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Chiropractor Techniques: What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?

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Chiropractor techniques can vary somewhat from practice to practice. However, one constant in the field of chiropractic care are chiropractic adjustment techniques. People who suffer from neck or back pain may consider seeing chiropractor for treatment. However, not everyone knows exactly what occurs during a regular chiropractic adjustment.

At A Family Chiropractic Clinic in Denton, Texas, we take excellent care of our patients. We educate patients as a part of our process. We teach about what occurs during a typical chiropractic adjustment. By understanding how a chiropractor helps their situation they are able to relax and are open to treatment.

How Does a Chiropractic Adjustment Work?

Chiropractic care focuses on non-drug related treatment plan options for treating muscles and joints. Most often, a chiropractor will treat lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches and more. Your visit will begin with a health history along with questions about your current situation or condition. A series of diagnostic tests including x-rays or an MRI will ensure that chiropractic treatment will help your condition. The series of tests will rule out any other serious conditions that require surgery or other treatment courses. Once your chiropractor has reached a diagnosis then treatment can start.

chiropractic adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation therapy, uses controlled force with a goal to restore mobility and function. Most spinal adjustments focus on the spine, though your chiropractor may also work on other joints. Depending on the specific adjustment technique used, the patient may hear a popping noise during the procedure. This is nothing to be afraid of. The popping noise is caused by the release of small pockets of trapped air. You may be familiar with a similar noise on a smaller scale when you crack your knuckles.

The chiropractor will use their hands, an adjustment table, or an adjustor tool during the treatment process. All spinal adjustment actions are done with very precise accuracy and force, regardless of technique. If you’re worried about the safety of chiropractic care and manual therapies, rest easy knowing chiropractic spinal manipulation treatments are very safe and effective. Spinal manipulations also have little to no side effects. Treatment from a trained and experienced chiropractor is one of the safest non-invasive options available.

After your chiropractic manipulation you may experience pain relief immediately. However, some patients do experience slight aching or soreness. However, this is usually caused from the muscles reacting to the spine being out of alignment and readjusting. Any discomfort will typically fade in under 24 hours or within a few days.

Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor for Adjustment

A misaligned spine is the primary cause of most back and neck pain. This puts pressure on nerves and causes pain. It also strains the supporting muscles. Back pain may be caused from injury, through repetitive movements with poor posture, or due to the weakening of supporting muscles. By adjusting the spine and correcting the alignment patients experience increased mobility. Adjustments also reduce or eliminate pressure on nerves. Another benefit is that muscles no longer strain to correct the issues themselves, which reduces muscle stiffness and pain as well. A chiropractic adjustment can also increase blood flow to the injured area and promote a quicker recovery.

Chiropractors can also alleviate neck pain with manipulative therapy. Long term neck stiffness and soreness can decrease your quality of life. If you suffer from neck pain, then discuss your symptoms with your chiropractor. A chiropractic adjustment can also help restore range of motion and reduce pain you feel in your neck. Having a neck adjustment can also help relieve chronic headaches that can be caused from misalignment in the neck.

How effective is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care is established as being both safe and effective. In fact, it is one of the most effective treatments available for most types of back pain. Seeing a chiropractor reduces the likelihood that someone suffering from back pain will need surgery. Chiropractic adjustments have shown to be equally or more effective than other treatment options. However, chiropractic treatment accomplishes the same results without any of the side effects. Patients who visit a chiropractor are also less likely to have ongoing chronic pain from their injury or condition.

Chiropractic care can also be combined with other treatment options to help ensure lasting results. For example, if an injury occurred due to poor posture, your chiropractor can help correct your posture. They may recommend exercises or stretches that will strengthen key muscles that will improve posture and reduce the odds of a reoccurring injury. While chiropractic adjustments are fantastic on their own, a chiropractor strives to help patients in all ways. The goal of chiropractic care is to ensure overall well-being of the spine and supporting muscles. They want to help you live the best life possible without having to face expensive surgery or horrible side effects of other treatment methods.

If you have any questions about chiropractic adjustment techniques, manipulations, or other care from a chiropractor, please contact A Family Chiropractic Clinic at (940) 566-0000.

Chiropractic Adjustment FAQs

Does chiropractic adjustment work?
Spinal manipulation and alignment are the focus of a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments provide superior results for the majority of individuals who suffer from back pain and other similar issues. Through manipulation, chiropractic medicine relieves pressure off of the nerves to provide relief.

While medications may dull the pain or reduce swelling, without treating the cause of the problem, drugs will never be enough for those suffering from chronic low back pain. Instead, calculated precise spinal manipulation combined with education and proper exercise has the best result to improve patient outcomes.

