In terms of treatment, the main thing that a chiropractor does is called an adjustment. Although some people refer to going to the chiropractor as 'going to get my back cracked' chiropractors do not 'crack' or 'pop' your back. That is just a side effect of adjusting the spine or joint back into its natural, neutral place. The adjustment is a safe, natural, and non-invasive procedure used by your chiropractor to restore and improve health. Learning the art of adjusting is a skill that requires years of study and practice. Your doctors of chiropractic at ReAlign have not only completed chiropractic school and their licensing exam successfully, but they have also received many hours of post-graduate studies and certifications, in addition to the required continuing education required by the state of Illinois.
What Is A Spinal Adjustment?
To put it simply, the spinal adjustment (also called a spinal manipulation, or just 'adjustment') refers to the process in which your doctor of chiropractic skillfully applies controlled force to an area in order to return the joint or spine to its neutral, correct place. The adjustment is usually delivered using the hands or through the use of a specialized mechanical tool such as the activator, which is gentle yet effective, and applies a measured amount of force to a specific area.
When Should Spinal Adjustments Be Given?
Adjustments are applied to certain vertebrae of the spine, or any other joint, which are no longer in their proper position. To determine this, your chiropractor will palpate the area. Chiropractors know by feel, and through the use of x-rays, where everything should be and also where your body is usually misaligned. This is a big reason why we take x-rays on all our patients: so we know exactly what is going on inside, and from there we can determine what needs to be done to correct it.
What Do Spinal Adjustments Do?
The point of adjusting is to correct vertebral subluxations. Subluxation is simply a way of saying misaligned joint, or bone out of place. Correcting subluxations reduces pain and inflammation, muscle spasms, tension, and normalizes spinal function. This removes nerve irritation and interference which allows your body to function and move in the way it is supposed to- meaning your body is working at 100%. This improves overall health and wellness. Chiropractic adjustments are the only way to eliminate vertebral subluxations and only the chiropractor is trained to detect subluxations and deliver the spinal adjustment to correct subluxations.
The Non-Spinal Adjustment
Almost every other joint of the body can be adjusted by your chiropractor. This includes the joints of the hands, feet, wrists, ankles, elbows, knees, shoulders and hips, even your ribs and your jaw!
Like the joints of the spine, joints in other parts of your body can become misaligned and fixated as well. Adjusting techniques can restore and enhance extremity joint function, which increases the life of the joint and keeps the regular wear and tear to an absolute minimum. This is particularly pertinent to athletes, who generally stress joints within their sport or craft. Getting an adjustment provides an immediate increase in range of motion and also supplies the joint with nutrients, as motion is the only way to bring nutrients into the joint cartilage and flush waste products out. A chiropractor just gets these joints 'unstuck' so they can work properly.