Determining the cause and location of subluxations, or distortions, is a major component of any chiropractor’s duties to their patients. A distortion, as it relates to chiropractic medicine, can occur anywhere throughout the spine and cranial area. Through examination and adjustments the Doctor of chiropractic medicine will be able to evaluation the location and type of distortion that is present in their patient and make proper adjustments. These adjustments and fixes to distortions lead to many beneficial outcomes.

Developed by chiropractor William J. Kotheimer, Applied Chiropractic in Distortion Analysis is based on Kotheimer’s theory of a whole body distortion. A major part of this method involves a challenge test developed by Kotheimer himself termed the modified Malcolm Test. This test assesses spinal and cranial distortions and tells the user the best direction for cranial adjustments. The test works by evaluating the changes in leg length when pressure is applied to distorted or subluxated cranial or spinal segments.

This treatment, when utilized by Kotheimer himself and potentially his successors, requires up to 50 adjustments in one visit. While his method is not as well-known as others it should still be considered a trusted process in chiropractic medicine. Kotheimer wrote a book on his technique, Applied Chiropractic in Distortion Analysis. Kotheimer’s son, Doctor William P. Kotheimer, describes his father’s technique in easy to understand detail on his blog.

The basis behind Kotheimer’s method can be best summed up with this quote from the chiropractor himself;

“Man has a tendency to develop specific structural distortions which may involve the cranial and facial features, the atlas rotations, the pelvis and the physiological leg length. And each of several of these distortions that are prevalent is characterized by specific patterns of fixation, also involving the cranium, the atlas and the pelvis.”

Essentially, Kotheimer claimed and proved that by palpating and adjusting certain areas on the body others would be positively influenced. The atlas and SI joint relationship, the atlas and cranial relationship, and axis and sacral relationship are the three most common of these links throughout the body.

Patients of this method claim to only be able to achieve their desired adjustment when visiting chiropractors who use this method. One chiropractor who uses this method claims that it is the only method where he has been able to see consistently positive outcomes for his patients.