Updated: Apr 25, 2022
The Y Strap Adjustment has recently become popularized by a surge of Chiropractors filming and posting their treatment videos on YouTube. Due to the high volume of questions regarding this treatment, I will attempt to answer the most common questions I am asked in a Q&A format based on my personal experience.
Why do I use the Y Strap?
I have personally found the Y Strap to be the most relieving adjustment out of all adjustments for my patients and also, to have done on myself. With that being said, it is not for everyone. However, I would estimate that for 80% of my patients it is their absolute favorite adjustment they have ever had.
Is the Y Strap Adjustment Safe?
I do believe that the Y Strap Adjustment is very safe for most people. I have personally done this adjustment on hundreds of people and have never caused any sort of injury. The Y Strap adjusts the spine in the Y-Axis, meaning there is no rotational force on the vertebral segments and the surrounding structures.
Do I need the Y Strap?
In my opinion, no. I don’t think you need it. In my practice I really try to emphasize patient education and empowerment, rather than reliance on the “doctor.” I tend to look at adjustments as self-care and something that is optional. They can be a powerful pain management tool, but so are a lot of other things. This is not meant to discourage you from seeking consistent Chiropractic care, but rather empower you to feel like you have options.
Does the Y Strap hurt?
For most people, no. Some people experience short term discomfort in the muscles in either side of the neck or down in their shoulder blade area. This discomfort is typically only experienced for a minute or two; however, some people have reported minor to moderate soreness for 1-2 days after their first Y Strap Adjustment.
How does the Y Strap work?
Simple put, the Y strap decompresses the spinal vertebra. The theory is that the quick pull creates a vacuum effect (More on the Y-Strap Here) that allows new blood and other nutrients to enter into the intervertebral disc spaces. I want to emphasize that there has been no research to date on the Y Strap and its efficacy. This does not mean that the treatment is not effective, but it does mean that you will not hear me making unsubstantiated claims about mechanisms of effect.
Can the Y Strap make you taller?
It seems funny to include this one, but I frequently get asked this question and the answer may surprise you. I’ve actually had several people measure themselves before and after and claim to have gained 0.5 –.75” in height after the Y Strap. There may be many factors at play here, including an increased sense of well-being after the adjustment so you may simply carry yourself differently. I will say that a long-term increase in height seems very unlikely. But hey, I’d take a short term increase any day!
How often can the Y Strap be done?
I have patients that come in weekly to have it done and do just fine; however, this is not something that I try to sell people on. Every person responds differently and you will never feel any pressure from me to reschedule consistently.
Can I workout after the Y Strap adjustment?
ABSOLUTELY! One of my biggest frustrations is Chiropractors telling patients not to workout after their adjustment. Your spine is NOT FRAGILE and we are not putting bones back into place. You can rest assured that participating in physical activity after your adjustment is entirely safe.
What conditions does the Y Strap work best for?
I have seen the highest rate of relief for those with upper body complaints. This includes neck pain, upper back pain, pain between the shoulder blades, upper trap/shoulder pain, and mid back pain. I have also seen the Y Strap to be quite relieving for some people with low back pain, as patients often report feeling the spine adjust all the way down to their tailbone.
Note: If you have constant lower neck and/or upper back “tension” and continually feel the need to crack your neck to relieve the tension, I have seen the Y Strap work wonders for this population! These patients often claim to have a HUGE physical and emotional release from the Y Strap, as if it “lifted away all of their tension.”
What can I expect to feel with the Y Strap adjustment?
Most people feel at least several big cracks in the cervical spine. Many people feel multiple cracks from the neck all the way down into the mid back. And some claim to feel cracks from the base of their skull all the way down to their tailbone. In general, it is very difficult to say what you will experience, but I can say that it is quite the experience.
How is the Y Strap different from traditional spinal decompression?
The main difference is the speed. The Y Strap utilizes a high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) thrust, while traditional decompression is done in a slow and rhythmic fashion and rarely leads to any cracking noises.