What is a chiropractic adjustment?

Updated on March 31, 2022


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If you suffer from low back pain, you may have thought about having a chiropractic adjustment. This procedure, also known as spinal manipulation or manual manipulation, is usually applied as a therapeutic treatment for low back pain sufferers. It refers to the manipulation of the vertebrae in places where they present abnormal movement or do not function as they should. And its goal is to increase the range of motion, improve function, and reduce nerve irritability. Read more on the benefits of a chiropractic adjustment at snapcrack.com.

What happens during a chiropractic adjustment?

In general terms, you can expect a chiropractic adjustment to involve:

  • A quick, short lever arm thrust applied to the area to be treated.
  • The release of gas from the joint. By releasing carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen.
  • The patient experiences a sensation of relief. In some cases, when either the patient tenses up during the treatment or when the surrounding muscles experience a spasm, there may be a short time when minor discomfort will be present.

If the chiropractor detects that the patient is tense and has not been able to relax, they may have the patient rest for a moment, apply ice to the area, or conduct some electrical stimulation before starting the chiropractic adjustment.

What techniques can a chiropractor apply?

There are different techniques that chiropractors apply, depending on the patient and the area to be treated. They can include high speed, low amplitude adjustments or manipulation, combining their skills, experience, and added creativity to obtain the best results.

What are the most common side effects of a chiropractic adjustment?

It is common for patients to experience some side effects after treatment. These may include aching or soreness in the manipulated area, affecting the joints and muscles. Side effects tend to disappear on their own after a short period of time. If you feel you need extra help for these symptoms to dissipate, you may apply an ice pack to the affected area.

Does a chiropractor use other elements to achieve relief?

A chiropractor can use other therapeutic elements in combination with the adjustment. Some of these may include:

  • Heat
  • Cold
  • Massage
  • Light
  • Dietary supplements
  • Ultrasound
  • Exercises
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Electrical muscle stimulation
  • Infrared radiation
  • Lifestyle modifications

These and other factors may contribute to bringing added benefits to the patient.

How can exercise help with chiropractic therapy?

Both strength and cardiovascular exercises can benefit a patient when combined with chiropractic treatment. Exercise has been reported to be of great help in managing both acute and chronic pain. The right exercises can help strengthen the lower back, prevent further damage, and improve patients’ quality of life who experience low back pain. Strong abdominal muscles and aerobic exercises have also been shown to help with proper digestion, promote better circulation, and maintain proper muscle tone.

As with any chiropractic treatment, it is important for your chiropractor to evaluate you and design the best plan for your health. 

What is a chiropractor’s main goal?

By using specific chiropractic adjustments and manipulations, a chiropractor hopes to be able to remove any irritation to the joints, muscles, or nervous system that may be the main contributing factor in producing the patient’s lower back pain.


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