Spinal adjustment, according to authors Meeker and Halderman, is the one core clinical method that all chiropractors agree upon.
Chiropractic adjustment can only be applied to joints in the spine and correction of misalignment or subluxation that may occur in that area. 95 percent of all spinal adjustments in the world are performed by chiropractors. Chiropractic adjustment frees the vertebrae to adjust to a natural position. The natural state of the body knows how to correct itself once it is free to do so with the help of chiropractic adjustment.
Chiropractic adjustments can help in treating a person to prevent future conditions such as:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain disorders
- Chronic muscle pain and stiffness
- Most musculoskeletal and sports-related injuries
- Nerve disorders
- Pain and stiffness in the back, chest, abdomen, neck, hips and shoulders, as well as extremities, such as arms, legs, and feet
- Sciatica pain
- Whiplash and other traumatic injuries
Some common adjustment methods include:
- Toggle Drop: This is when the chiropractor, using crossed hands, presses down firmly on a particular area of the spine. Then, with a quick and precise thrust, the chiropractor adjusts the spine. This is done to improve mobility in the vertebral joints.
- Lumbar Roll (aka side posture): The chiropractor positions the patient on his or her side, then applies a quick and precise manipulative thrust to the misaligned vertebra, returning it to its proper position.
- Release Work: The chiropractor applies gentle pressure using his or her fingertips to separate the vertebrae.
- Table adjustments: The patient lies on a special table with sections that drop down. The chiropractor applies a quick thrust at the same time the section drops. The dropping of the table allows for a lighter adjustment without the twisting positions that can accompany other techniques.
- Instrument adjustments: Often the gentlest methods of adjusting the spine. The patient lies on the table face down while the chiropractor uses a spring-loaded activator instrument to perform the adjustment. This technique is often used to perform adjustments on animals as well.
- Manipulation under anesthesia (MUA): This is performed by a chiropractor certified in this technique in a hospital outpatient setting when the patient is unresponsive to traditional adjustments. Chiropractors take many factors—including size, weight, and muscle structure—into consideration when deciding on which adjustment to make. Sometimes, ice, electrical stimulation, or massage therapy (including traction massage) are used prior to a spinal manipulation in order to relax the muscles.
Patients with chronic pain may require anesthesia during their treatment. This procedure is safe and only reserved for patients with special circumstances. Chiropractors also use conventional diagnostic tests such as MRIs, X-Rays, and lab work to provide treatment. In this sentence the word provide should be determine treatment.
Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a form of bodywork that is focused primarily on the concept of primary respiration and regulating the flow of cerebrospinal fluid by using therapeutic touch to manipulate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium. This procedure is proven to often relieve symptoms of stress and tension.
The following are observed benefits from chiropractic adjustments:
- Increased blood flow
- Increased body secretion of melatonin and endorphins
- Increased pain tolerance levels
- Increased range of motion
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced tension
- Reduced muscle pain
Popping sounds heard during a chiropractic adjustments are usually caused by pockets of air being released from behind the joints. Mild aching or soreness may be present after a chiropractic visit, but is typically gone shortly after and easily relieved with the application of ice or heat.
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on treatment of disorders within the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Muscular, nervous, and skeletal problems are among the symptoms treated by chiropractic care.
Chiropractors specialize in correcting spinal misalignment. These misalignments of the spine are called subluxations. Often chiropractors manipulate the spine and various parts of the body by hand using specific procedures. Chiropractors also use conventional diagnostic tests such as MRIs, X-Rays, and lab work to provide treatment for their patients. Chiropractic treatment may also include:
- Ice/heat therapy
- Therapeutic exercise
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- Lifestyle counseling
- Massage therapy
- Nutritional counseling
- Physical rehabilitation
- Stress management
Q & A
Is chiropractic effective?
The purpose of chiropractic is to restore, over a period of time, your natural ability to be healthy. Your nervous system must be free of interference for it to function naturally. Chiropractic adjustments work to eliminate nerve interference by realignment misaligned vertebrae. This realignment allows for optimal nervous system function and therefore improves health.
Why should I see a chiropractor?
Chiropractic treatment is about far more than just back and neck pain. The focus of chiropractic care is to keep your body at optimal performance through regular nutrition, exercise, and adjustments. Even a wide range of conditions from diabetes to fibromyalgia can be helped through chiropractic treatment.
What is Subluxation?
A subluxation occurs when the vertebra becomes misaligned or moved out of its normal position. A wide range of incidents can lead to a subluxation, anything from a small slip or bump to a car accident or any other sudden trauma. A subluxated vertebra puts pressure on nerves, blood vessels, and everything else surrounding it. This causes an interruption between natural pathways that send messages between different parts of your body and your brain and keeps them from communicating properly.
How does chiropractic care work?
Chiropractic looks at the human body as a whole. The body is controlled by the brain and the brain communicates with the body through its connection with the spinal cord and nerves that go through the whole body. Chiropractic focuses on keeping this connection at its peek, treating the source of any problem that may be interrupting this connection.
In the chiropractic world, nutrition and health take importance over drugs and medicine. Drugs and medicine only serve as bandaids, while nutrition and overall health look at the big picture, keeping the body as a whole in optimal health, and giving it the strength it needs to avoid acquiring any pain or ailments in the first place.
What is a chiropractic adjustment? Is it safe?
The objective of an adjustment, also called spinal manipulation, is to realign a vertebra that may have moved out of place due to anything ranging from normal activities or trauma such as a car accident. Without proper alignment of the spine, the flow between brain and nerves can’t function properly, keeping the body from its peek function. Realignment is attained by through gentle applications of pressure on the spine.
Joint cavitation is what occurs when you hear cracking sounds during an adjustment. Gases such as oxygen and nitrogen leave the joint during cavitation, causing the sound.
What can I expect from my visit to a chiropractor?
The first objective when you visit our office is to reduce any pain you may already be experiencing. While the amount of visits per week and longevity of these visits varies depending on the severity of the underlying condition, this step usually requires 2-3 visits per week for anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks. The next goal is to restore your body to 100% of its functioning capabilities. It is during this phase that muscle and tissues are given time to heal more completely, thus preventing injuries in the future. This phase requires visits for chiropractic care and/or adjustments around 4-8 times per month for anywhere from 6 to 24 months, depending on the severity of your initial problem and your overall health. Once you are no longer experiencing pain and your body has fully healed, coming in for periodic chiropractic adjustments is important to ensure that you avoid any problems in the future. Based on your lifestyle and goals, this final phase requires a quick visit to your chiropractor anywhere from 1 to 4 times per month.
What is a Subluxation?
A subluxation occurs when a vertebrae misaligns and moves out of its normal position. When this occurs, the vertebrae can put unwanted pressure on the nerves, blood vessels, and all of its other surroundings. This pressure can cause pain which will only get worse if left untreated. It also keeps the brain from being able to properly send messages to other parts of the body, greatly affecting your body’s ability to heal itself.
If left untreated, a subluxation can eventually cause the spine and its surroundings to begin a degenerative process that becomes more difficult to reverse as the body begins to adjust itself to the misaligned shape. This causes pain and keeps the body from being able to treat itself. For these reasons, it is very important to get a subluxation treated and the spine realigned as early in the phase of misalignment as possible.
It is common for a doctor to take an X-ray of their patients. They do this to get an inside look at their patient’s bone structure, including the spine and its surrounding skeletal structure.
Using the information provided from an X-ray, the doctor can see any current irregularities.