The Y Strap is a relatively new treatment technique with many questions circulating around it. Since I started performing this technique, I tend to see a lot of the same questions… so I will use this post as a sort of “Q&A” based on my experience.
Y Strap Adjustment Questions
I had severe pain due to a compression injury in my neck. The only thing that took my pain away was an adjustment similar to the Y Strap. This led me to start perfecting that same adjustment until I discovered the Y Strap. It allows me to have much more leverage while also protecting my body from injury while performing the adjustment.
Simply put, I use the Y Strap to decompress the vertebra in your spine. The way I like to explain it: it decongests all the build up of junk in your spine and allows vital nutrients to rush in to heal/clean your spine. It also takes pressure off the discs in your spine, which can help alleviate symptoms such as those experienced from sciatica, pinched nerves, radiculopathies, headaches, pain between the shoulder blades, and constant nagging pain. Think about it – gravity pulls us down all day. Doesn’t it make sense to pull ourselves the other way every now and then?
Generally, no. However, a few patients have claimed the adjustment hurt slightly when it was performed. I will touch on adverse reactions later in this post.
The oldest person I have treated using the Y Strap is 64. She claimed major relief, and no side effects. I have treated many between the ages of 40-60. The spinal ligaments and joint capsules start to essentially erode the older we get, so theoretically it should be more dangerous to perform this move on older individuals. With that being said, many patients seek me out because nothing else has worked. If an older patient understands the risks of the Y Strap, and still desires it, I will perform it.
The answer to this question is mainly preference related. Sometimes if I notice the patient’s chin lifting up too much when setting up I’ll use the chin strap to keep it down. I also like to use it on people with wider necks, or if I’m trying to target the low back mainly.
I really try to limit it to once per treatment, since it creates a very powerful change to your nervous system. However, some of my clients travel a couple hours to see me, so if I feel it didn’t provide the relief that it should have, I’ll do it again after a brief break. I won’t do it more than twice.
I’ve been playing around with this, because it’s really hard to say how much is too much. Some of my clients have really good insurance plans, and live locally, so it is very convenient for them to come in. I have noticed that weekly Y Strap adjustments are less effective. It seems as though there is less and less congestion in the spine to be cleared out the more often the Y Strap is used on someone (which makes sense). Because of this, if a patient comes in every week, I will normally only perform the Y Strap at maximum twice a month. With that being said, it DEFINITELY depends on what type of injury/symptoms are involved.
95% of the patients seeking my Y Strap services already have a Chiropractor or have tried Chiropractic in the past. These patients obviously have something going on if other conservative therapies didn’t help. Some of these conditions have been building up their whole lives. Multiply those together and it is very unlikely that this treatment will completely cure the symptoms. However, it HAS happened numerous times. I have helped so many people with this technique. On the flip side, some of my patients see very little to no relief. This is the reason why I don’t make my patients sign up for long term treatment plans. If I can’t provide SOME relief after one visit, then this type of treatment probably isn’t for you.
Highest rate of succession would have to be upper body symptomatology. This includes neck pain, upper back pain, pain between the shoulder blades, upper trap/shoulder pain, and mid back pain. Also included is general “tension” in the shoulders/upper back areas. Pain traveling down the arms has seen success, although it isn’t as consistent. In the lower body, general tension and lower back pain has been successfully relieved in most patients. Radiating pain due to disc herniations or sciatica in the LOW BACK traveling down the leg has shown less consistent results.
Note: If you have upper/mid back “tension” and you always feel the need to “crack” your neck or back to relieve the tension, then it is a VERY HIGH chance that the Y Strap will work wonders for you. These types of symptoms usually relate to general compression in the mid/upper back from poor posture/life.
Number one- Double water intake for the first 2-3 days! The Y Axis decompression clears out a lot of the junk built up between the vertebra in your spine. In order to make sure your body effectively cleans it all out, your lymphatic & circulatory systems need reinforcements! The easiest way to ensure this is to increase water intake. Furthermore, avoid taking general anti-inflammatory drugs for the first 2-3 days following treatment. The Y Strap allows for a powerful adjustment on your body. This essentially creates an injury, which your body will respond to by attempting to heal the area. This creates an inflammatory reaction, and usually comes with soreness/pain in the days following the adjustment. We WANT this to occur, and taking anti-inflammatory drugs may, in my opinion, inhibit this healing process. Just use ice for pain relief, or some type of pain-relieving lotion (biofreeze, sombra, CBD lotion, etc). Some patients have recommended that taking a nap following the adjustment has proven to help “settle things in”. Other things to avoid: heavy lifting, bending AND twisting, self cracking/adjusting, high degrees of stretching, running.
This is the million dollar question. I do not practice Chiropractic with the typical “come once a week” model. Therefore, I follow up with my patients via phone/text/email 2-5 days following treatment. Once I hear how the patient responded to the treatment, I will give my opinion on when they should come back. It really just depends on many factors.
Every patient responds differently. The most common side effects include: general back soreness, new areas of short-term pain, and muscle aches. These symptoms rarely last more than 2 days. Some patients have zero symptoms. I do include some deep tissue massage work prior to the adjustment, so those muscles do generally tend to be sore after treatment as well. The worst symptoms a patient has experienced is a sharp headache on one side of her head beginning the day after the adjustment and lasting for about a day. The headache then subsided after that. DO EXPECT TO BE SORE AFTER.