A chiropractic adjustment, also known as chiropractic manipulation, manual manipulation, or spinal manipulation, is a common therapeutic treatment for neck pain, mid-back pain & lower back pain. Chiropractic adjustment refers to a chiropractor applying manipulation to the vertebrae that have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function normally.
The objective of this chiropractic treatment is to reduce the subluxation**, with the goals of increasing range of motion, reducing nerve irritability and improving function.
**The term “subluxation” is used by doctors of chiropractic to depict the altered position of the vertebra and subsequent functional loss, which determines the location for the spinal manipulation. Chiropractors have described the term to include a complex of functions (i.e., the subluxation complex) as “… an alteration of the biomechanical and physiological dynamics of contiguous structures which can cause neural disturbances.”
Chiropractic Adjustment Description
A chiropractic adjustment typically involves:
- A 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, which releases joint pressure (cavitation)
- A relieving sensation most of the time, although minor discomfort has been reported (that usually lasts
for a short time duration) if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the patient tenses
up during this chiropractic care.