. Because of this difficulty,
some said it was impossible, the profession moved in the direction of
least resistance toward procedures that most could perform, such as diversified,
which did not require the analyzing time and physical effort called for
by Palmer and Grostic.
Since the accurate adjusting
force is so difficult to achieve, and since the objective is to deliver
force down a desired path, it can be argued that a precise instrument
could be built to perform the task. Indeed, many adjusting instruments
have been built over the years with varying degrees of success. Separate
organizations within the chiropractic profession now exist to teach and
advocate various systems. It is clear that the most successful of these
have been those who have remained close to the Grostic analysis and vector.
I began researching instrument adjusting
almost fifty years ago. This work became my Life’s profession goal
and continues to this day. In 1954, I began designing and building instruments.
Several were hand-held models, and table-mounted devices soon followed.
At all times and with every instrument I utilized the vector produced
by the Grostic procedure.
One table-mounted instrument even included
a rotating stylus. This stylus could be made to turn either clock-wise
or counter-clockwise. My research, conducted on thousands of misaligned
patients, convinced me that a turning stylus had no effect on reducing
The Torque factor revisited
Many techniques have utilized
torque in their procedure and over the years have made various claims
about what it accomplishes.
The stated purpose of "torque"
in the Grostic procedure is to move the axis spinous process. There is
so-called "inferior" and "superior" torque. Inferior
torque is the term for moving the spinous away from the adjuster, or downward.
Superior torque is moving the spinous toward the adjuster, or upward.
The Grostic hand torque does work. But
how? Does the adjuster's radius and ulnar crossing over one another cause
the pisaform bone to spiral? What effect would this have on the movement
of the spinous of axis?
I spent ten years observing the adjustment
of thousands of patients, and it became obvious to me that it was the
element of more leverage that moved the spinous process of axis. In other
words, more height moved the inferior spinouses and less height moved
the superior spinouses.
If this conclusion is to be accepted,
the upper cervical chiropractor is led to ask why not just add to or subtract
from the height factor? This is exactly what the Orthospinology doctors
did with the hand- held instrument with great success.
However, this modification did not completely
solve the problem. The doctor is trying to move the axis spinous and lower
cervicals by contacting the transverse process of atlas and therefore
using the atlas as a lever. It is now recognized that the stylus –
the line of drive – cannot be set over 30 degrees without losing
contact with the transverse process since the patient’s skull blocks
It is unfortunate that many listings
[the term used for the correction vector resulting from analyzing the
pre-adjustment X-rays] require this extra leverage to move the spinous.
Torque provides the extra leverage. [Note: Pre-adjustment X-ray
on left and post on right].
The question therefore remained. How
does the hand torque create more leverage? A careful study of the problem
revealed that if the torque was to work, it had to be perfectly coordinated
with the toggle and had to be completed precisely simultaneously. The
hand torque worked at the point when the torqueing stopped. It created
a downward or upward increase in the leverage factor of the force. The
process created a rectilinear and angular force in one operation. In other
words, a multi-vector force. This realization eluded the profession and
stymied the creation of a truly effective adjusting instrument for decades.
This difficulty caused another review
of statements from well-known doctors: Two in particular stand out for
the insight into the cervical adjustment quandary.
- "Frequently, it is necessary
to deliver both a linear and angular motion in the adjustment at the same
time. The combination of directing a linear force with an angular force
(torque) is required when the axis spinous has misaligned differently
from the axis body and atlas." Dr. Ralph R. Gregory.
- "In the Grostic procedure, the torque is used to correct the
rotational misalignment between C1 and C2. It is not actually a torque,
but rather a change in the line of correction at the very bottom of the
thrust." Dr. John D. Grostic.
The Torque Factor Solution
The thrusts of these comments, combined
with the lack of success with the stylus turning mechanism from the early
prototype, led me to the breakthrough. Looking back at the decades of
trials, failures, and incremental steps forward, and at revisiting the
works cited, it seems obvious now. Unfortunately, it was not so clear
at the time.
I built an instrument whose stylus moved
in an angular vector at the end of the linear portion of the thrust! This
discovery was the solution, and the corrections increased in effectiveness
by an order of magnitude. I saw the best corrections I had ever seen –
consistently and reliably. Moreover, my patients held their corrections
for longer periods of time it was a true breakthrough. This vector was
the true torque! It was not rotational spin, but angular movement that
made it work.
The idea was easy to conceive but difficult
to translate into a production model, and the movement toward instrument
production ground to a stop for several years, until 1996. In that year,
Dr. Sid E. Williams, President and founder of Life University, showed
an interest in building an improved version of my table-mounted prototype.
