Chiropractic Care Series: A look at Spinal Adjustments

As we continue our Chiropractic Care Series, this new series, we are looking at Spinal Adjustments - a procedure that is unique and singular to the chiropractic profession.

What is a Spinal Adjustment?

Spinal Adjustments is a procedure described as "the use of a load (force) to specific body tissues with therapeutic intent". This ‘load’ is traditionally supplied by hand, and can vary in its velocity, amplitude, duration, frequency, and body location. The intention of a chiropractic adjustment is to affect or correct the alignment, motion and/or function of a vertebral joint.

Are there different types of Spinal Adjustments?

As a unique treatment to Chiropractic Practice, many different types of spinal adjustments and techniques have been developed - all of which are in pursuit of improving health through adjustments to the nervous system. Some of the techniques below include:

  • Toggle Drop - this is when the chiropractor, using crossed hands, presses down firmly on a particular area of the spine. Then, with a quick and precise thrust, the chiropractor adjusts the spine. This is done to improve mobility in the vertebral joints.
  • Lumbar Roll (aka side posture) - the chiropractor positions the patient on his or her side, then applies a quick and precise manipulative thrust to the misaligned vertebra, returning it to its proper position.
  • Release Work - the chiropractor applies gentle pressure using his or her fingertips to separate the vertebrae.
  • Table adjustments - The patient lies on a special table with sections that drop down. The chiropractor applies a quick thrust at the same time the section drops. The dropping of the table allows for a lighter adjustment without the twisting positions that can accompany other techniques.
  • Instrument adjustments - often the gentlest methods of adjusting the spine. The patient lies on the table face down while the chiropractor uses a spring-loaded activator instrument to perform the adjustment. This technique is often used to perform adjustments on animals as well.

What are the results from Spinal Adjustments?

The effects of spinal adjustment vary depending on the method performed by your chiropractor. The effects from the techniques of spinal adjustments are similar to other manual therapies, ranging from decreased muscle tension to reduced stress. Some early studies have shown that these techniques can help to alter nervous system functions and help to improve overall health. Common effects of spinal adjustments include:

  • temporary relief of musculoskeletal pain
  • increased range of joint motion
  • changes in facet joint kinematics
  • increased pain tolerance and increased muscle strength.

Are there side effects from Spinal Adjustments?

Some Common side effects after having spinal adjustments can include: mild to moderate discomfort, headache, tiredness, or radiating discomfort.

If you are interested in Spinal Adjustments to help with pain, contact us today!

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