Chiropractors principally treat something called the vertebral subluxation complex which causes impairment of the nervous system and in turn results in malfunction of the tissues and organs throughout the body. The treatment of a subluxation is termed an adjustment. This is achieved by using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixated, locked up, or not moving properly (aka subluxated). The purpose of this procedure is to improve spinal function, improve nervous system function, and thus improve health. A variety of treatment methods or chiropractic techniques are utilized by Dr. Carlyle Smart in order to provide specific care for your unique health concerns.

Activator Method

The Activator Method is an extensive patient assessment protocol which uses leg length inequality to confirm or deny the the presence and specific location of joint dysfunction causing neurological impairment. A gentle mechanical instrument called an Activator is used to adjust (treat) the subluxated or dysfunctional joint. You can learn more about this technique at their website.


This technique for adjusting dysfunctional joints would be considered the more traditional chiropractic treatment. With this method the doctor will use their hands to provide a specific high amplitude low force thrust in a specific vector to restore joint function. In addition, sometimes a popping noise can be heard. This is a result of the release of gas and air within the dysfunctional joint. Chiropractor call this audible sound a cavitation.

Flexion Distraction

This technique is a table assisted method which excels in treating the lumbar spine. The patient is in the prone position (face down) while the doctor applies pressure to a specific vertebral region with their hand while concurrently flexing the bottom half of the table under the patient’s pelvic region and legs. This allows a passive, non weight bearing motion to occur within the lumbar spine.

Spinal Decompression

Chiropractic Health Services is the only office on Aquidneck Island to offer spinal decompression, a non-surgical option for treating chronic cervical or lumbar pain resulting from bulging discs.

Additional Services

Several modalities are available at the office including electrical stimulation, ultrasound, spinal decompression, and hot/cold therapy. Dr. Smart encourages his patients to be active participants in their health covering topics such as exercise, stretching, hydration and nutrition. Visit our frequently asked questions section for answers to common questions about chiropractic.