A chiropractic adjustment, also known as a manual manipulation, or spinal manipulation, is a common therapeutic treatment for neck, upper to mid-back, and lower back pain. A chiropractic adjustment refers to a chiropractor applying a controlled thrust to the vertebrae that have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function normally. The objective of this chiropractic treatment is to reduce the subluxation while increasing range of motion, reducing nerve irritability and improving function. A chiropractic adjustment typically involves a high velocity, low amplitude thrust to a misaligned vertebra and can include an accompanying, audible release of gas (joint cavitation) that is caused by the release of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide which releases joint pressure. It should be known that joint cavitation (the sound) does not determine the success of an adjustment as the goal of the adjustment is to realign the vertebra not necessarily to release nitrogen and other gases from the joint.
Chiropractors adapt treatment plans to meet the specific needs of each patient. The most frequently used chiropractic technique, spinal manipulation, is the traditional high-velocity low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust. The manipulation can result in an audible “pop,” as chiropractors use their hands to apply a controlled sudden force to a joint while the body is positioned in a specific way. A more gentle approach is called a spinal mobilization which is a low force technique. Some conditions such as pathology, the patient’s size, comfort, preference or presence of osteoporosis can require this more gentle technique.
The most common reaction of a chiropractic adjustment is aching or soreness in the spinal joints or muscles. If aching or soreness occurs, it is usually within the first few hours post-treatment and does not last longer than 24 hours after the adjustment. Application of an ice pack in addition to drinking lots of water post adjustment often reduces the symptoms relatively quickly.
Seeing a chiropractor regularly maintains alignment in the vertebra and therefore keeps the nervous system in an overall healthy state. Make an appointment with our team at Impact Chiropractic to help get your spine and nervous system functioning at its best!