What is Chiropractic Adjustment?

Senior man having chiropractic adjustment.

A chiropractic adjustment, also known as chiropractic manipulation, manual manipulation or spinal manipulation is the therapeutic treatment for episodes of pain all along the spine.

It refers to a chiropractor applying manipulation to the vertebrae that have abnormal movement of function. The objective is to reduce the subluxation, with the goals of increasing range of motion, reducing irritability and improving function.

How to describe a Chiropractic Adjustment?

African American male patient undergoing chiropractic adjustment

  • High velocity, short lever arm thrust applied to a vertebra;
  • An accompanying audible release of gas (joint cavitation), that is caused by the release of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide, releasing joint pressure.
  • A relieving sensation most of the time, although minor discomfort has been reported, during a short period of time, in the surrounding muscles.

It’s also good to know that joint cavitation or the common “popping” and “cracking” sound does not occur all the time, typically as a result of significant muscle splinting or the patient not being adequately relaxed during the manipulation.

Chiropractic Adjustment Techniques

There are many different manipulative techniques that can be utilized and there is a certain skill level with high velocity/low amplitude adjustment or manipulation. It is more important for the chiropractor to understand and determine when not to apply certain types of adjustments.

Side Effects

The most common reaction to chiropractic adjustments is aching and/or soreness in the spinal joints and muscles. If this occurs, it’s usually in the first hours post-treatment and should not last longer than 24 hours after the chiropractic adjustment.

Application of an ice pack often reduces the symptoms, but it is not always necessary, so make sure to talk to your doctor after the session for them to help you on how to proceed.

But Chiropractic Care is beyond the adjustments, and it may not be the only procedure a chiropractor employs when managing your care. There are other natural therapies that chiropractors tend to use.

Common forms of chiropractic therapy

There are other therapies, with natural agents such as heat, cold, water, massage, light and exercise that can also be utilized by the chiropractors.

  • Heat and cold: the chiropractors may alternate between heat and ice therapy. Ice is used to numb the areas for a 10 to 15 minute period and the switch with a heating pad, heat wrap or hot water bottle to restore blood flow and promote faster healing.
  • Exercise: with instructions for and program focusing on stretching and strengthening the areas.
  • Massage: to improve circulation, reduce swelling and inflammation associated with back pain.
  • Dietary management: providing tips on how and improved diet help with pain.
  • Electrical muscle stimulation: during this chiropractic therapy, electrodes are placed on the skin that send light electrical pulses to different areas of the body.
  • Ergonomics: the chiropractor may recommend modification such as workstation change that is applied at home and/or at work.

If you wanna know more about chiropractic adjustments, come talk to one of our specialists here at Prestige.

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