Chiropractic adjustments are a safe and effective alternative treatment for pain trusted by millions of people each year. Roughly 95 percent of all adjustments performed by chiropractors in the world are intended to correct the subluxations — or misalignments, of the vertebrae in the spine. Chiropractors do not force these bones into their proper position, but instead, facilitate the bone returning to its proper positioning on its own. This is accomplished by applying firm, yet gentle, pressure onto the particular bone in question. In most cases, patients experience no pain while undergoing an adjustment and receive relief from a medley of chronic pain sources as the result of one.
These constant pain sources include arthritis, bursitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other repetitive strain disorders, chronic muscle pain and stiffness, Sciatica pain, pain related to nerve disorders, and tendinitis. Also, chiropractic adjustments are also effective in relieving everyday aches and pains such as headaches, most musculoskeletal and sports injuries, pain and stiffness in the back, chest, abdomen, neck, hips, shoulders, or the extremities such as the arms; legs; and feet, whiplash, and other traumatic injuries. No matter which part of your body is in pain, chances are a chiropractic adjustment will be able to help you.
This is because “chiropractic adjustments” is an incredibly broad term that encompasses a wide variety of procedures. Chiropractic adjustments can be performed while the patient is sitting, standing, or lying down. Some of the more common types of chiropractic adjustment include instrument adjustments that incorporate the use of a spring loaded device. A lumbar roll performed with a quick thrust to the patient’s side. A technique called motion palpation used to determine which vertebrae has fallen out of alignment. Release work that involves gently separating the vertebrae manually, and a toggle drop performed by applying pressure to a particular area of the spine using crossed hands. Special tables are sometimes used to allow the chiropractor to use less force than would otherwise be necessary.
Chiropractors take many factors, such as size, weight, and muscle structure, into consideration when deciding on which adjustment to make. Ice, electrical stimulation, traction massage, or massage therapy may be recommended prior to a spinal manipulation in order to loosen up the muscles. Sometimes, it may advantageous to perform an adjustment while the patient is sedated. Spinal manipulation under anesthesia is reserved for patients with conditions such as chronic neck, back, and joint pain. Also, muscle spasm, shortened muscles, and fibrous adhesions. It is still a safe treatment option despite the use of sedatives.
Another form of chiropractic adjustment called craniosacral therapy, or “CST,” involves exerting very mild pressure to the body’s craniosacral system, which includes the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. This includes the cranium, which includes the skull, face, mouth, and the “sacrum,” or tailbone. CST has displayed relief from chronic neck and back pain, scoliosis, brain and spinal cord injuries. Additionally, migraines, chronic fatigue, nervous system disorders, jaw joint problems, and stress disorders have been helped. If a patient has a condition such as an aneurysm or intracranial hemorrhage, this kind of therapy may be too risky to perform.
Patients undergoing a chiropractic adjustment must remain relaxed, as stiffening up may hinder the adjustment process. Any popping sounds heard during adjustments are usually the result of pockets of air being released behind a joint or other bony structure as it pops back into place, an entirely normal part of the adjustment process. The most significant result of an adjustment is the reduction or elimination of pain, but they have also been shown to increase the patient’s blood flow, pain tolerance levels, range of motion, and secretion of good chemicals such as melatonin while reducing blood pressure and muscle tension. The mild soreness that sometimes follows adjustments is a small price to pay for all of these benefits and can be treated with ice or heat.