This vote of confidence, not only in upper cervical work but also in instrument
adjusting invigorated my hopes and plans and those of my colleagues who
have wanted to see the upper cervical method—and the instrument—more
accepted throughout the profession.
agreed to manage the production process and assigned Life University all
rights to the invention. After investigating various manufacturers, Spinalight,
Inc. was chosen as the manufacturer. Several years of work then went into
design and production, and a unit was delivered to the Life University
Months of testing then ensued.
Dr. Roger Hinson led this work, adjusting hundreds of patients. He was
particularly interested in using the instrument on problem cases that
other methods had failed to clear. After a favorable report on its value
and potential, the instrument was cleared for production. It is marketed
under the trade name, "The Torque Specific Cervical Adjusting Instrument.™"
Life University had Spinalight build
several more Torque™ instruments. They were placed in classrooms
and in every Life clinic. The technique and the instrument are now being
taught in the regular curriculum. Quote from Dr. Beth Amacher, senior
instructor on the Life University faculty, "I believe the specificity
and repeatability of this instrument attract the students to this type
of orthogonally based chiropractic. The results the students have obtained
from the Torque instrument have definitely lived up to Dr. Laney’s
promise, of a perfect adjustment every time. The post Xrays speak for
The Torque Method
The Torque™ Instrument is capable
of sending a force, both linear and angular, down any vector that is obtained
by detailed .X-ray analysis. Aligned with the aid of a laser, it is capable
of doing so with the accuracy of the perfectly executed hand thrust. Perhaps
the most outstanding function this instrument offers is to duplicate the
functions accomplished by a perfectly executed hand torque.
Features of the instrument include
- The excursion (linear travel) can be varied.
- The angular travel can be varied and selected
to duplicate inferior or superior torque.
- The speed of the thrust can be varied. It starts
slowly and accelerates through the point of recoil. This is a precise
imitation of the force administered by the hand toggle.
- After the thrust is complete, the stylus lifts
completely off the neck, giving the patient the same feel as a hand
- Safety features are incorporated to limit force
delivered to the patient.
- The instrument never gets tired or has a bad day.
It is a blessing for the less flexible or handicapped doctor.
- It is duplicative since the exact adjustment can
be given in the future.
- It has a uniquely designed functional headpiece,
which allows more precise patient placement.
Comments from some of the field doctors
who have the instrument are notable
- Dr. Tim Peterson, Bloomer, WI. "The instrument
is amazing. We will soon acquire our second one."
- Dr. James K Humber, Smyrna, GA. "The corrections
are unbelievable. Likewise, the response of our patients is overwhelming.
I have acquired another one from Spinalight."
- Dr. Michael Wagner, Silverdale, WA. "I had
three new patients today and zeroed out all three."
- Dr. Mark Myers, Hueytown, AL. "I am making
fantastic corrections, better than in all of my twenty years of practice.
The patients love it because of the better results."
The results now being shown, after hundreds
of patients and thousands of hours of research, indicate a truly outstanding
record. The Torque™ instrument is clearly a new standard in upper
cervical corrections. See figure one. A correction made by Dr. J. K. Humber,
Jr. using the Torque instrument.
There continues to be discussion
within the profession about how corrections can be quantified due to the
uncertainty of what is "normal." While asymmetries exist in
every human body, it is not of the magnitude to invalidate our assumptions.
It has been observed for over sixty years that the closer the upper cervical
spine is to the orthogonal position, the better the body remains balanced
and the longer it can exist without neurological insult. See figure two.
There are some very skillful
hand adjusters in the field. This is especially true in the National Upper
Cervical Association (NUCCA) group. However, it is highly unlikely that
many doctors can match the Torque™ adjustment because of the almost
superhuman skills needed to coordinate the toggle with the torque. Indeed,
if the torque is attempted but is not coordinated with perfection, the
misalignment can be increased.
It remains to be seen how many doctors
are dedicated to excellence. How many will acquire the training and utilize
the instrument to make better corrections? The instrument removes the
difficult part, which is providing the adjustment. The process is now
achievable for anyone.
A person not trained in the Grostic-based
procedure could not make use of the instrument and is not eligible to
Training in the Grostic-based procedure
is available from these entities: NUCCA, The Society of Orthospinology
and the New Life Cervical Course at Life University.
The tragedy is that billions of suffering
people are not yet getting the benefit of this procedure. That is my main
The Torque™ instrument is
now available to the field doctors. If interested, contact Spinalight,
Inc. or Life University.
- Dr. Ralph R. Gregory July/August
1981 "Digest of Chiropractic Economics"
- Dr. John D. Grostic Computer Files.
Adobe Acobat Reader)