How does a chiropractic adjustment work?
A chiropractor uses their hands or specific tools to apply thrust and force in a controlled manner to realign the spine. The manual therapy of a chiropractic adjustment eases pressure on joints and improves the range of motion of your spine. In addition, other parts of your body may also be helped through spinal manipulation.

Many people don’t realize that the spine plays such an important role in just about everything we do. When it is out of alignment muscles attempt to compensate. This in turn creates sore muscles. This can create a chain reaction throughout the body causing slight misalignments that we may not notice right away, but that gets worse with time.

When a chiropractor works your spine back into its proper alignment, everything begins to function better. There is less pressure on nerves. Muscles don’t have to compensate for the misalignment.

Your chiropractor will examine you and evaluate your symptoms to determine the underlying cause. From there, they can work to realign your spine with a series of manual manipulation techniques and advice on stretches and exercises to help you strengthen the muscles in your back to prevent future occurrences.

Is chiropractic adjustment painful?
Most people don’t experience pain during a chiropractic adjustment. However, there may be some soreness after the fact. This is particularly true for individuals who’ve been out of alignment for an extended period of time. This soreness is a result of the muscles being forced to compensate for an extended period of time, then having to relearn their position in the back. More often than not, this soreness is fleeting as your body gets used to being properly aligned.
Can I do my own chiropractic adjustment?
It is not recommended that you attempt your own chiropractic adjustment. A Doctor of Chiropractic goes to school to specifically learn techniques to adjust the spine in a safe and healthy manner. Without this expertise, you could seriously injure yourself or worsen your condition.

This also means that you shouldn’t have your friends or family help you with your back if they are not properly trained and experienced.

It’s always best to see a professionally trained and educated chiropractor for your chiropractic adjustments.

Is spinal manipulation safe?
Chiropractic adjustments and spinal manipulation are very safe procedures when performed by a qualified chiropractor.

It is important to provide your chiropractor with your medical history information, so they are able to understand if there are any underlying concerns or health conditions they need to be aware of prior to the spinal manipulation.

What are some of the pain conditions for which spinal manipulation has been used?
Spinal manipulation and chiropractic adjustments are regularly used to relieve joint pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve nerve function in the neck and back. It also is commonly used to treat shoulder, hip, and headache pain.

People regularly seek out spinal manipulation when they suffer from headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, upper back pain, mid back pain, lower back pain, and hip pain.

How long do chiropractic adjustments take?
Most chiropractic visits last around 30 minutes. Your first visit may take longer as your chiropractor will have more questions for you about your symptoms and history. Depending on the severity of your situation they may request imaging such as x-rays and use other diagnostic tools.

During your chiropractic adjustment visits, you’ll speak with your chiropractor about your progress, how you’re feeling, and they’ll perform the adjustment and perhaps offer some advice to help you through the process.

How long do chiropractic adjustments last?
There is no simple answer as to how long your chiropractic adjustments will last. Individuals respond differently to treatment and some work through the phases of treatment faster than others. Treatment time frames depend on the patient’s age, level of fitness, how long they’ve experienced pain, what is causing or caused the pain, and how much discomfort they’re experiencing.

For example, if your back pain is the result of an injury then you may need to see a chiropractor three times a week for two to four weeks initially. While you may feel some relief after each adjustment, that relief may not last as the injury isn’t fully repaired. Most people need between 18 and 24 adjustments over a 9-to-14-week period to work through the three phases of chiropractic care which are:

  • Pain Relief
  • Stabilization
  • Rehabilitation

However, most patients feel a reduction in pain of 40-80% after their first adjustment. Typically, a general improvement is expected in the first 4 weeks of chiropractic therapy.

Once you are back to normal, the work the chiropractor did should last as long as you follow their advice with exercise and posture. However, some people enjoy seeing a chiropractor periodically to help keep their spine aligned.

How often should you get chiropractic adjustments?
The frequency of your appointments, both initially and long-term, is best decided upon by you and your chiropractor. Every situation is different. Some people respond quickly to chiropractic adjustments while others take longer. Some may have jobs that are hard on their backs that require periodic visits while others may only ever need to see a chiropractor short-term.

Talk to your chiropractic team about your goals and everyday lifestyle to establish a treatment plan that will work for you to help keep your spine happy and healthy long-term.

What are the risks of a chiropractic adjustment?
The risks of chiropractic adjustments are very low for most people. In fact, the risks are generally considered to be lower than those associated with taking medications for pain relief. They’re also significantly lower and more effective than surgical options.

That being said, there are situations where chiropractic adjustments are a bad idea. For example, some older patients may have a thinning or softening of the bones that makes them ineligible for chiropractic treatment. In addition, if a person has a history of stroke or is taking blood thinners then they should avoid neck manipulation.

This is why it’s so important to discuss your medical history with your chiropractor before undergoing any treatment.