Chiropractic Adjustment

Chiropractic Manipulation/Adjustment is the name of the therapeutic process that the chiropractor uses to help patients who are experiencing back pain.

The process works by placing vertebrae that are out of alignment back into their proper position. The goal is to reduce subluxation, which is when the misaligned vertebrae cause loss of function or pain. Subluxation can be the result of a number of factors, and is viewed by chiropractors as a process rather than a static condition.

Spinal manipulation is performed manually by the chiropractor. Using a high-velocity, intense arm thrust, the chiropractor applies pressure to abnormal vertebra with the hopes of improving function. Generally, patients experience relief from the pain they have very quickly, though some patients report some discomfort immediately following the process. This discomfort usually stems from muscles in spasm during the manipulation and tenseness of the patient rather than the physical byproduct of the manipulation.

Many patients are scared of spinal manipulation because of the myths they have heard about it. During the treatment, there are often accompanying noises that are the result of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide being released. Just as you hear a noise when you crack your knuckles, when the joint pressure in the spine is relieved, a noise is made. It is not your bones breaking, just the release of gases.

It is important to visit an experienced chiropractor, who is well-versed in adjustment techniques. Deciding when and how to perform a manipulation can greatly influence how you are feeling for better or worse. With experience, a chiropractor learns when is the best time to perform one, and whether it really is the best treatment option for you. There is a high level of skill involved, and it is crucial to ensure your chiropractor is at the level you need him or her to be before undergoing an adjustment.

After the adjustment is completed you might experience some soreness in the joints that were manipulated. If you are experiencing soreness, it should only last for a brief period of time, and applying ice to the area is helpful. Depending on your initial pain level, the number of adjustments you will need varies. If you had a serious injury or are experiencing significant pain, you might need multiple adjustments in the first week of treatment. You and your chiropractor will work together to come up with a treatment plan that works for you. If adjustments are not improving pain, other methods will need to be attempted.