How Chiropractic Adjustments Work
Do you have questions about how our team of Chiropractors at the Health and Performance Centre can help with your injury? See below for our most frequently asked questions.
What is a Chiropractic Adjustment and How Does It Work?
A chiropractic adjustment, or manipulation, is a technique commonly used by chiropractors with the purpose of restoring natural motion and function to a fixated joint using controlled, sudden force. Techniques of joint manipulation have evolved over time to include not only adjustments in the neck, back, or spine of the patient, but to also include misaligned extremity joints as well.
When are Chiropractic Adjustments Used?
Following a thorough assessment, an adjustment may be recommended as part of your treatment if you were found to have a joint that is painful and/or dysfunctional in its movement. As the patient, these scenarios often feel like reduced range of motion, and stiffness while moving, and can result in pain.
Our HPC chiropractors are trained to assess and manually adjust the joints of the spine, as well as the extremities (for example, ankles). Many patients experience immediate pain relief and improved range of motion, whereas other injuries require multiple visits and appointments with our other practitioners (massage, physiotherapy, etc. may be recommended).
How are Adjustments Done?
To perform an adjustment, your chiropractor will use their hands to apply a quick, low-force thrust to your joint and guide it through a range of motion. If there is too much muscle tension and manual manipulation is not possible, sometimes a toggle board or drop piece may be used to help restore range of motion, often used when adjusting the S/I joint.
What is the Cracking Noise?
The cracking noise is called "cavitation" and is caused by a gas bubble forming within the joint. The quick creation of space between a synovial joint produces a little air pocket, whose creation produces the cracking noise. The noise isn’t the end goal; it’s the by-product of quickly restoring movement to the joint. Patients can often feel the pressure changes in the joints and report a pleasant, relaxing feeling. Cavitation is actually how your body thanks you when direct and deliberate pressure to the spinal cord is provided.
Does Going to the Chiropractor Mean I Have to get Adjusted?
No. Patients will always be told if an adjustment is recommended but treatment will always defer to patient preference and consent. Often treatment plans will include a combination of soft tissue therapy, adjustment or mobilization of the joints, education and at-home exercises to best help our patients return to normal activity.
Our chiropractors are trained in many techniques, making them able to customize treatment plans that fit each patient. An adjustment is only one part of a complete treatment plan.
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