Chiropractic Adjustments, Explained

The chiropractic industry focuses on the health of the nervous system and putting the spine back into proper alignment to allow the body to heal itself more easily. The most common reasons you might seek chiropractic care include back pain, neck pain, or headaches.

Chiropractic adjustments, also known as “spinal manipulation,” involve your practitioner using their hands to apply a very precise, controlled and sudden force to a certain spot on your back along the spine. The goal is to make a small adjustment so that over the course of a few appointments your spine slowly moves back into its natural alignment. Other benefits to this type of care include:

  • Improved neck or shoulder issues
  • Restored joint mobility
  • Corrected hip and pelvis alignment
  • Reduced pain without medication

During the adjustment you will usually hear a popping sound which is completely normal. This sound is simply the release of gas, called joint cavitation, which reduces joint pressure. You should feel a relaxing sensation most often, though during one of your first sessions you could feel some slight, short-term pain. Once your body is used to the changes, you will likely stop feeling discomfort after an adjustment. Discomfort is more common if the muscles around the area are in spasm or if the pain has been present for a long period of time.

Adjustment Types

There are a few types of chiropractic adjustments that your doctor may use depending on your health, age and physical condition. The most common is the quick thrust to a small area of the spine using hands or sometimes an instrument. There are occasions that this one-time adjustment will be enough, where other times might require a few more sessions to get the joint to stay in its proper position.

Another common adjustment type is called spinal mobilization, which involves a slow and gentle movement to improve joint function. The end goal is the same for both strategies — it just depends on your body type and preference. This type of approach might take a few more sessions to get the progress you would like to see.

Many chiropractors will also advise you on improved diet and lifestyle choices while providing exercises and stretches to include in your everyday routine. With these extra steps, particularly the stretching and quick exercises, the work the chiropractor does to you will more easily stick and be maintained so you can remain pain-free and reduce your frequency of chiropractic visits to a few maintenance treatments throughout the year. Overall, if you are looking for a mild yet effective solution for your pain without having to take medication, chiropractic care is a safe and natural option that many individuals use to improve their quality of life.

Contact a chiropractor today if you are experiencing any kind of pain. A back pain doctor, like a back pain doctor in Kennewick, WA, can help offer relief. 

Thanks to Northwest Injury Clinics for their insight into what chiropractic adjustments are like. 

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